In my last post, I wrote that we are called not to choose family OR mission, nor are we to try to balance family AND mission, but that Christ calls us to be families ON mission. The obvious question is this: “How do I do this?”
In the ministry of Jesus, before He sent His disciples out to do mission in His name, there was a time of preparation. He taught them about the Kingdom, took them with Him as He did ministry, and then processed what they saw in the everyday of life as they journeyed with Him.
The disciples needed to learn from Jesus. So, do we. So do our families.
One way your family can learn from Jesus is a discipling process called FAITH5. FAITH5 is made up of five simple practices families of any shape can do together. The practices are:
SHARE – Talk about HIGHs (the best part of your day) and LOWs (the most challenging part of your day).
READ – Read a passage of Scripture together.
TALK – Talk about the Scripture and how it might relate to your HIGHs and LOWs or impact you in some way.
PRAY – Pray for one another’s HIGHs and LOWs
BLESS – Bless one another by making the sign of the cross on one another’s forehead, saying, “May the Lord bless you and keep you.”
This can be a powerful time of connection for your family. It also can be challenging.
In my experience, implementing FAITH5 in your home doesn’t happen overnight. We don’t do it perfectly in ours. Depending on your family makeup, schedule, and other factors, it will take some time and effort, but in the end, it is worth it. Here are some tips:
- Pick one of the five practices and start there: Because of the age of our children, we knew that some of these practices would be beyond their ability developmentally, so we started with the ones we knew they could do. From an early age, we started doing the BLESS practice with our girls, and it is a regular part of our bedtime routine.
- Split it up: Sometimes, and especially at first, schedules don’t allow for you to do all five practices at once, so pick different times of the day that make sense for your family rhythm. For example, the best time for us to SHARE, PRAY, and BLESS is at bedtime, while it usually works best to READ at breakfast. We have not yet implemented the TALK practice. Do what works best for you, which leads to the third tip:
- Have fun and give yourself grace: This is not supposed to be work. It is meant to build closer family relationships and deeper bonds of faith. If you only get three of the five practices in, GREAT! If your kids are of an age where BLESS is all they understand, AWESOME! Something is better than nothing, and you are having more impact on the faith journey of your family than you think you are.
As a way to start, pick one of the five practices and try it in your family for the next week. Which one will you pick? For more information about FAITH5, go to www.faith5.org.