Six years ago, I wanted to clearly define a path forward in the discussion at Hayward Wesleyan Church regarding family discipleship.
In order to do this, I wrote up a one-page document which clearly outlined our initial three initiatives:
Read the Bible @ home with your children (at least once a week, or more if you are able)
To accomplish this objective, we have restructured our curriculum in Main Street (in grades 1-6). Over the last nine years of Main Street we have chronologically walked through the storyline of the Bible three full times (3 years each x 3 times = 9 years). This change in curriculum will not alter that strategy, although the particular stories emphasised will be slightly different than in previous iterations (particularly in the New Testament). All to say that this change in curriculum was decided (1) for the chronological approach, and (2) for the resources it provides for families to engage with their children @ home.
For every Bible story your child will experience in Main Street there is a corresponding one in a children’s storybook Bible called The Gospel Story Bible ($20) as well as 5 days worth of devotional content parents can do @ home in a book called The Long Story Short ($15). Again, we have made this curriculum change in part so that we can provide you the resources to accomplish this objective: Reading the Bible @ Home with your children. This provides an environment of influence and engagement for you as their spiritual director. For younger kids you can use these resources or others we will recommend.
These two resources will be available for purchase starting Sunday, September 2, 2012 @ the Main Street Check-In area.
Pray @ home with your children (everyday as you are able)
If you decide to purchase The Gospel Story Bible and The Long Story Short (and I do hope you will!), it will help lead to some great content for praying with your children and as a family.
Bring your family to church (every Sunday as you are able)
There are currently two viable options for your family to accomplish this: (1) You can come to the early (8:20am) service or the late (11:00am) service with your family and then bring your children to Main Street @ 9:40am, while the parents go to adult Sunday school @ 9:40am as well (or a parent can volunteer to serve in some capacity in Main Street). This option would require two hours @ Hayward Wesleyan
Or, (2) if you are only available for one service hour on Sunday, then bring your children to Main Street @ 9:40am and then attend the middle (9:40am) service. This option only requires one hour @ Hayward Wesleyan.
These objectives are intended to challenge us as parents to spiritually and biblically engage with our children. Please DO NOT view them as a form of legalism or just a list to check off and your spiritual health as a family is secured. No, we all need grace in how we parent and lead our children spiritually because we all parent incredible great at times and abhorrently bad at times, most is found in the middle. Hopefully and prayerfully, we as HWC parents can partner together and encourage each other and challenge one another to take the intentional time to disciple and engage our children “…when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:7 NIV).
Download: Family Discipleship Objectives 2012-2013 in Main Street [119kb, PDF]