Habit #1 – Take the time to have between four and five meals together as a family every week.

We know this can be tough. Work hours can be unpredictable, and our kid’s schedules may have us playing Uber-driver all day. But taking the time to intentionally create space for meaningful connection and conversation is an active choice to step away from our busy lives and focus on each other. 

The dinner table is a powerful place. It’s where we socialize, share, laugh, and celebrate. It’s where we learn to listen politely, teach values, and manage conflict. It’s a place for us to not only stay connected, but keep each other accountable. It’s where children learn how to be adults, and where we share intergenerational stories. It’s the place where traditions are passed on from one generation to the next, and where most importantly… we acknowledge God’s provision in our lives.

Habit #2 – Serve together as a family.

If you’ve been on a service team or a missions trip with a group, you may know how powerful the bond and feeling of togetherness that is often created. Our hope is that creating space in our lives to serve together in ministry as a family will not only bring your family closer together, but bring you closer to Jesus… together.

Some Ideas…
Serving in LIFEkids at LBF.
Serving in the Coffee House.
Do a summer missions trip together as a family.
Helping once a month with one of LBF’s local outreach partners.
Adopt a friend and their family at school. Be intentional about creating a friendship with their family and spend time with them once a month.

Habit #3 – Share one spiritual experience together in the home each week.

We often think of worship in the context of Sunday morning. Why not bring worship home? Once again, the busyness of life can distract us and keep us separated. But if we can be purposeful about creating space in our own homes to reach out to Jesus as a family… we may be surprised at how much He reaches out to us.

Some Ideas…

Worship together. Does someone play the guitar or piano? Does someone want to learn? Practice together, have fun together, and worship together.

Pray together. Praying together before bed times is certainly something we can do. But we can also create space during dinner or after homework is finished. You can share prayer requests as a family and pray for one another.

Read God’s Word together as a family. This one can also be done during or after dinner. You can use the LBF Bible reading plan, or even let the kids lead by asking what Bible stories they want to learn more about, or what they don’t quite understand.

Habit #4 – Empowering our children to own their faith.

As an adult, you may remember the moment you truly understood what Jesus meant to you… That moment your faith became your own. Our hope is that by creating space for your children to have faith-based responsibilities, both at church and at home, they will come to feel and own their faith, just as you did. 

Some Ideas…

Help them serve at church in an area where they could best use their God-given strengths and talents.

Help them find an LBF local outreach partner they are curious about, and volunteer for them once a month.

Provide them with a devotional they could read and prepare for the family once a week. 

Allow them to lead a discussion once a week on the Sunday sermon. Use the LBF Sermon Series curriculum to help them digest and understand key points. Encourage them to lead a discussion once a week.

Habit #5 – Develop mentoring relationships.

As parents, we have a profound influence over our children. Nothing can replace the power of building a meaningful relationship with our kids. But creating space for intergenerational discipleship opportunities outside of the home can provide a level of encouragement, personal development, and spiritual development that can be both lasting and empowering.

Many of us can remember how important a youth pastor or mentor was in our lives. In some cases, we had that rare adult in our lives that taught us how to change the oil in our car, or sew back a button to a sweater. But with the busyness of life, these kind of relationships have begun to fall by the wayside. 

If we can be intentional about giving our kids opportunities to allow mentors and adults that we know and trust to speak into their lives, we will not only provide discipleship opportunities for God’s people, we will give our kids a chance to encounter Jesus in energizing and surprising ways.