7 Tips to Leading Your Family Spiritually

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

You want to lead your kids in a growing relationship with Christ. But with your active family’s busy schedule, it can be hard to find the time. You may even feel unqualified to lead your children. If you’re like most parents, you’re still trying to figure out what faith looks like in your own life.

To help you get started, we’ve gathered some of our favorite tips from Focus on the Family. Don’t try to use all of these ideas at once. If you’ll be intentional to phase them in over time, they should gradually begin happening naturally:

1. Make it fun.

Engaging with God’s will through His Word isn’t school textbooks and quizzes; your family life is an adventure. Talk with your kids about things relevant to their lives, helping them apply biblical principles with age-appropriate language they can understand. Don’t try to “teach.” Encourage exploration, with gentle course corrections where they need it.

2. Keep it simple.

The average adult can listen for about 30 seconds before their mind wants to wander. Kids’ attention spans are even shorter. So instead of trying to “explain,” try asking leading questions. Feed your child’s natural curiosity. Your questions — and theirs — will fuel meaningful conversations.

3. Watch for opportunities.

Teachable moments happen everywhere in our everyday lives. When you see a squirrel burying an acorn, marvel together at how God provides for us. When you see trash in the park, say it makes you sad because God wants us to take good care of His earth. Make simple, connectable observations.


“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Deuteronomy 6:6–7 (NIV)


4. Be an example.

Live out your faith. Allow God’s Spirit to speak into your life, constantly transforming you into the person He wants you to become. You can’t lead your children to places you haven’t been. And connecting with the Bible — every day — is one of the best ways we know to grow.

5. Schedule time together.

Schedule regular times to talk at home about faith and spiritual things. Then demonstrate how we put faith into action. Lead your family to be spiritual contributors, not spiritual consumers. Make it a family priority to attend church regularly — and to participate. Then stay consistent, both at home and in your community of faith.

6. Talk to God together.

Lead your kids in praying about the things they care about. And lead them to never stop taking those things to God. Model for them how they can listen for His still, small voice. Keep track of things you’re praying for together, and celebrate when God answers. Demonstrate for your children what a life of worship and gratitude looks like.

7. Make it fun.

No, that’s not a mistake — this one is so important, we put it on our list twice! When your kids enjoy exploring their faith with you, they’ll look forward to family time together. They’ll even initiate it! Even better, you’ll be giving them the most important part of their faith: they’ll own their own spiritual growth, continually drawing closer to God.


Children, do what your parents tell you.
This is only right. “Honor your father and mother”
is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it,
namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them.
Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.
Ephesians 6:1–4


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We’d like to thank Focus on the Family for providing their excellent resources on building your family’s faith.

Announcing Family Bible Week

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Change is in the air. For much of the world, this change in the seasons marks the start of family fun and celebration. Many families are planning activities to keep their school-aged children occupied during the summer season. Other families are planning the next season of their lives, as they celebrate their “kids” who are graduating. And this coming Sunday, families from many countries will celebrate their mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers for Mother’s Day.

That’s why today we’re announcing Family Bible Week. Family Bible Week is our special summer kick-off event to help you draw your family together around God’s Word. Beginning this Sunday, May 10th, join us for a week of tips, ideas… and prizes!

Celebrate Mom. Share a Bible verse that honors your mother and expresses how much she means to you. (We’ll suggest a few of our favorites to help get you started.)

Pick a Family Bible Plan. Choose a Bible Plan that your whole family can read together. (We’ll share a list of Plans that we recommend.) And if you’ll let us know which Plan you’re doing by using the hashtag #FamilyBiblePlan, your family may even win a prize!

Share Your Story. How does your family let God’s Word speak into your lives? How do you keep your family centered around faith in Christ? We’d love to hear your story! This week, we’ll tell you the best ways you can share it with us.

Create a Family Verse Image. What’s your family’s “theme” Bible verse? Don’t have one? No worries! We’ll offer some tips for how your family can choose their favorite. And if you share your Family Verse as a Verse Image using the hashtag #OurFamilyVerse, we’ll be randomly selecting a few families to receive prizes!

