Faith Nurture, Family Ministry
Family Faith Formation Resources | Conversations
May 19, 2021
Updated September 30, 2021
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This article is part of the Family Faith Formation Toolkit - a collection of resources for equipping ministry leaders, parents, and caregivers with family faith practices and resources, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.
In the following links you’ll find creative resources and practices for having conversations both in community and at home. These ideas can be seamlessly woven into existing church programs and into family life.
Conversations: In Community
“Children develop a three-dimensional faith by walking alongside older brothers and sisters in Christ who share the rich stories of faith found in the Bible, who listen when hard questions come up, and who take the time to talk through appropriate responses to these questions.”
—Robert J. Keeley, Helping Our Children Grow in Faith
Building Relationships with Children and Teens
According to research by the folks at Fuller Youth Institute, one of the most important factors in determining whether youth stay in the church is that they have strong relationships with at least five non-related members of the congregation. Ten Ways to Connect with the Children and Teens in Your Church is one tool to encourage such relationships within God’s family at church.
How to Talk to Any Young Person, a toolkit from the Fuller Institute contains information on what makes a great conversation, practice for empathetic communicating, conversation starters, and strategies for speaking with boys and with girls. Also helpful reads: Three words every young person wants to hear, and “I don’t believe in anything anymore”: How to respond when young people doubt God.
Talk, Paper, Scissors describes how crayons and paper can lead to great conversations across generations. When and where could you use such an activity at your church?
Each of the 152 cards in a box of God’s Big Story cards includes a ‘Share’ question that links to a particular Bible story.
The questions in the Ten Ways to Talk with Someone About Their Faith tool from Faith Formation Ministries are excellent conversation and story starters for intergenerational groups, youth groups, and other gatherings.
Visit the Faith Storytelling toolkit for ideas on sharing faith stories with all ages and in a variety of church contexts.
Conversations: At Home
We love the Deuteronomy 6 ways in which each of these resources enable families to have faith-forming conversations at dinner, on vacation, while walking, at bedtime, and more.
Building Relationships in the Family
Communicating with teens can be challenging! Parents will appreciate the tips provided in this helpful resource from the Fuller Institute: How to Talk to Any Young Person.
Every parent should know these three words every young person wants to hear.
It can be scary for parents when their children express doubt or ask unanswerable questions about faith. In Faithful Families Traci Smith encourages parents of young children to embrace the word mystery when their children ask tough questions. “To teach mystery is to embrace the truth that we don’t know everything, rather than run from it. When a child asks a question that is answerable only through faith, say, ‘That is a wonderful mystery of our faith. Many people have different ideas, but most people say we can’t know all these answers while we are on earth. What do you think?’” (Faithful Families)
The post “I don’t believe in anything anymore”: How to respond when young people doubt God contains two helpful responses for parents.
Each of the 165 cards in a set of God’s Big Story cards includes questions that connect with a Bible story and invite families to wonder aloud and share their thoughts and stories.
Faith5 (Faith Acts in the Home) outlines a simple five-step daily practice that encourages faith-forming conversations.
One Faith Question to Ask Your Kids Often is both a conversation starter and a spiritual practice strengthener. We also love the practical end-of-day conversation starters in Four Simple Questions Your Family Should Be Asking.
Reading picture books together can provide parents and children with many opportunities for conversation. This list of children’s picture books (which can be found in most local libraries) has been compiled to help build strong families and includes a family conversation guide for each book.
These free placemats for preschool-age children provide families with prayer prompts.
If you’re part of the Christian Reformed Church in North America and you have questions about how to equip ministry leaders, parents, and caregivers with family faith practices and resources, one of Faith Formation Ministries’ Regional Catalyzers would love to talk with you about ideas and strategies.
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