Family Discipleship Together

Each of us can learn from each other – a thought shared, a different perspective, or another way of ‘saying it’ can all be beneficial. This is just as true within a family as it is in a wider setting. At Countess Free Church we have been helping our families grow in their walk with Jesus by encouraging and providing resources for them to learn from each other.

Discipleship (following Jesus) is a shared exercise: we spur one another on, we teach each other, we pray for each other. This can be young to old as well as it being old teaching the young. For a family the ‘Kitchen Table’ proves to be a lively place to share a verse, chat about the questions it raises, and offer a prayer together. As a church we made a strategic decision to encourage and resource this, to bring family members together, stimulating them to sharpen each other’s thinking and action. In other words, helping them put their faith into practice in the swirl of mid-week life.

Practical resources have included boxes with discussion starter cards, wall charts and other material which all serve as little prompts. Families can use them as they wish: maybe two or three times a week, at mealtime, or whenever it suits.

The thinking seeded by these resources can then feed into our whole church gatherings, where we encourage the children to share and describe how they see the scenes referenced in the Bible passages for that week. We can all benefit from this sharing – for discipleship was never intended to be a solitary ‘me in my own bubble’ enterprise.

Encouraging family discussion also helps shift the primary focus of discipleship away from the whole church gathering back to the ‘kitchen table’, where in all honesty it should have been all along. The place where members of a family naturally gather together, exchange feelings, thoughts and aspirations … is the natural place to share the walk of discipleship as a family, a place that can become vibrant in faith, hope and possibility.

One of our children’s visual descriptions