Family as Church

by Will Peycke

In the sermon last Sunday, I addressed the importance of "family as church" as a key building block of faith for the next generation. To those of you who are already living out Psalm 78 in your home: thank you. I thank God for you! And I thank God for the privilege of serving and supporting you as you “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 78:4).

But if talking about God or his word in your home is a challenge for you—or if reading the Bible with your kids sounds a bit daunting—may I suggest a simple framework for living out “family as church” in your home? All families have some sort of daily and weekly rhythms. So here’s my encouragement to you:

Daily: talk to your kids about God... and talk to God about your kids. Watch for ways to integrate God’s word into your everyday interactions and conversations. If your kids are little, this might look like reading from a picture Bible and praying together at bedtime. Share a verse from your personal time in God’s word that encouraged you. Use car time to memorize a Bible verse together and talk about what it means. If your kids participate in Midweek, their handbooks can be great conversation prompts. Use God's word in everyday discipline situations to cast vision for particular character qualities. 

Simple things are powerful! When you talk to your kids about God in the daily routines of life, you are planting seeds of faith into their lives. But don't just talk to your kids about God: also talk to God about your kids. Ask God to grow those seeds into great faith and love for him in your kids’ hearts, because that's something only he can do.

Weekly: read the Bible and pray together as a family. In addition to the daily "teachable moments" and "along the way" conversations, I'd also encourage every family to develop the habit of spending intentional time in God's word together. For many Kossuth families, this is already part of your daily routine, often after dinner or at bedtime. But if this isn’t a habit in your home, one day a week is a great place to start. A simple way to do this: schedule a time between now and next Sunday to read the connection hour or sermon passage together. Then talk and pray about what you’ve read. 

Need help getting started? We give you tools for this every week through the “Connecting Church and Home” email, care group materials, and the “Sermon Notes for Kids” packet. All you need is 5-10 minutes and a Bible! What’s more, God has placed you in a spiritual family to support and encourage you in this good work. If you want to grow in living out this idea of “family as church,” then lean on the support of “church as family.” Ask another mom or dad if their family reads the Bible together. If they say yes, ask them to help you get started! And if they say no, invite them to join you in the journey and grow in this together.

In any worthwhile endeavor, getting started is often the hardest part. But take courage! If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and a desire to grow—plus a church that functions like a big family—then you have everything you need to help your family become more like a little church.