Family Worship

FAQs: Family Worship for a Child Under 2?

UncategorizedJared Kennedy2 Comments

One parent recently wrote our office with the following question: As our child grows older, we want to be very intentional about family devotions and sharing the gospel with her. Right now she is 13 1/2 months old and her attention span isn't quite long enough to read the Big Picture Story Bible or the Jesus Storybook Bible. What are some practical things we can do now to begin to share the gospel with her and incorporate a devotional time? Are there any devotional books for younger kids that you would recommend, or any types of activities we can do?  I pray that the short answer that follows is helpful both for this family and other families who may be struggling with the same kind of question: I'm so thankful for your desire to be intentional with your daughter. Here are some resources that I really like for children under age 2 and then for toddlers. The Lindvall Read-Aloud Story Bible books for toddlers have shorter and easier stories than the Big Picture Bible, and our girls really loved them. I think that your daughter would enjoy them soon--possibly even now. The stories are short and repetitive, so they are easy for young kids to memorize.

For infants (under age 2):

For toddlers (ages 2 & 3):

Josh, we also have prayed a nightly blessing over our girls since they were really young. When they were really young, we did this without much reading. Some nights now, we just pray the blessing and nothing more, because the girls are just too antsy or tired to listen to a story or memorize anything--particularly if we get in late from a training event or community group meeting. Our blessing goes something like this: "Dear Jesus, please help                          to grow up to be a girl who loves Jesus and trusts in Jesus. Please protect her from Satan and his schemes. Help her to have godly friends and a godly husband when she gets big. In Jesus' name, Amen." Children Desiring God has a book of blessings for fathers (A Father's Guide for Blessing His Children by David Michael) that includes the Scripture blessings written out on notecards. You can download a PDF version of the book for $3. The printed booklet is $7.50, but the extra few bucks is probably worth it if you think that you'll use the notecards.

Thursday Book Club: Dads as Shepherd Leaders

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church by Timothy Z. Witmer, (P & R Publishing, 2010) I just recently finished reading Timothy Witmer's book for pastors on faithful shepherding.  One passage that stood out to me was a discussion of Richard Baxter's model for "feeding the sheep," that is faithfully and personally teaching the members of his congregation, by feeding and equipping fathers.  I found the passage personally convicting and challenging.  I wanted to share this passage with you.  It can be found on pages 150-151:

What better way to multiply the personal ministry of the word than by equipping dads to pray and read the Scriptures with their families.  Note that Baxter suggests that we "give them an example."  How many of our families would be well fed if we merely gave some simple suggestions to their shepherds?

"Get masters of families to do their duty, and they will not only spare you a great deal of labour, but will much further the success of your labours.  If a captain can get the officers under him to do their duty, he may rule the soldiers with much less trouble, than if all lay upon his own shoulders.  You are not like to see any general reformation, till you procure family reformation" (Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor (1656; repr., Carslisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1997), 102).

In doing this you are not only multiplying the ministry of the Word among your people but helping fathers fulfill their God-given responsibilities.  Undoubtedly, many elders will have to repent of their neglecting this duty themselves in order to proceed with a clear conscience.  This is progress, too, and a great place to start!

Last Sunday: The Nativity

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

Over the past two week in SojournKids, we've studied Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:4-20.  On December 19th, we learned about how Jesus' birth was foretold.  We learned that:

  • God chose the young virgin, Mary, to be Jesusʼ mother.
  • Mary humbly obeyed God and praised Him.
  • Jesus is the Son of God.

Then, on December 26th, we studied Jesus' birth in Bethlehem.  We learned that:

  • Jesus was born in a stable, because there was no room in the Inn.
  • Mary wrapped Jesus in cloth and laid him in a manger.
  • Angel warriors announced his birth to poor shepherds.

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the SojournKids “at home” sheets, you can download them here.

Lots of Links

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

Family Fridays: Jesus is the Comforter

UncategorizedJared KennedyComment

On a cold winter night lay a comforter from your bed down on the floor.  Roll your child up in it.  They  usually love this.  Ask the children if they feel warm and snug.  You might also ask does it feel good to be warm and snug.  While they are immobilized by being wrapped in the blanket, tell them to stay there, get your Bible, and read about Jesus being the one who comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). From John Bennett, Preschool and Children’s Ministries Director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, “Some Fun Family Devotional Ideas,” KBC Growing Ministries Tour.  To submit a Family Friday idea, write to