Intentional Discipleship

Faith is not just for Sundays! 

*Recite the Great Commandment, based on the Shema:  

"And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  - Matthew 22: 37-39

*Pray before meals, at bedtime or anytime! You might even try creating your own prayer together!

*Bless your children before they go to school each day or bed each night saying these words to them: "May the Lord always bless and keep you.  May the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.  The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace." - Numbers 6:24-26

*Practice The Examen (from St. Ignatius of Loyola)

The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to connect with the presence of God and discern God's will for us.  Try it at dinner or bedtime with your family! Use these three questions and be sure to allow space for everyone to be heard.

1. What memorable things happened today?  Or perhaps, what are the blessings you experienced today? 
2. When was the time when you felt farthest from God today, or felt that you missed an opportunity to share God's love?
3. When was the time when you saw or felt close to God today, or saw God at work today? 

*Schedule quality time together! This can help your conversations to be more intentional and about things that really matter.

*Serve within and beyond the walls of the church on a regular basis (e.g. hand out programs before worship, help a neighbor, etc.).

*Read the Bible together (it can be a children's Bible), or listen while your child(ren) or grandchild(ren) read(s) the Bible.

*Read an age-appropriate devotional with your children at the start or conclusion of each day.

*Model love of God and neighbor in the way you live your life. Serve others and choose to respond with kindness in all circumstances. 

*Teach your children that every sports, test, recital, production, skill, etc. is an opportunity to talk about the gifts God has given us.

*Talk about God honestly. Tell about times when you had questions or doubts (as appropriate), and share stories about your encounters with the Holy Spirit. Maybe you were moved by a sermon you heard. Maybe it was the time Jesus became real in your life. Your experience is valid and important to talk about!

*Look for God in your midst. Where is the Holy Spirit breaking through in new ways?

*Sing a hymn or a song from VBS or Sunday School together!

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.  Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. “   -Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

"The most important social influence in shaping young people's religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents."  -Dr. Christian Smith Sociologist from the University of Notre Dame


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