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We thought we’d do a quick blog on how to lead family devotional times. Here are some top tips from us!
GET COMPLIANCE FROM EVERYONE:
Make sure that you get compliance from everyone at the beginning. For instance – if you are going to play a game and everyone dashes into it without you starting it properly – it may lead to chaos. Depending on the age of the kids, you could choose to make a bit of a drama of it. Use a horn, a party blower or a timer to start a game or discussion. That way you’ll ensure they are onboard and that you have their attention and compliance.
USE THE ‘TEASE’ FACTOR TO BUILD ANTICIPATION:
One parent writes. “Each week, after the prayer, I’d say in an excited conspiratorial whisper ‘next time, we’ll be building a tent’, or ‘next week, there will be a treasure hunt’… and the anticipation level would sky-rocket.” This could be done with even more ‘tease’ factor… without giving away too much… ‘next week, I’ve got something planned that is sooooo exciting, but I can’t tell you yet’.
Read through the materials / cards in advance. Then you have an idea of where it’s going and can make any adjustments to suit the ages and stages of your children. I add to my shopping list what we will need for the next week or two and the children help me find it.
ENGAGE THE YOUNG ONES:
If you have a younger child – keep them on board. Get them to blow the ‘starter’ or pull the card from the pack. Modify some questions so they can answer them or throw in one that may have nothing to do with the topic but which they can answer – like the name of the family dog or something Grandma has at her place.
CREATE THE AIR OF ANTICIPATION:
Younger kids look forward to it and sense the ‘specialness’ of it. There’s always an air of anticipation and I think that has a great deal to do with the secrecy of what’s in the box or what the next card will ask. It is a great tool for teaching.
GIVE KIDS A CHANCE TO LEAD:
We have made use of our children’s strengths/interests to lead certain activities to give them a sense of responsibility and sharing the leadership.
JUST DO IT:
Don’t wait until you think you have it perfectly sorted or for the perfect time or for the perfect evening or for the perfect children cos you will never do it. Do it now!
Don’t be concerned if the discussion during your Family Time session seems to go way off track – listening to your children’s perceptions and stories is part of the role you have in guiding their conclusions. Your aim is to help them see the world through God’s eyes.
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