Hebrews 13:15–16: “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
There was recently a sweet little girl at our church who drew me a picture of myself preaching. You could tell it was me because of two things – a big head and a big Bible. The Shrek-sized head was so big it nearly took up three-quarters of the page! Anyway, that’s not the point.
I thanked her for drawing a picture of her pastor and she gave me a curious response – “You’re not my pastor.” I responded, “Oh, no?” She said, “No, my mommy and daddy said they’re my pastors. They read the Bible with me and teach me about Jesus, and they said if I give them my prayer requests, they’ll pray for me.”
Suddenly her answer made sense. That right there is the endzone. The church we attend and the school we send our kids to is important but, oftentimes, we put a little too much emphasis on these and forget that pastoring our kids starts in our own home. What influences them in culture is important but the influence they receive starting at home is of first importance.
As we enter this new year, I wanted to give you some practical tips that we’ve practiced in our home over the years that I hope could be incorporated and useful in your own home.
- Attend church together as a family. At Trinity, we have Trinity Kids for little ones up through 5th grade, where they learn an age-appropriate lesson about Jesus. Starting in 6th grade, or before for more mature kids, we encourage kids to sit in service with their parents, so all members of the family are learning the Bible together.
- If each member of your family doesn’t have an age-appropriate Bible, I would encourage you to each have one. If you need help figuring out a good Bible or translation for each member of the family, watch this video to get an idea of different Bible translations for different age groups
- Find worship music on the radio or your favorite streaming platform and play it in the car when you’re going to and from school, taking your kids to their friends’ houses or activities, or running errands. You’d be amazed what will soak into your kids’ minds just by hearing it in the car.
- Get each member of the family into an age-appropriate life group. At Trinity, we have home groups for families and men’s and women’s groups as well as students and young adults.
- At dinnertime, turn off the TV and put away your phones, and talk about the day each of you had. You can even share prayer requests or your takeaway from the sermon or church that week. If you can unlock your kids’ minds and words, you can unlock their hearts.
- Pray together and read a Bible story or devotional together before tucking them into bed. When they’re little, singing songs together is bonus points, because even if your voice would sound better with autotune, our songs are all “joyful noises” to the Lord’s ears.
- Check out the recommended reading list at RealFaith.com for a list of books on various different topics to help you learn more about practical things like leadership, relationships, worship, finances, forgiveness, and more.
Who or what needs to enter your home to improve your worship or God? Who or what needs to exit your home because it hinders your worship of God? There’s no better time than the new year to start new rhythms and routines as a family. I pray that your family will grow in their worship together and that it will transform your family and your legacy for generations.
Are there any of these practices that you already do? For those you don’t do, which can you add into your family’s routine this year?
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