What Is Faith at Home?
“If we want our children [families and communities] to have a faith that influences the way they live their lives — and the critical life decisions they make — then in our homes we need to be modeling faith through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” – Mark Holmen
Faith at Home is a movement designed to strengthen faith practices within the family. Studies show that many go to church, but few live out their faith in meaningful ways, passing it on to the next generation. Using practical resources and tools, Faith at Home will help you to grow an authentic faith; one that is lived out not only at church, but also at work, at school, in the home, in your community, and passed down from generation to generation.
Check out the links from the Faith@Home Ministries Network in the right sidebar!
See also: www.faithathome.com
Family Faith Practices
Research points to five faith practices that, when consistently acted on in the home and nurtured and supported by the church, are key in the development of faithful Christian living. Family faith practices are daily and weekly times set aside in the home to talk about faith that usually involve, but are not limited to, prayer and Scripture reading. These practices are the foundation on which you and your family can build a closer walk with God. Consider each of the areas below and intentionally plan for the spiritual formation of your family.
Practice 1: Family Faith Conversations
Family faith conversations are discussions and/or study about God and the Christian life that feel like spontaneous conversation. You can talk about media, the news, or any other subject around the dinner table to bring up issues that pertain to your faith. Faith conversations can also take place in a more formal setting on a weekly or regular basis.
Practice 2: Family Devotions and Prayer
Family devotions and prayer provide your family with a way to learn more about the Bible and Christian tradition. Public worship, bedtime prayers, Bible reading and study, table grace, evening and morning prayers, and praying alone at any time of the day or night allow the word of God to shape you and your family into the likeness of Jesus.
Practice 3: Family Service
Engaging in community service with your family can be a powerful opportunity to model and grow your faith. Children and adults are much more likely to have an authentic, vibrant Christian faith if they spend time in service together. A cross-generation bond forms when families see one another faithfully putting their Christian values into action.
Practice 4: Family Ritual and Tradition
Ritual and tradition are the patterned ways we communicate the meaning, value, and relationship that exists between people and with God. Both speak volumes about what is important to us and how much we value a routine, a faith practice, or a belief. And all serve as a storehouse for preserving a family’s history, hopes and dreams. All families have ritual and tradition. Encourage your family to develop daily, weekly, monthly, and annual traditions that bring glory to God and recognize the blessing of a shared Christian faith.
Practice 5: Family Meal
Simply put, a family that eats together stays together. Research clearly indicates that eating together as a family is strongly linked to higher rates of emotional stability, lower levels of stress, and sound familial relationships. Sharing regular meals together can also encourage the sharing of ethnic tradition, personal faith, and rich dialogue that can anchor individuals more firmly to the family unit in an uncertain world.
The family meal is the time when family comes first, establishing, enjoying, and maintaining ties. Just as a meal was central to the ministry of Jesus, the family meal can be a central faith experience for individual family members, and the family as whole. It is a daily opportunity to discover Jesus’ presence amidst our busy family schedules.
“The daily activities of family life are the canvas for experiencing and sharing [your] faith life with one another.” – Diana Garland
God sightings are those moments when you indisputably know that God is reaching out to you in some meaningful, instructional, or reassuring way. God sightings are not planned by us, but are opportunities we ought to embrace for the purpose of sharing the truth of God’s presence with us in experiential ways.
Power of a Blessing
Blessings, whether they’re Irish or Jewish, ancient or modern, are an important part of our faith life. More than ever, we need to continue to bring the flow of the divine into our lives. Just as in Moses’ time, our generation needs to learn the art of blessing:
“The Lord said to Moses: Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” – Numbers 6:22-26.
Like Aaron and his sons, we too hold the power to bless. We simply need to practice it!
Milestone Commemorations are planned times of celebration to mark a season of growth and transition in the life of an individual and their family. Milestone Commemorations also offer us the opportunity to bring our families and faith communities into God’s presence as we connect our daily lives with the life of Christ.
At Catalyst, we celebrate a variety of milestones including:
- Parent / Infant Dedication / Infant Baptism (Download Milestone 1 PDF)
- Salvation and Believer’s Baptism (Download Milestone 2 PDF)
- Preparing for Adolescence (Download Milestone 3 PDF)
- Commitment to Purity (Download Milestone 4 PDF)
- High School Graduation (Download Milestone 5 PDF)
To mark these milestones Catalyst offers the following:
Family Training Opportunities – designed to instill an understanding of the importance and nature of the approaching milestone. Watch this website for information on upcoming training opportunities.
All-Church Celebrations – faith recognition ceremonies designed to encourage believers and their families on to the next milestone in their faith journey.
The following three categories are offered as examples for thinking about any and all aspects of life as having the potential for naming milestones that join our story with God’s story. Milestones can intersect and weave together the circles of family, church, community, one’s culture and creation. Each event listed has the potential to be claimed as a milestone and recognized in the church, at home and away from home.
• Congregational milestones: baptism, baptismal anniversary, celebration of Jesus’ baptism, entry into Sunday School, dedication, presentation of Bibles, beginning confirmation, the rite of confirmation, marriage, death, the seasons of the church year (such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week), and learning the prayers, creeds, and various teachings of one’s faith.
• Human development and daily living: birth, birthdays, first tooth, first steps, folding hands for prayer, toilet training, playing church, beginning school, burying a pet, braces, puberty, first date, driver’s license, graduation, leaving home, going to camp, entering the military, lifelong commitment to another, end of a relationship, anniversaries, first job or new job, birth or adoption of children, first home, a new home, moving, disposing of possessions and moving into an assisted living center, retirement, and death.
• Civic celebrations: These important dates mark significant historical events and celebrations in our community and culture, and solidify our identity and sense of belonging as citizens of the United States: Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Election Day, Thanksgiving, New Years, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, President’s Day, and Veterans Day.