Discipleship Activities for the Family

Family faith-sharing tip:

God wants Sabbath to be an amazing delight for us and for our families. Pause and wonder what makes something delightful for each person in your family and use your insights to help you plan delightful Sabbaths.

Focus:

  • Isaiah 58:13, 14
  • Sabbath is a wonderful day in which we can enjoy spending time with God, our family, friends, and church community. We can also make it a delight by exploring God’s world of nature, learning more about Him, and sharing His love by being kind and helpful to others.

Gather together:

  • Several small, attractive gift bags or small boxes covered in attractive paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Several small items that are connected with birthdays, such as candles, balloons, birthday card, small gift for each child, delicious drinks, cake, etc.
  • Paper and pens
  • Attractive notebook
  • Attractive gift bag or box
  • Stickers for the “thank you” prayers
  • Things that remind you of the gifts of Sabbath (see prayer activity below)

What you do:

  • Prepare by wrapping each birthday item in tissue and placing it in a different gift bag or box. Hide them around the room where you’ll meet.
  • At the beginning of the family time send everyone in your family on a five-minute scavenger hunt to find three things that represent what fills them with delight and wonder.
  • Give each person time to say what fills them with wonder and why.
  • Then ask them to hunt around the room to find the tiny wrapped clues.
  • When they have found all the wrapped birthday objects, let them unwrap them one at a time, trying to guess what the clues are about.
  • When they have guessed that the clues remind them of birthdays, say: “God has given us the Sabbath to be like a birthday every week, to remember the birth of the world. It’s a day to be happy and celebrate!”
  • Think of all the ways Sabbath is like a birthday: special food, happy day, being with friends and family, making special plans, having treats, looking forward to it, and bringing joy to others too, etc.
  • Then make a list of things you could do on Sabbath to celebrate the special day and share God’s love with others. How could you explore God’s creation? Use the computer? Use your craft, art, music, or writing skills? Provide a ministry to others? Enjoy exploring Bible stories, etc.
  • What traditions would you like to start to help make your Sabbath special? Some families let the children choose and make a Sabbath dessert on Friday; some light Sabbath candles; some invite other families to share special family Bible activities together, etc.
  • Write your list of ideas in a special Sabbath notebook and keep adding fresh ideas for ways to make Sabbath a delight.

Prayer/reflection activity:

  • Sabbath is a gift from God to be unpacked and enjoyed every week.
  • Take a medium-sized gift bag, or a gift box with a lid, and write or stick on the bag or box some thank you notes to God for the different gifts of the Sabbath.
  • Keep this bag as a reminder of the delights of Sabbath and fill it with tiny things that represent some of the gifts of the Sabbath—a tiny dove (peace); a tiny fragrance bottle (it perfumes the week); a plastic “gem” (it’s full of treasure); some hand lotion (it soothes us); a candle (it lights up our week); or a battery (it recharges our energy). 
  • Add new things to your “Sabbath Gift Bag” as you think of them.