One of the things I crave the most every day is connection. It is one of my favorite things to do as I connect with people, places, and new ideas for ministry. Most importantly, I love connecting with my children and grandchildren daily to discover what new adventures they have been on during the last twenty-four hours. We are created for connection!
Our strength comes in the connection. Jesus makes that clear. The Hebrews could understand his analogy of the Vine and the Branches quite well because they were very familiar with cultivating the grapes in the vineyard. We need to stay connected to Jesus as a branch needs to be connected to the main part of the plant for growth. We need to be rooted in prayer and the Bible so we may be fueled to grow healthy in our faith as we grow together as families.
Let’s cultivate faith within our households as we are shaped by The Story. Let’s create spaces in our everyday lives, even in the mess and chaos of daily living. We do this with careful attention to our daily rhythms and devoting time to growing faith each day. Perhaps, we need to loosen or break up our busy moments to provide growing room as well. Believe me, our family’s lives have rich areas and opportunities to develop strong faith foundations that are rooted in God’s word so we can “remain in Him” always.
You don’t always need special Bible curriculums to use in your homes. Just study your Bible, and connect with your Children/Youth Leaders and Volunteers in your church for additional ideas. You may also request to join our Connectional Journey Facebook Group for Family Faith updates. Most importantly, take time to notice your habits, your activities, and special moments that can provide room to develop spiritual practices by sharing faith on-the-go in your busy lives.
Focus: God wants us to stay connected to Him so we can cultivate our relationship with Him and cultivate relationships with others by sharing faith and good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control) at home and with others. Just notice…imagine…wonder about God’s connection to us.
Children’s Storybook Bibles: There is also a fantastic video at the end of this post that your family may want to view together about the Vine & The Branches.
Cultivate Faith Talk-The wondering questions enable all ages to see opportunities for new understandings, and appreciation of the scriptures with its amazing messages instead of reading for information only.
You may choose from these “Wonder Questions” for discussion, or you may create your own.
- I wonder why Jesus used a vine to teach others?
- I wonder what I need to remember from the story?
- I wonder what part of the story is most important?
(Late Elementary, Youth & Adults)
- I wonder if Jesus was sitting next to a grape vine when he taught the people about the Vine and the Branches?
- I wonder what I can do to stay connected to God?
- I wonder which Fruit of the Spirit is most important? Why?
- I wonder if I get unconnected to Jesus sometimes?
- I wonder what our family can do to stay connected?
- How can we stay connected every day when we are so busy with school and work?
- I wonder what the people talked about that night at dinner following Jesus’ teaching?
…he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
Family Faith-On-The-Go In Your Household
- Notice the small and ordinary, but magical moments daily in your home space that signals an extraordinary event or healing of the body or heart. Stop in that fruitful moment, hold hands and thank God for these special moments.
- Anytime you have fruit this week, decide if the apple or the orange will help remind everyone to show kindness to each other at home and at school.
- On those quick runs to the grocery store, choose your desired fruit and give it a name, such as “peace grapes”.
- When packing lunches or grabbing a snack from the frig, say, “Please, I want some “Peace grapes”. Each time during the week you grab a piece of fruit, give it another name, or silly name such as “Oh my “goodness cantaloupe”. There’s my “patient pears”! Look, I found my “faithful fruit”. There’s my “gentle apple jelly”. I’m going to fill up with “strawberry self control” today and “Kiwi kindness” along with “love lemonade”. I’d like to eat a “joyful peanut butter and faithfulness fruit jelly sandwich”.
- If you are going to peel the fruit, write the Fruits of the Spirit on several of them. Let the kids use markers or paint to write their names and one of the “Spirit Fruits”.
- When someone in the family feels sad, offer up lots of kindness by giving that person a big hug or a pat on the back and a blessing.
- When watching a T.V. show, point out the characters who show one or more of the Fruits of the Spirit. Talk about how that changes the tone and outcome of the show.
- When reading (silently or aloud) a book for school, talk about the character’s personality traits. Do they show the Fruits of the Spirit in their actions? Why or why not?
Jesus Blessed the Children
“Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them” (Mark 10:16)
As you give blessings to your family, talk about how each one of these blessings relate to the Bible readings for today.
Blessings & Prayers (All Ages) Place your hand on your child’s shoulder or head or hold hands when giving the blessing. They may also repeat this short blessing for you as they place their hand on your shoulder or head.
Anytime Blessings: “I pray you always give yourself to the work of the Lord…your life is filled with blessings, talents, kindness and gifts.”
“God’s grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.” (Adapted from 2 Corinthians 12:9)
“I pray you trust in the Lord always and show kindness and love in all you do.”
“You are wonderfully made in God’s image…I know whatever you do in life, you will do with all your heart.”
“God’s love is with you…my love is with you…God bless you as you rest this night.”
“May you wait quietly for God…may your hope always be in Him.”
As Families Rush Out the Door: Place your hand on their shoulder and say, “God beside you, God behind you, God in front of you…Bless you today. Be your amazing self”
Here is a Song to listen to as you pray before bed.
Here is a funny song to help you learn the Fruits of the Spirit. We are learning this one in our Children’s Connection Ministry Group.