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by Natasha Crain
It’s now officially summer!
For many families, that means a (slightly) less hectic schedule for a few glorious weeks. At the same time, it can mean small-scale panic at what to actually do with the extra time your kids have.
Solution: Take the opportunity to get more creative with engaging together spiritually as a family. Here are 30 ideas to get you started!
1. Choose a gospel to read as a family (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Decide on a timeframe (days or weeks) and divide the chapters accordingly.
2. Pick two chapters per week from my book to discuss as a family. You probably have about 10 weeks of summer vacation. That means you can cover about half of the 40 critical conversations from Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side in that time! It’s a perfect opportunity before another hectic school year.
3. Watch the “What’s in the Bible?” DVD series together. This 13-DVD series takes kids all the way the way through the Bible. It’s perfect for kids who need entertainment combined with their learning in order to pay attention. My 7-year-old son, for example, thinks it’s hilarious AND learns from it. However, kids who learn better from a more A-to-B approach will likely find it too chaotic. My 7-year-old daughter (my son’s twin) hates it because she has “no idea what’s going on.” I end up pausing it every 5-10 minutes (in a 25-minute episode) to explain. Nonetheless, it’s meaty WHILE being crazy, so it’s a great option for kids with certain personalities and learning styles.
4. Schedule a “questions night”—a time for your family to get together and discuss any questions your kids have about God. Here’s how we do that in our family. Don’t just do it once! Do it throughout the summer, and hopefully beyond.
5. Have your kids interview a nonbeliever. This could be a family member or friend. Help them come up with some questions, then discuss the responses later.
6. Choose a news story with a faith angle to talk about. The sky’s the limit here. The Christian Post has a ton of material to consider.
7. Find a way to serve others together as a family. Then discuss what the Bible says about serving others, so your kids have a meaningful understanding of how their beliefs tie to their actions.
8. Attend Vacation Bible School. VBS is a fun week offered by many churches for kids to play and learn together. And you don’t have to just go to the one offered by your church–attend one at another church and get to know more people!
9. Pick a relevant single word to focus on and discuss. Some good words for discussion from my book are faith (chapter 8), objective truth (chapter 9), justness (chapter 3), miracle (chapter 24), and evolution (chapter 37).
10. Invite your pastor over for dinner. Depending on the size of your church, your kids may never have actually interacted with your pastor. Invite him to dinner and give your kids the opportunity to ask questions they may not want to ask you (or that you may not know how to answer)!
11. Read or watch a debate between a Christian and a nonbeliever. Debates make for great discussion opportunities with older kids…
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