The following are notes from a seminar led by Luke and Christina Embree at Roxbury Holiness Camp, Summer 2015.
“Doing Life Together” (30 min)
- Rhythms and Routines
- Families spend just eight hours a week together on average. Weekend is best with two hours twenty mins devoted to the family each day. During the week the amount of time shrinks to just 36 minutes on average each day
- What Moses set in motion for the Hebrew people was very strategic. He tapped into the design of creation and leveraged it to nurture a lasting faith. It’s so obvious. It’s so genius. The principle of rhythm is transferable to every culture throughout time. – Reggie Joiner, Think Orange
- Our home creates a space of its own unique culture within the rhythm defined by its own routine. We “do” life together. At church, often we go opposite directions in that space.
- Activity – Write down most influential person growing up. How many wrote their high school best friend? How many wrote about a parent? Other adult?
- Parents are MOST influential
- We must model worship
- Fuller Youth Institute top finding was that time spent talking and living faith in the home was the biggest indicator of a faith that sticks in kids. According toJim Burns at HomeWord ministries, kids that talk about their faith at home with mom and dad have a 80% chance of remaining in church once they leave the home.
- Intergenerational Relationships
- After parents, the second most influential are other adults.
- Sticky Faith – “The influence of parents and adults was found to be so strong that [researchers] refer to the common cultural assumption that a teenagers’ peer group is more influential than that of adults in teenagers’ lives as “badly misguided”
- I am convinced that there must be times of intergenerational worship where children can see adults, more specifically their parents, engaged in worship, growing, and fellowship with the whole congregation if we want them to learn (imitate) what it is to participate in the local body of Christ.
- Parents are MOST influential
- We Need Our Kids
- Christ tells us we MUST learn from them. He tells us that that the kingdom of God belongs to them (Mark 10:14), that by welcoming them we welcome Him and the Father (Luke 9:47, 48), that we should become like them (Matt. 18:3)
It’s not about creating imitators like we talked about yesterday; it’s about creating a home that facilitates discipleship and a faith that sticks
- Faith Talks are topical, pre-planned (intentional), built around Scripture, that involve the whole family
- Each member of the family contributes to the talk. To demonstrate this we did the following practice activity.
Each group will choose a topic and then the family will each bring something to the meeting. Younger kids can draw a picture of the topic, older kids might write about an experience or find a song or use the Bible, parents should find intentional scriptures to address things they’ve seen in their family’s life.
Time for a Faith Talk – Family Groups (5-10 min) Supplies: Each member should bring their prepared portion At this time, families will meet and engage in a Faith Talk. There is not right or wrong way to do this. If your group completes its talk early, begin thinking of topics you could do in the future.
- God Moments are those times in life where suddenly we see Him. God moments are unplanned and spontaneous and should only take a moment or two to discuss.
- Celebrating and recognizing spiritual growth with intentionality. This is often overlooked in families as we tend to celebrate physical and academic achievements and milestones and neglect the spiritual ones. ex: RITES OF PASSAGE (Check out Brian Haynes books Shift and The Legacy Path for more information)
For the notes from the other three sessions, please click here.
For more information about practical discipleship in the home or transitioning to a more home-focused ministry at your church, go to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page.
About the presenters
Luke and Christina Embree are parents to three wonderful kids and following God’s calling to full-time ministry. Luke, a pastor with the Brethren in Christ denomination, is currently completing his Master’s of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary. Christina currently serves as a family minister at Nicholasville UMC is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, Seedbed, and D6 Family.