Encouraging families to live out faith in the home: part 2

Published 21st November 2016 by Messy Church

The guide is for families and churches to give you some reassurance about how to get started with Christianity in the home.

Getting Started

Take into account the following factors when offering support and resources to families:

Appropriate language and content when selecting Bible stories

There is a range of Bibles available for children and young adults. It is helpful if families can be given guidance as to what is appropriate for different age groups.

Existing experience/knowledge of faith

For some families, their perception of exploring faith at home may centre around reading the Bible together.

For many families, this may present a challenge if they have never done it previously. Alternative ways to explore faith through activities and discussions may be more helpful.

Time and financial constraints

Some families may have limited time and budget available. Exploring faith in the existing patterns and routines of family life is important, to make it feel achievable.

Walking or driving to school with younger children can open up conversations— about creation, for example. For older children, the time might offer a chance to talk about relationship issues raised at school. How do they connect with faith and what can we learn from the Bible about relationships with others?

For those with teenagers, the ‘taxi service’ facility offered by parents/carers can provide a valuable time for talking about life issues and the connection with faith.

Appropriate length of time for activities

Consider different means of exploring faith that will keep the attention of those with different concentration spans.

Ages of children in the family

Make sure the Bible stories or activities offered are suitable for the ages of the children. Be open to discussing faith with children of all ages. Start from where they are at.

Learning styles of family members

Some may prefer a study-based approach, while others prefer an activity or discussion. Providing a variety of styles will meet these needs and offer a freshness of approach, particularly as ages and stages alter.

A selection of ideas that can be used in the home

  • Integrating faith elements into daily life. Examples may include praying before meals or bed; reading a Bible story before bed or after a family meal.
  • Using craft, cookery or construction to link into the theme of the Bible story/faith concept.
  • Watching films by way of opening up discussion. This may be particularly appropriate for families who are not familiar with talking about faith together, or families with older children who are no longer around for family meals.

Let us know if you’ve got any thoughts, ideas or questions about this topic. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.