The Bible is for all ages! Adults and children can interact together in these “Family Bible Time” lessons. Many of us desire a more natural family setting for Bible study from time to time but know that a meaningful gathering can be challenging.
Schools divide people into separate age groups but when families and extended families or groups of Christians get together things are a bit different. It is not all about adults OR all about children. It is about the family. Allow adults and children to share how God is working in their lives. Play a game together. Sing together. Read the Bible together. Be inclusive but orderly enough to allow both adults and children time to genuinely express their faith. Be patient with one another.
This is a beginning. More lessons are on the way. Scroll down for a list.
“Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up.”
“The Lord made an agreement with Jacob. He gave the teachings to Israel. And he commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children. Then their children would know them, even their children not yet born. And they would tell their children. So they would all trust God. They would not forget what God had done. Instead, they would obey his commands.”
These lessons can be used for:
- Families at home
- Family gatherings
- Small Mixed Aged Groups
- Intergenerational Bible studies
- and more
Family Bible Time Lessons So Far…
- Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus_Family Bible Time
- Birth of John the Baptist_Family Bible Time
- Birth of Jesus_Family Bible Time
- Wisemen and a Star_Family Bible Time
- Boy Jesus Visits the Temple_Family Bible Time
- John the Baptist_Family Bible Time
- Baptism of Jesus_Family Bible Time
- Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness_Family Bible Time
- Naming the 12 Apostles_Family Bible Time
- Wedding at Cana_Family Bible Time
- Jesus and the Money Changers_Family Bible Time
- Man Lowered Through the Roof_Family Bible Time
- Healing of the Nobleman’s Son_Family Bible Time
In Time for Easter:
- The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus_Family Bible Time
- Post: 25 Ways to Teach Children About the Resurrection of Jesus
Family Bible Time at Home
For families in their own home it seems quite natural to gather and participate together in “Family Bible Time”. It is simply an extension of your normal way of life. You know your children and what types of activities they enjoy so you will naturally include those when you gather. Keep the atmosphere positive and accept that not everyone will be involved and attentative at every moment. You might break up the activites and do them over an extended period of time. Even a short amount of time together in God’s Word will enrich your family life.
Don’t forget to use your surroundings to your advantage. When you talk about the Birth of John the Baptist count how many baby items you have in your home. Get online together and find the locations mentioned in the Bible story on Google Maps. Use a dry-erase whiteboard marker to write Bible words on the fridge or window panes (obviously, test this first!). When you talk about the wise men following the star turn the lights out or spread a blanket on the lawn and look at the night sky.
Family Bible Time in Intergenerational Groups
“Family Bible Time” might, on the other hand, be an intergenerational group with extended family or other people in your church family. Each of us were children at one point in our lives but for those who are single, do not have children or who no longer have young children in their home it might take a little practice to remember what it is like to be a child. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Enter into this venture with a positive attitude. Celebrate the fact that each of us is unique in so many ways. Being at different levels of maturity and ability is just one of those differences.
- Encourage everyone to learn about and from each other. Find things we have in common with people older or younger than us in the group. You can have a favourite colour whether you are 9 or 90 years old. You can detest certain foods or experience joy or sadness no matter your age.
- Find ways for every person to participate. Participation is more than simply listening and answering questions. Try playing a game together, memorising a verse together, sharing favourite memories. Don’t assume adults know more than children about everything. Sometimes a child is quite profound if we take time to really listen.
- Patience, Patience, Patience. Both adults and children will have to hold back and “wait” for each other at some point when participating in a group together. There is no other way to develop patience than to practice it.
- Kindness and grace suit every age. Negative attitudes and bad behaviour are still negative and bad no matter how young or old.
- Accept that some gatherings will be great and some will leave you shaking your head. Adjustments might need to be made. Perhaps one part of the time together might be intergenerational and then adults and children break into smaller groups for the rest of the time.
- Instead of one long lecture break up the time into smaller segments to maintain the interest of younger children. Use pictures and video clips to make points. Allow for movement during your time together. When asking for prayer requests make sure you hear the hearts of children and their needs.
- And always remember that we are all God’s children. To him, our behaviours and prayers might not seem so mature and sophisticated as we might like to think.1