Just as churches and individuals need godly rhythms, so do families. Godly rhythms help families to worship and live intentionally with God through all of life. As a parent, you can begin leading your family in a time of regular Family Devotions with a few simple steps. Below is a guide from our Lead Pastor, Steve Corts, outlining one way you can begin to implement this important rhythm into your family's life.
Start by eating supper together as a family. Even if you don’t have time to cook and you’ve picked something up, eat it at the table! Insist that everyone eats together and that everyone comes to the table come unplugged and undistracted: without television, phones, toys or any other distraction.
After you’ve prayed over your meal, talk! Talk about your day. Talk about your victories and defeats, your surprises and the funny things that happened along the way. Ask each other good questions. Leave serious and controversial conversations for another time and place. Mom and Dad - lead the way. Once done, clear the table (if you can without losing your “audience”).
Don’t spend precious time looking for the things you need to start! Have your Bible near at hand. If you have younger kids, you might use the Jesus Storybook Bible or another Gospel-centered book. A list of some great ones can be found here! If you need glasses, have them ready too.
This is so valuable that the enemy will not want you to do it. Expect warfare - spiritual and otherwise - in the form of objections, in the form of distractions, in the form of snickers (for some reason, serious things often call up funny things when you least expect them to - it just happens!)
Read the Bible. Read through one passage from one book at a time, usually 6-8 verses (or one story if using a Bible story book). An ESV Study Bible is a great tool here. If you or someone else has questions, you’ll likely find an answer there in the study notes.
Talk briefly about what you read:
What does this tell us about who God is?
What does this tell us about how God works?
What does this tell us about what God wants for us?
Answer these questions or invite others in your family to respond.
Pray together. Pray briefly together over what you’ve read, thanking God for Who He is, what He does, and what He wants for you. Then close by praying specifically for any needs your family or others have.
Make family devotions as nonnegotiable and normal for your family as bedtime. Because spiritual rhythms are so necessary - do it when you feel like it, do it when you don’t feel like it, do it even when you’re running late! Only let true emergencies keep you from this essential time together.