Before getting ready for bed, one father hides one of his child’s sheep. Then as he helps   him/her get ready, the child piggy-backs the father and they are on the search for the one remaining sheep. The child cannot go to bed without finding that sheep!  Story references can be made to relate to the parable from Luke 15:4-7.

Courtesy Nancy Song Stears

 

Image by colorblindPICASOSeveral family ministries suggest Sunday afternoon family meetings at lunchtime. I would extend that idea try to have a once a week game or entertainment night. Just as programs place an emphasis on couples dating, it might be wise to schedule family date nitght. Make it a point that the family needs to get together and have fun!  Courtesy Julia Matton 

To create a prayer box for your family to use, find a box or basket that can be easily divided into three sections; the first would be prayer requests from the kids, the second would be for "confidential/ God only" requests, and the third section would be prayer requests from the parents. Near the box would be some postcard-sized pieces of paper and pencils or crayons that would be used to write requests. Find a place in your home that is seen often by each member of your family and use it to display your family's prayer box

As family members write down their prayer requests throughout the week, they would put them in the appropriate section of the box. At the start of each week, the parents and children would check the box; parents would check the requests made by the children and the children would check the requests made by their parents.  Each family member would keep the papers in their pocket or in a place highly visible to them throughout the day as a reminder to pray for the needs mentioned. The requests in the confidential section could be given to the family's pastor or someone else that would pray for those requests in confidence. 

Courtesy Thomas Callon

What makes a strong family covenant? Normally family covenants include a preamble and purpose as well as covenant commitments that include both spiritual formation within the family as well as acts of service and hospitality beyond a family. The preamble normally includes a simple statement of what God has done for the family. It may state "because God has given us a family" or "knowing it is God's grace that keeps us together..." These statements serve merely to remind a family that they exist primarily out of God's grace and their growth as a family relies of God's ongoing, loving, presence in their lives.

Read more: Basics of Family Covenants

ID-10040199Make lunch after church on Sunday “Family Meeting” time. Everyone in the family should participate, discussing upcoming events for the week and comparing calendars. Take the time to discuss the message at church. What did each member take away? What was not understood? What was the challenge? Use the time to get ready for the week and to connect spiritually using the service before as the connecting point.

Courtesy Tara Lindahl

 

*Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The NCCUSA provides  PDF guidelines for Writing a Family Covenant

FAMILY LEGACY DAY

Covenant Heirs Ministry

Family Legacy Day is a special day set aside specifically for telling and “retelling” the stories of God’s love and faithfulness in the lives of the family.

Read more: Family Legacy Day

The General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church maintain a website with sample covenants in their Covenant Discipleship program.  

Read more: Covenant Discipleship

What is a Covenant?

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – Covenant – A “formal, solemn, and binding agreement…a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.

Theological Term – Covenant – Covenants were created by God as a way to confirm His agreements with mankind.  In biblical terms, the word “covenant” is interchangeable with “agreement,” but carries more weight than a casual or even contractual understanding

Why do we need a Family Covenant?  -- And why should it be in writing?

Read more: Covenant Heirs: Making a Family Covenant

This is a website that was primarily developed to help form intergenerational worship times, but it can also be used to help families dive deeper into the texts that are preached or read each Sunday. This could be a great resource to bring a childlike playfulness to lectionary readings and more liturgical based churches. 

Worshipping With Children

Courtesey Calcy Gabert

Fashioning a Household Covenant

  • Creating a covenant --- What will we do? How do we continue to nurture and support our goals?
  • Developed through accountability, encouragement, connection, stories, testimonies