Discipleship Activities for the Family

Family faith-sharing tips:

One of the secrets of successful family time is good preparation. Start collecting the things you need several days ahead. Put everything in a box and read through the instructions a few times so that you are all ready to go.

Focus:

  • John 8:12
  • Jesus used some familiar objects to describe Himself, to help us understand Him better.

Gather together:

  • A flashlight or candle with a tag that reads, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
  • A hardboiled egg with a tag that reads, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
  • A map and compass with a tag that reads, “I am the way” (John 14:6).
  • Toy sheep or pipe cleaner bent into the shape of a shepherd’s crook with a tag that reads, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11).
  • Baby Jesus from a nativity set, or toy baby with a tag that reads, “I am the Son of God.”
  • Copy of the Christian fish (Ichthus) symbol (see www.plymouth-church.com/ichthus.html)
  • Paper and pencils

What you do:

  • Give each child one of the items with a tag.
  • Ask them to read the tag and say how Jesus is like a light, like a good shepherd, like the way, and like the life.
  • What can we learn about Jesus—and about what He came to do—from the different ways He describes Himself?
  • What objects would you choose to help other people understand more about Jesus today?
  • Send the children on a scavenger hunt through the house to find two or three objects that represent something about the character of Jesus (or what love means if that is more appropriate). Perhaps soap could represent how His death and forgiveness makes us clean again. Or a warm blanket might represent His love that is all around us. Or a cycle helmet might represent how He protects us.
  • Show your children the Christian fish symbol, Ichthus. Explain that the letters that spell Ichthus in Greek were the initials of the Greek words for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” Explain that early Christians used the fish as a secret symbol so that other Christians could find them.
  • What are the most important things about Jesus for you? What might be the most important things about Jesus for the people around you?
  • Give everyone paper and pencils and ask them to create a brand new symbol to represent Jesus. How could you use the new symbols to help others understand and find Jesus today?
  • Alternatively, invite your children to make a symbol that represents your own family in some way.

Prayer/reflection activity:

  • Draw the outline of a cross in the center of a sheet of paper. Make it big enough to write a prayer inside the shape.
  • Give one cross to each child. Have them write a prayer to God, thanking Him for sending His Son Jesus to help us learn what God is like.
  • Or reflect on who you are as a family, and be thankful together for the good things and the strengths and blessings that you have.