City Harvest fathers, mothers and their children joined the HarvestKidz pastors and teachers to understand how to make family devotion fun. Pastoral supervisor Ee Zhen Ying shares her family’s experience.
It was the start of CHC’s CityFamilies (CFAM) conference—a session conducted by the HarvestKidz department to impart hands-on understanding and practice of what it is like to do devotion together as a family at home. My husband and I gathered our girls on Friday night (29 July) and got ready for “class”.
The moment we logged in to Zoom, we saw familiar faces from HarvestKidz: Pastor Eileen Toh, Pastor Lynn Tan and Pastoral Supervisor Anson Ang. The session started off with an exciting scavenger hunt, which sent my three girls (aged 8, 6 and 4) running helter-skelter throughout the entire house to locate the items needed to win the game.
Next came praise and worship: lifting up our praise to God together as a family was a wonderful experience. Seeing our daughters’ childlike faith and “more undignified than this” (2 Sam 6:22) dancing, shouting, and singing at the top of their voices, brought much joy to my heart.
MAKING FAMILY DEVOTION FUN
We settled down to the teaching. Pastor Lynn shared with us the importance and benefits of holding family devotion at home. She employed the acronym ABC: allow for meaningful conversations, build a foundation for spiritual growth and a Biblical worldview, and connect with our children.
I personally found the tips very helpful. In my family, devotion time is mostly reading a Bible story, having conversations about it, and then ending in prayer. Through the sharing, I was challenged to explore more options to engage my children through their senses—visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile—to make devotion time more relatable, fun and applicable to their daily lives. Doing so also helps my children to remember what they learnt.
We then entered into breakout rooms where different pastoral staff led us through how to make family devotion fun and interactive. It started off with a Bible lesson on Psalm 31:19. I realised that my eldest girl took lesson time very seriously. She took notes, listened attentively and made sure that her young sisters listened to the lesson well and did their first activity properly.
The second activity was more fun and kinesthetic. Teachers Connie Yong and Anson got us all to build a “tent” in the living room. We took our clothes rack, set it up as a frame for the tent, and covered it with blankets. Then we sat together as a family within the cosy “tent”. The teachers then got us to reflect on how we felt in the tent—did we feel worried or safe? What were some safe spaces we had in our lives? Thge teachers shared that we could run to God for safety whenever we are afraid, and encouraged us to think about God’s goodness in our lives.
Our girls started sharing that home is a safe space for them. They talked about how Daddy, Mummy, their grandparents and teachers are safe people to talk to. They also shared that they can pray to God and God will listen to them. With that, we ended with a word of prayer.
Later that night as we lay in bed, my husband and I took the conversation a little deeper with the girls and shared what fears and worries we had growing up, and how we trusted God through it all.
I’m thankful to God for our wonderful CFAM team, HarvestKidz teachers and volunteers for investing in our children’s lives. As parents, we are very grateful for the sacrifices they make every week, conducting the weekend services, preparing Bible lessons and activities, bussing the children to and from church, and even doing home visitations. The time, effort and love of these teachers and volunteers for our children are not in vain. The seeds sown into our children’s lives are so precious, and I know the Lord has a wonderful destiny for every child.
More than that, I’ve come to realise that my investment in my children’s spiritual values is equally, if not more important. Our family needs to take ownership of our own spiritual growth. We need to invest and inculcate faith in our children, especially in this day and age where Biblical values are challenged. Laying a strong foundation of Godly faith will help our children to navigate through life in future.
More importantly, it will help our next generation build a genuine, intimate relationship and personal walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, CFAM, for this initiative. We are blessed!