Family Faith Talk

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I once heard that 85% of Christian kids never hear their parents talk about their faith. Even if that number is higher than what is actually true there are a lot of families that are missing the opportunity to talk to their kids about God. God’s Big Story Cards are an easy way for families to engage in faith talk and Bible study. The cards are part of the DWELL curriculum from Faith Alive but can be used with any program in a variety of ways.

The box contains 165 cards and each card represents a bible story. The cards have different story symbols on then (which match the story symbols in the DWELL curriculum) and the place in the scripture where the story is found. On the back side of the cards are six ways to further explore the story through prayer, retelling the story, singing a song, sharing a story, etc. You can roll the colored die that is provided to help you select which activity to do.

While these cards can be used to build relationships in the Sunday School classroom they also can be used to connect families to the story and connect to each other. For example, the family can try to guess the story from the symbol, or they can select ten story cards at random and try to put them in chronological order. If your church is using the DWELL curriculum you could try to find the story your child recently studied in Sunday School. There are lots of ways to use the cards to guide your family devotional time. The stories in the box can be used over and over.

Vibrant Faith Ministries also has cards that can be used to talk about faith in a family setting.  I have also placed these Faith Talk cards in our 3rd to 6th grade classrooms and encourage the teachers to use them if they extra time. 

Posted in: Sunday School > Nurturing Faith; Blog Photo courtesy of Faith Alive Christian Resources Image: See Credit

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I have nothing against the story cards or the Dwell curriculum.   Any helps we can get can help.  But to expand on the transferring faith to family, we just watched the film "Courageous" as a family.   And it reminds us that it is not good enough to just be good enough as parents.   We need to be better than "good enough".  Story cards can be good, but faith is primarily shared in committment.   That means that personal faith needs to be shared from parents to children.   Daily family devotions.   Breakfast devotions.  Supper devotions.   Evening devotions.   Daily committment to faith life.   Daily committment to listening to your kids, their joys and problems, and explaining how it relates to their faith, how it relates to God's purpose for them.  

Mothers often do this because they seem to have more time to be more involved, and are around when the children are experiencing pressure points.   But it is really important for fathers to take a lead, to explain their faith, their faith struggles, their faith victories, their faith committment.   Fathers need to step up to the plate in prayer, in care, in being there.   Fathers bear the responsibility for the growth of their family's faith and spiritual well-being.   The pledge identified in the film "Courageous" could be a good one for fathers to commit to.  

Without this committment to share faith in families, sons and daughters will follow their parents lack of committment.   Sons and daughters will end up experimenting with pre-marital sex, with drugs, with entertainment, with "shacking up", with crime.   They will make money, or career, or self, their primary motivation.   Statistics indicate that sons and daughters without fathers are more likely to end up in crime.   And who can tell about the impact of fathers who are there, but not all there... who do not share their faith?    Who are present in body and absent in spirit? 

It should never be said that a single Christian family does not share his faith with his children (not to speak of 85%!!!).   And sharing faith between husband and wife.   If there is no sharing within the family, perhaps it should be questioned as to whether the faith of those parents is dead and not alive.   Do not let your faith be dead.  Let it live in you and in your children!  Pray for God's blessing!  When it gets hard, pray for His Spirit leading and filling!

And for preachers.... this should be a message to proclaim.   That our greatest evangelical task as parents is to share our faith with our children in the home.   All the preaching in church and teaching in Sunday School will not replace or supplant the influence of the home in faith formation, and in living for Christ. 

amen John... Courageous shared a powerful and priceless message...    One of the things that I believe (and agree with John)  needs to be restored is the "family altar", that families make an intentional effort to gather together to pray, share and read and discuss scripture.   I am not finding this going on at any significant level (via a variety of ways), so unfortunately, the 85% would seem to be fairly accurate from my experience and discussions.    I believe Cheryl Saks (Prayer Saturated Church) is working on a book about this, and not sure if it's out yet or not.   Many have the tools, just are not making the time in often already over-loaded and busy schedules.   It is about our priorities.

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