Discipleship at home can be difficult, especially if parents don’t feel equipped. As both a parent and a pastor myself, I want my kids to have ongoing discipleship conversations at home, but it’s not easy! Scheduling. Consistency. It’s easy to start a new thing and then quit a few days or weeks in when it’s not going the way you saw it in your head. We’ve been there at my house. So the team at The Foundry Kids started dreaming of a tool that kids and/or families could use daily that was theologically robust and unapologetically Wesleyan. I was thrilled to be able to be part of creating and writing the devotional book to fit that bill with fellow ministry leaders and writers James Abbott, Tami Brumbaugh, and Michaele LaVigne. The result is My Life with Jesus—a daily devotional book that can be used by children with or without their families. Here’s how it works:
1. Each week focuses on one passage of Scripture. No more cherry-picking individual verses that are removed from their biblical contexts. Day 1 of each week lets the scripture stand on its own. Scripture is powerful enough to be the devotion. Read the passage, use one of the hermeneutical or devotional tools explained in the book (The 5 Whats, or Lectio Divina), and pray that God will speak through this reading.
Days 2–7 use the same passage as Day 1 and offer additional devotional thoughts. Each day ends with some reflection and encouragement questions that will give readers opportunities for introspection and ways to think about our whole walk with Jesus. These questions, what we’re calling the Holy Qs, are kid-friendly versions of the twenty-two questions John Wesley used in his Holy Club small groups.
2. This book was written with two primary audiences in mind: the individual child and the family. Middle-to-older elementary kids can use this book on their own. The writing is at their level. Each tool is explained. The Scripture passage is printed right in the book. The devotions aren’t too long. If you’re looking for a way to help your elementary kid find a rhythm of personal devotions, this book will be an excellent guide. It’s designed with both girls and boys in mind, so anyone can use it.
If you have younger elementary students, or maybe precocious older-pre-K kids, or if you just want your whole family to do devotions together, this book is built for that as well. The family can all read Scripture, read the devotional thoughts, and talk about the reflection questions together. This could be done in about five to ten minutes each morning or evening. The questions could easily spark much more conversation if you’d like to linger in it a little longer.
3. The book is numbered by weeks, not by specific dates. If you miss a day or two, it’s okay. You can easily pick up where you left off. Kids won’t need to rush to catch up or feel like they’re so far behind that they just quit. If you do it every day, you’ll get through it in a year. If you miss a day here and there, it will take a little longer. Each week is a unit, so we advise staying in the week until you finish, instead of jumping around. The book journeys from Jesus’s birth to ascension, using all four Gospels and the occasional Old Testament passage. There are even special weeks that explore Advent and Lent. It’s a narrative. Dive into it!
Individual kids or family units, this book is written for you, creating consistent discipleship opportunities at home and a deeper connection with the Way, Truth, and Life that is Jesus every single day. I leave you with the blessing we use in the book: Go following the way of the Savior, walking in the truth of the King, and living the life of the Friend. May your thoughts, words, and actions reflect the love of Jesus.
My Life with Jesus is now available to purchase on TheFoundryPublishing.com