Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Family Time Training: An Effective Tool for Passing On the Faith to Your Children

Is it your desire to make your home the place where your child’s faith is planted and blossoms?  Do you want your child to know a living and dynamic God?  How can you make spiritual training the most exciting part of their week?

Through "Family Night" activities (or "Family Time Training"), parents and grandparents utilize the same teaching techniques that Jesus Christ used, creating memorable and engaging spiritual lessons.  This teaching strategy is practical for today's busy families because it requires little or no preparation time.  Though lessons are completed in only 10-20 minutes, the activities provide a springboard for spiritual conversations long after the activity has ended.  This video, by Kurt Bruner of Heritage Builders, explains how Family Night activities work:

A famous Chinese proverb states:  "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember;  involve me and I'll understand."   These activity-based lessons increase children's understanding of spiritual matters and strengthens their connection to God.  Additionally, we don't just form a theoretical analogy.  The object lessons used are made very concrete because that is the way children learn best.

Family Time Training is an incredibly versatile strategy to use.  You can do this with children from age 2 to age 18.  As a parent, you know your child's character weaknesses and potential stumbling blocks.  Whatever spiritual goals you have for your child-- increase their knowledge of the Bible, develop specific character traits,  gain a better understanding of the plan of salvation, understand the basic gospel message, learn about the attributes of God, etc.--you can probably find a Family Nights activity to address those goals.

Photo: Microsoft Images
The real beauty of Family Nights is that it creates a natural way to incorporate spirituality into everyday discussions.  After you have this fun common experience, it becomes very easy to refer back to it.  By doing so, you will drive home the real life application of the spiritual principle that was taught.  Family Nights are fun for all and make the goal of Deuteronomy 6 attainable for busy families today.

Looking for resources to help you get started?  Family Time Training posts a free activity every month.  Additionally, you can find activity books in their online store.   Heritage Builders also has an excellent series called the Family Nights Tool Chest.  Both organizations have lesson books for families with preschoolers through teens.  Mad About Jesus has some fantastic object lessons for teens, and the lessons can be easily adapted for use in the family setting.

If you live in the Cincinnati area and would like me to do a workshop, sharing this technique with your small group, please email me.

Please share your experiences using this teaching technique.  I would love to hear your stories!

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