In processing life during this season with those around me, something I’m hearing again and again is that parents are burnt out. Almost overnight they've had to navigate losing their job or working from home while teaching their children, providing tech support, engaging in play, feeding their families, and managing other household chores without the ability to have in-person interaction with people outside of their four walls. Just describing this makes me tired!
As the church, we're called to continue encouraging and equipping parents as they nurture the faith of their families during this challenging time.
As a parent of young children myself, I'm grateful for the free support available in each of the Dwell at Home 5 Ways resources. When we launched them last year, we had no idea that God might be using us to provide a tool for such a time as this.
Here are some ideas for how these wonderful resources can equip families this summer:
Keep things simple. Don’t send your families all six tip sheets at once, expecting that they’ll read through them all on their own. Parents don’t have time to do that kind of work right now.
Instead, pick a practice that you’d like to develop in your families. A good place to start might be “5 Ways to Help Your Family Grow in Faith.” Distribute this resource to your families through social media, email, or by mailing paper copies. (If you mail paper copies, consider adding some other faith formation resources and sending a fun summer kit as described in this post.)
Then walk your families through the resource week by week, posting one of the five suggestions each week, encouraging families to focus on just that activity in the next seven days.
For example, the first way to Help Your Family Grow in Faith is “Explore God’s Story.” The resource encourages parents to find unique ways and times to read Bible stories—whatever works for them as a family. You could post this suggestion on social media and encourage families to post photos throughout the week of the various places and times they engaged in God’s Word together.
Breaking each 5 Ways resource into five weeks of activities gives families something to work toward, but keeps it simple enough that they can fit it into their busy schedules. Here are a few other 5 Ways resources that are particularly relevant right now:
You can view all of our 5 Ways resources on our Dwell at Home page. These resources are all free and permission has been given to share them in whatever way blesses your ministry.