Summer Resources for Families
In addition to Rooted’s offer to share our Daniel curriculum with parents, we polled our Rooted Parent writers about ways to foster growth in faith as a family this summer. Here are their suggestions for family time and devotional time!
The Iranian church has developed a 1-to-1 discipleship resource designed for one believer to walk alongside another believer through 30 ’steps’ in a discipleship journey.
The program is called “Safar” which is Persian for ‘journey’. So far around 3,000 English-speakers have been through or are going through the journey. I know several people who have done it with their high school aged kids. Several churches have picked up the resource and are using it in their church.
There’s a video on the website (Safar.org) that gives a bit more information. It’s designed to be a way to mobilize non-leaders to be involved in discipling others.
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones is hard to beat when it comes to reading the Bible to children of all ages.
I also have just started reading aloud The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis to my son who is 7… I’m hoping the 10 year old will listen in too. We are only three chapters in but I am loving it and he is too. I read it for myself so many years ago, and reading it aloud this go around, where I can see it pointing to Jesus, is really neat. I’m excited to see how or what conversations might come from this book of fiction that reflects Christ and his work.
My kids (and my wife and I) loved and still love Sally Lloyd-Jones’s Jesus Storybook Bible and the devotional Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. I try to sprinkle in catechisms (if they worked for centuries, they probably still work!). We started with going through the New City Catechism and my 8 year old loved reading them. I would then give a 3 sentence devotion on the Scripture. I also sprinkle in straight ESV reading whenever a question about an event or person or principle in Scripture comes up. I think it is good for them to get doses of meat and they seem to be responding.
We have just started The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus In the Old and New Testaments by Mary Machowski as our main nighttime reading. So far it has been well received by the kids and it is great for going a little deeper than the Storybook Bible.
We’ve been reading 2nd Samuel – Read a chapter or two at a time around the dinner table or in the morning at the breakfast table before work. Talk about God keeping his promises and disciplining his children. Talk about man’s sinfulness. We pray for our neighbors, and then plan our neighborhood BBQ and backyard VBS.
God has used prayer for our neighbors to grow us as a family, big time! We did a Backyard VBS on our own last year and it was a hit. Now we are getting invited to neighbors’ houses and their kids come over all the time. Recently we did a block party that connected us with more neighbors. The cool thing as a pastor is that this has been such a natural way for our family to work together at loving our neighbors and sharing the gospel. This year I took many of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament, adapted them to be family prayers for our neighbors and printed them out for my kids to teach them to pray.
We keep a copy of the CSB One Minute Bible for Students by Doug Fields in our car. My 12 year-son loves reading it out loud. It’s short and concise, leads us in prayer, and gives us some spiritual fodder to discuss together.
We used to read the Mockingbird Devotional at breakfast, with varying results in terms of attention span, etc. Materials were good; any failure was user error on our part. (Editor’s note: the second Mockingbird Devotional is excellent, possibly even more accessible than the wonderful first one.)
One teen devotional that I love is ALL IN ALL by Sophie Hudson. It is well written and easy to read, and I recommend it all the time when asked for suggestions!
Haberman has just published a 90 day journal for preteen girls: Root in Truth: A Daily Journal for Girls. The journal is a bit different in that it offers 8 journaling prompts, giving girls space to write freely as they talk to God… and to have fun!