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For the past week I’ve been watching online as children’s ministry leaders and church educators do what they do best—find creative ways to encourage, support, and equip parents who are home with their kids. I’ve seen everything from leaders who are putting together simple activity packs and placing them outside church doors for people to pick up to those who are providing daily ideas online. Y’all are awesome!

Below you’ll find several simple resources to share with families. You can make them available as part of a Dear Family email, post them to your social media pages, link to them from your church website; whatever makes sense for you.

I’ve chosen these particular five resources because each will provide parents with faith formation practices that they can both call upon during this time and can continue to weave into their family life long after the coronavirus crisis is over. 

  1. A great way for kids (and adults!) to remember God’s story and to experience it more deeply is to retell it in ways that engage their head, heart, and hands. 5 Ways to Retell a Bible Story with Kids contains five ideas that can be used with any Bible story. 

  1. Encourage families to have ongoing conversations with God by using the ideas for prayer in 5 Ways to Pray with Kids

  1. There is all kinds of great information available now about how parents can talk with kids about what’s happening in the world, but what I particularly love about the post Helping Children with Scary News (written by The Jesus Storybook Bible author Sally Lloyd-Jones) is that it keeps things simple.  

  1. WE Wonder Lent is a podcast for “children and their grownups.” The thoughtful way in which Scripture is presented each day by host Sarah Dahl provides parents with one more way to bring quiet to a child’s being during this time. Along with a daily Lent podcast, families may find this Special Episode for Troubled Times helpful. Equally helpful are these two introductory podcasts “for grownups”: Why We Wait, and Watch, and Hope in Lent and Why We Pray the Examen in Lent

  2. Communication and open conversation are important. So is connecting our lives to Scripture and its reminder of God’s faithfulness. The simple devotional practice called Faith5 is a great way for families to do that each day using these five easy steps: 

    1. STEP 1: SHARE your highs and lows

    2. STEP 2: READ a Bible verse or story

    3. STEP 3: TALK about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs and lows

    4. STEP 4: PRAY for one another’s highs and lows

    5. STEP 5: BLESS one another

For specific details about each step to share with families, click here.  

Bonus Ideas:

Recently I shared how much I love this free Holy Week resource for families to use at home. Now’s the time to start thinking about how you might get it to families. It’s easy to share online; it might also be fun for kids to receive by mail!

Speaking of mail, now might be the perfect time to send families a simple devotional to use during these times and beyond. My colleague Sandy Swartzentruber wrote a popular pocket sized devotional last year and it’s perfect to slip into an envelope and send. It’s called Everyday Family Faith and it’s available in bulk pricing here

What other resources have you found especially helpful for the families in your congregation? Please share your ideas in the comment box below.

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