We want to partner with our NCAC parents to help them suceed in their God-given role of discipling their children. We know that with the recent loss of many helpful discipleship opportunities like children's Sunday School and AWANA, parents are more than ever needing access to resources to help with the spiritual education of their family. Below are some links we feel may add value to whatever you may already be doing--or that may help those who are feeling lost or overwhelmed in this area. We aim, as always, to focus on biblically-saturated materials that are age-appropriate and God-centered. We hope these suggestions are a blessing to you and your family.
As a great starting place, we would recommend a helpful and inspiring book entitled Family Worship by Don Whitney. In his book, Whitney makes a biblical and historical case for the importance of family discipleship in the home. Justin Taylor from www.thegospelcoalition.org (a site we heartily recommend as well) interviewed Don Whitney back in 2017. The following link offers you access to that 15-minute interview as well as the opportunity to sign-up for a free 5-day email course on family worship. Another great book regarding family discipleship is Family Discipleship by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin. Here is a link (https://www.crossway.org/articles/4-questions-about-leading-family-devotions/) to a brief article on Crossway in which they answer four basic questions people have when leading family devotions.
We have broken down these suggested resources into several helpful categories as follows:
New Growth Press, which we use for our Children's Church curriculum, has a complementary family devotional for both the Old and New Testaments, as well as many other great devotional resources. Check them out at https://newgrowthpress.com/devotionals/.
Written for children ages four and up, The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the one story underneath all the stories of the Bible and points to the birth of a child, the Rescuer, Jesus. It includes “everything you need for nearly a year of curriculum lessons! Kit includes 44 individual lessons plus 6 review lessons (3 Old Testament, 3 New Testament – available online) plus ideas for engaging activities, easy-to-use instructions and notes for teachers based on material from Timothy Keller, memory verses, color handouts, and much more.”
For older kids, I recommend using something like the You Version Bible App, which offers you many different devotional readings you can choose from. You can read together or on your own and then discuss what you've read together as a family.
As a complement to your Bible study, I would recommend Window on the World. Window on the World brings alive the culture, history, and traditions of all sorts of different people groups. With "Fact Files" and "Do You Know?" features, each section brings you information, true stories, maps, and easy-to-use prayer points that take you into homes around the world. See how children live, what they like to do, where they go to school, what they eat and wear, and what they hope and dream.
Formal Discipleship Curriculum:
The Gospel Project points kids, students, and adults to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through weekly group Bible studies and additional resources, all ages discover how God’s plan of redemption unfolds throughout Scripture and still today, compelling them to join the mission of God. It was developed under the leadership of Trevin Wax and Ed Stetzer and has an advisory council that includes D.A. Carson, Matt Chandler and several others.
The Bible Project is another excellent online resource and is totally free. Here is a snippet of their mission from their website: "From page one to the final word, we believe the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. This diverse collection of ancient books overflows with wisdom for our modern world. As we let the biblical story speak for itself, we believe the message of Jesus will transform individuals and entire communities." After watching many of their videos I can testify to their ability to achieve that goal. A great starting place may be to check out their Church at Home page: https://bibleproject.com/church-at-home/
D6 is also a great curriculum. D6 is a movement intentional about empowering parents, homes, marriages, leaders, and churches to live out the story of Deuteronomy 6. This Scripture paints a beautiful picture for the family and of God’s heart for discipleship at home. The family is God’s original small group. D6 provides resources to align the church and home to accomplish God’s design of generational discipleship.
Potential Media Alternatives:
Focus on the Family publishes a quality magazine targeted at teen and pre-teen girls. Brio magazine has a fresh new look that includes inspiring profiles, cultural insights, health and beauty tips, faith-filled features and added fun!
In terms of entertainment (which most families are consuming more of these days), while these options are not all direct Bible lessons, many of them celebrate the moral values of Scripture in ways that are likely more helpful then mainstream media: