My husband and I had been wanting to implement some type of formal biblical education in our home for quite some time. However, devotions and/or family worship were not modeled for us growing up and we had no idea what it was supposed to look like. We had tried a few different things but nothing felt quite right and engaged the kids at the right level. Then, we had the opportunity to attend a wonderful parenting conference at our church where we learned of Family Time Training. Their mission is to provide families with tools and resources to have family worship time in the home. The worship lessons are designed to engage and impact the children in a fun way so they will learn and retain the knowledge. At the conference, we got to see Kirk Weaver (founder) stand on stage and literally explain step by step how his family does family worship time. He also explained some of the intricacies, such as child's personality/learning style and dos/don'ts for expectations from children. He even showed a video of a family having Family Time. Even though every one's worship time doesn't have to look the same it was such a blessing to see how someone does it and then adapt it to our family's style. We purchased a couple of the preschool workbooks and began right away!
Now, I want to share what our Family Time looks like:
I am responsible for picking out the lessons and gathering everything needed. I also ensure that my husband knows which lesson we are doing that week so he can familiarize himself before the day of. I also plan a simple dinner for the evening of so we can focus on Family Time instead of letting dinner and cleaning bog us down.
The day of, I hype it up to the kids (hey, guess what? we are having family time tonight). When we first started I explained to them exactly what we were going to do. After just a couple of weeks the older two became very familiar with the routine. (Our kids are 4, 2.5, and 9 mos)
We eat dinner and remind the kids it is Family Time night and we all eagerly clean the kitchen and dining room
We play our family's theme song (Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes), which the kids love to dance to. No matter where they are in the house they come running...
After the song we all go sit at the dining room table (we mix it up sometimes too but mostly we are at the dining room table)
***Daddy leads everything from here on out and I just help if I need to***
Daddy prays and sometimes the kids will want to pray too
We talk about what we learned last week
Daddy discusses the lesson and asks questions to engage the kids
Daddy leads the activity allowing the kids to be as hands on as possible
We wrap it up pretty quickly because attention span times are fairly short...
I really believe that the "trick" to this is that in addition to the Family Time sessions, we have to apply those lessons in everyday life. As the week goes on and a situation arises where a lesson can be applied we can say, "hey, remember what we learned at Family Time?" and that immediately opens the door in a positive way and makes the information really come alive.
In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make vital connections with our kids, I am so thankful that this is another avenue to make those bonds. We are getting started while they are young but even if your kids are older and you have not started having worship time inside your home, I would encourage you to start. It is never too late and it really doesn't matter what it looks like. I just hope that a glimpse into our worship time gives you some inspiration to start your own!
Glory to God, Forever!