Enjoy Family Story Time. The next all-new Bible App for Kids story arrives next Friday. We’ll tell you then what it is and how you can get it, so you can enjoy it together as a family — not to mention the more than 30 stories already in the Bible App for Kids!

And more!

In the weeks to come, we hope you’ll invest some of the time you’ll be spending with family to intentionally engage with the Bible together. We’re looking forward to helping you explore new ways that you can seek God’s wisdom and encouragement — together, as a family.

“…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”
Jeremiah 29:11–13, The Message

American Bible Society Survey: 98% say everyone should be able to get the Bible

While most in the U.S. express strong support that everyone who wants a Bible should be able to have one, few have a clear grasp of the big picture of Bible access, according to the 2015 State of the Bible report just released by American Bible Society. The findings bring key insight about Bible availability and more:

 

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Most people (98% of those surveyed) believe everyone should be free to own and read the Bible.

“Eighty-eight percent of American households own at least one Bible,
with the average household owning about four copies” 

Geof Morin, American Bible Society

 

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Most (72%) also believe that’s already happening. Unfortunately, it’s simply not the case:

 

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More than half of the world’s 6,901 languages still do not have a complete Bible translation. For speakers of more than 1,859 languages, God simply doesn’t speak their language. Translation of the Bible hasn’t even started in the language they use in their everyday conversations. They’ve never heard truths in their heart language, something most of us take for granted:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38–39 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22 ESV

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
Ephesians 3:18 NLT

And for an additional 2,195 languages, speakers only have part of the Bible available in their language.

 


 

Sharing the vision, continuing the work

We live in a unique time in history, equipped with tools that can help us reach more people than ever before with the Gospel. In fact, we have the potential to see the realization of a goal that past generations could only dream about. In our lifetime, we could see the Bible translated into every language on earth. This is only possible thanks to a broad coalition of partners like American Bible Society, publishers, authors, translators, and YouVersion volunteers around the globe. We are working together in unprecedented ways so that every person in the world can connect with the Bible, no matter where they live or what language they speak.

 

See the Full Report

Interviews show top football players love the Bible App

Sunday, February 1, will be the the biggest day of the year in American sports. And although the top two teams in American football will face off as rivals on the field, several players from both sides share a love for the Bible. Thanks to YouVersion partner The Increase, hear some of the greatest players in American football tell why they love the Bible App:


 

 

And here’s a bonus video, captured by our friends at 1615.tv at Media Day talking with players from the Patriots and Seahawks about their love for the Bible:


 

Spread the Word.

Just like you, they love being able to read God’s Word anytime, anywhere with the Bible App. Whether it’s sharing the Verse of the Day, adding Bookmarks, or listening to audio Bibles, we’re all part of the same global community of people seeking God through His Word.

 

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Take it Further

Now is a great time to take a look at this special Bible Plan from The Increase. In this 3-week devotional, professional athletes from the NFL and MLB share the Bible passages that mean the most to them — and the stories behind them.

Start Plan

2014 Scripture Impact Award Goes to LifeChurch.tv Pastor

On September 27, at a special ceremony at LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City, Bob Creson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wycliffe Bible Translators, presented the 2014 Scripture Impact Award to Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv. The award recognizes the work Bobby and the YouVersion team have done to  contribute to Scripture engagement and to bring an end to Bible illiteracy. Here’s video from that event:

Wycliffe created the Scripture Impact Award in 2003 to honor the late Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, in celebration of his love for the Lord and the Scriptures. Past recipients have included Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Luis Palau, Cynthia and Chuck Swindoll, Drs. Lois and Tony Evans, Caroline and Bunker Hunt, and  Dr. Barry Black.

To celebrate the Scripture Impact Award, LifeChurch.tv developed The Impact of Scripture Bible Plan, which Wycliffe translated for YouVersion into five additional languages: Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Now installed on more than 155 million unique devices, the Bible App is what it is today only because millions of people all over the world use it every day to engage with the Bible—and with each other. Translators have dedicated much of their lives to bringing God’s Word to life in different languages. Bible societies and publishers have generously offered their translations to the worldwide YouVersion community. And people just like you volunteer to translate Bible Plans and the Bible App’s interface into the language of their hearts, so that others can share in its joy.