ADVENTIST FAMILY MINISTRIES started exactly 100 years ago in 1919! So 2019 is a special year for thinking about families. It’s a year to help make our families the best they can be! What will you do this year to grow closer as a family, and what will you do to help other families? What’s special about your family? What do you do well?
OUR FAMILY IS . . . !
Thank God for your family like this: Sit in a circle and take turns saying, “Thank You, God, for our family! We are [say something beginning with A] because [then describe why you chose that word].” So you might start with, “Thank You, God, for our family! We are amazing because You have made us!” “Thank You, God, for our family! We are blessed because You love us and because we love each other.” Continue through the whole alphabet. Write down your ideas to keep as a special poster/poem/prayer describing your family.
Take a fun photo of your family and put it in a frame that you can decorate. Choose a biblical blessing together and write it on the frame. Or adapt a verse, such as Philippians 1:9, and write, “May our love increase!” Talk about the blessing you have chosen and what it means.
Have you seen those signs that have a list of family rules? They say things such as, “In our family we help each other, we pray together, we laugh together, we say sorry, we forgive each other, and we never stop loving each other.” Sit down with your family and decide on your top 10 family rules. Arrange them in the best order, and then make a poster out of them for your family room wall. Draw one yourself or use a computer to make a smart poster. Why not make extra copies and give them to other families you know?
OUR NAME’S SPECIAL!
Many people in the Bible were given special names that meant something. Do you know what your family name (surname) means? Why not give your surname a new meaning? Take the letters of your name and make a sentence that praises God or that is a blessing on your family. Here’s one for my family name (Holford): Honor Our Lord Forever, O Righteous Disciples!
Sit in a circle as a family and draw a simple picture of the person on your left. Put the person’s name on the picture. Give the picture to the person you drew. Ask them to write their prayer requests and things they are thankful for around their picture. Continue passing the pictures around the circle, and write a short sentence prayer on each picture, especially about the person’s prayer requests. Put the pictures where you will be reminded to pray for each other every day.
Search for Bible verses, especially in Psalms, that begin with each letter of your family name. Then see if you can arrange them to make a beautiful-sounding psalm. If that’s too hard, make up your own praise psalm where each verse begins with a different letter of your name.
FAMILIES JUST LIKE OURS . . .
Find a family in the Bible that has something in common with your family. If you have moved lots of times, you might choose Abraham and Sarah’s family. If you have lots of children in the family, you might choose Jacob’s family. If you like animals or boats, you might choose Noah’s family. Or if you have a grandparent living with you, you might choose Ruth
and Boaz’s family. Read a story about the family that’s a bit like yours and respond to their story: create a play together, draw a picture, make a model, or even take some toy animals on a boat ride together!
EDIBLE FAMILY PICTURE
Make a portrait of your family using food. Bake gingerbread people and decorate them to look like you. Or use gingerbread cutters to cut out people-shaped sandwiches or pizza dough, and decorate them to look like you. Take a picture of your foodie family portrait, and then have fun eating all the edible people.
Invite another family from your church to share a simple meal in your home. Then have a happy and creative family worship together. Choose one of your favorite worship activities from these children’s pages or from a previous issue of The Journal. Alternatively, choose a family worship activity that you could make into a minikit, complete with instructions and everything you need for the worship. Make these kits to give away to other families in your church or Sabbath School class. Encourage your church to start a family worship library filled with ideas, worship kits to borrow, DVDs, Bible games, good Bible books for children, Bible character toys, and books about family worship.
Choose a practical project that you and your family could do to bless a family in need. Go to the store together and buy them some delicious food (hint: try to find out what they like best!). Buy new gifts for the children and wrap them up. Donate some of your old clothes that are too small for you but are still good. Take the family out for a treat to a place they could never afford to go, such as a zoo, ice cream parlor, or pizza restaurant.