Spiritual Disciplines, Part 3: Faith 5 with Family
by Rev. Dustin Bartlett
In the final installment of my three-part series on spiritual disciplines, I’ll be telling you about my personal favorite. At the end of every day, my family and I gather together in our living room for Faith 5™.
Faith 5 is a program designed by Faith Inkubators. The core idea behind the Faith 5 program is that Sunday School, by itself, is woefully insufficient to instruct young people in the Christian faith. Faith formation should primarily be taking place in the home, passed from parent to child, as it has for most of the church’s history. Sunday School is only supposed to reinforce what kids are getting every day at home.
And yet, Faith 5 is about so much more than Christian education. It brings families together.
So, how does Faith 5 work? At the end of every day, my family and I get together and go through a five step process.
Step One: We share our highs and lows for the day. What made us happy or hopeful? What made us sad or afraid? Every member of the family shares their highs and lows. By starting this practice at a young age, you’re teaching your children that they can come to you with their concerns when they get older – something especially important in the teenage years.
Step Two: We read a story from the Bible. In a family with young children (my kids are 8 and 6 years old) we use a story Bible with pictures. The Whirl Story Bible is especially good. With older children, you can use a regular Bible. Reading the Bible is an important habit for both kids and adults to start up.
Step Three: We talk about the Bible story we just read, especially as it might relate to our highs and lows. If you’re worried about your ability to talk about the Bible, check out last week’s article on Bible study here.
Step Four: We pray for each other’s highs and lows. Everyone in the family takes turns leading the prayers. Some nights the parents say the prayers. Some nights the kids say the prayers. Trust me, parents, there is nothing so emotionally rewarding or powerful as having your six year old pray for you!
Step Five: We bless each other. Each of us traces the sign of the Cross on the forehead of the other three, and says, “God bless you and keep you.” This is the kids’ favorite part.
By using the Faith 5 process, you teach your children the stories of the Bible, teach them to pray and study the scriptures regularly, teach them to share what’s going on their lives with their parents, and perhaps most importantly, in our frantic-paced society you teach your children that they are worth your time to just sit down and be together.