Home and Family Devotional Resources
No matter what each day brings, God still loves us, forgives us, never leaves us, turns our broken efforts into his good works, and is working out all things for good. These are important truths for us and for our children. The best way to keep this ever present in our minds is to stay connected to Him.
St Paul is offering more ways than ever to make this happen. We are offering in-person and live streamed worship (10:30 Sunday morning, 7pm Wednesdays), in-person and virtual bible studies (Sunday Mornings, 9am, and Thursday evenings, 7pm), in-person and home resources for Sunday School (birth-teen), as well as ongoing campus ministry every Friday night. Subscribe to our You Tube channel
for Pastor Thompson's COVID-19 daily meditations as well as to stay connected. You can also check St Paul’s “Devotion and Study Resources”
for additional devotional options. For podcast options, Time of Grace with Pastor Mike Novotny
offers both 5 & 30-minute podcast devotions, and 1517.org
offers a wide variety of Christian podcasts from 5-minute biographies in church history to family conversation on a variety of theological topics.
Encouraging your Kids in God’s Word
Did you know that it takes years for bamboo to grow? You can be watering it for years and years and not see any difference, and then, "bam," it shoots up like you wouldn't believe. All of those years you thought it was dormant, it was actually developing an incredibly dense root system, so that it had what it needed when the time was right. Keeping our kids in God's Word is a lot like growing bamboo. You might not see the results right away, but day-by-day, the Holy Spirit through God's Word is strengthening and deepening your child's "gospel roots." As a parent, God tells us there is nothing more important. At St. Paul, we take this task seriously, but we also understand the many demands that are on parents. That is why we aim to provide families with simple, straight-forward ways to keep Christ at the centre of their family.
Challenge 1: Pray Together Daily
Sometimes we have the best of intentions, but we just don't know where to begin. Here is a great place to start: Add one gospel-centred activity into your daily routine. We call this a keystone habit. It's one simple thing you do each day that has a domino effect--for good--on everything else. Here is what we suggest:
Lead your family in the beginning and end of the day in a prayer that remembers God's gospel promises
Ask each person what they want to pray for, and then pray closing with the following:
"Lord we thank you for your forgiveness, that we are your redeemed, precious children. In all things, you promise that you will never leave us or forsake us and you are working out all things for our good, so that we can have feelings of peace. Let that peace overflow into actions of...(whatever you are praying for that day). In Jesus' name we pray Amen.
That's it. A simple task, but a profound way to centre you and your kids each and ever day. Pastor Thompson also has a whole week of video meditations
on this prayer, if you want to learn more.
Challenge 2: Read God's Word Together Daily
It is never too early to start reading God's Word with your child. Not only do the youngest of children have the most incredible ability to naturally memorize what you read to them, but you are starting them on the best of habits to last a life-time. Here are some of our recommendations for books that are both theologically-sound and parent and kid-approved.
The Jesus Storybook Bible
by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a fantastic choice for the youngest of children. Kids fall in love with the writing and illustrations. The book covers all of Salvation History, and, most importantly, everything points to Jesus as our Saviour from sins. There are also DVD and audiobook versions available. Check above for a sample home devotional video with this resource.
The Book of Psalms
have been a comfort for people across the ages. The poetry captures the intensity of our deep and ever-changing emotions while placing them in the context of a bigger story: the Christian story that tells of a good God, a God who is in control of all things, and a God that is working out all things for our eternal good. This is a message not only for us
, but for our children
. Psalms: For Young Children
by Marie-Helene Delval brings the psalms to life and makes them accessible for even the youngest of children. There is a lot that is uncertain in our world. And while we do our best to bring stability and routine to our children’s lives, they can’t help but notice and be affected by it. One of the ways we can support our children’s resiliency is by helping them identify, name (for young children) and talk about their struggles/feelings, model how to place these feelings in the context of a God who is bigger than all of it, and support them in visualizing places of peace, calm, and security. This is exactly what God helps us do in the Psalm
s, and what this book can help you do with your child. Click here
to see our full review and home devotional video
For Ages 6, The Story Bible
is an easy to read introduction to the language and writing style of the bible, and its margins provide parents with review questions and prayers. Check below for a sample home devotional video with this resource.
The Growing in Faith Bible Storybook
is another wonderful option for Grades 1-6. It introduces children to the language of the Bible while still being very readable and engaging. Each story opens up with an interactive question to get your kids thinking and talking, and it closes with a prayer, so it is a great option for a bedtime family devotion. With 125 stories, your children will dig into the meat of the Old and New Testament, while still being guided by the fact that every story points to Jesus. Each page also provides vivid artwork that was not only created to be historically accurate, but it also corresponds to St. Paul's "Enduring Faith" Sunday School curriculum.
Ages 9+ is a perfect time to have your child start reading the bible out-loud to you. Pick a section you are both interested in learning about together. Have your child read out-loud for 5-10 minutes, answering questions as they arise. When finished, model devotional questions that will serve them in their life-long devotional walk: What is God teaching us? Where is the law? Where is the gospel? What promise does God give? What can I give thanks for?
A great supplement to these bible readings is to start learning more about the life and times in bible history. The Complete Bible Discovery Guide
is a Bible handbook where you and your kids can dive into the people, history, culture, and traditions of both the Old and New Testament times. With excellent illustrations, simple explanations, and great maps, this is fun for all ages. This can also be paired with Bible Background
by Dr. Glen Thompson. A pastor, theologian, and professor of antiquities, Dr. Thompson brings history to life, writing in simple language that will be enjoyable for even elementary aged children. And for a little bit of fun, The Action Bible
by comic strip illustrator, Sergio Cariello, is an incredible artistic feat that can be enjoyed for hours at a time.
For children and tweens who also enjoy journalling, another great option is Concordia Publishing House's "My Devotions
." Written for ages 8-12, these are excellent devotions to mentor tweens in an independent devotional life.
Instead of reading bible stories distinct for each age group, some families enjoy a daily all-age family devotion. Family Time (free sample for download)
offers short daily devotions to read with the whole family. With great illustrations for all ages, excellent talking points, and easy-to-follow closing prayers, it is a great first-time family devotional. Another simple and free option is subscribing to daily family devotions
through Wels.net. These are offered daily online and provide discussion points for all ages as well as supplemental hymns to learn.