4 Ways to Start the School Year with Purpose

The summer is a beautiful time for making memories, going on vacation and embracing a different rhythm of life. If you have school age children, you know the end of this break can come with mixed emotions. Some kids can’t wait to get back to school and others never want to go back. 

Regardless of where they stand, the new school year brings an opportunity to start new rhythms for your family that can lead each person closer to Jesus and one another. We are about four weeks away and I wanted to give you some ideas to get you thinking so you can start off the school year with intentionality.

1. Ask a question to get your family talking intentionally at dinner time

There have been numerous studies done about the benefits of eating together. One way to be more intentional at dinner time to have some questions ready to ask around the table. This will help you know your kids better and it may even lead to spiritual conversations. When we use cards with questions on them (like these Conversation Cards), my kids often look forward to it and are excited to answer.

2. Read a devotional or Bible story after a meal or before bedtime

Dust off the children’s bible or devotional that may have been sitting on the book shelf all summer. Help your kids engage in God’s word by adding reading at mealtime or bedtime to create a new routine for your kids to embrace.
Here are some of our favorite children’s bible and devotionals:
Jesus Story Book Bible  
Bible Storybook from Life Church 
Indescribable: 100 Devotions about God and Science 
Long Story Short: 10 Minute Devotions

3. Use the Monthly Challenge sheet from Connection Kids

Each month, your kids get a Monthly Challenge sheet during the Connection Kids Elementary service. These challenges include activities like listening to a worship song, memorizing a verse, picking a bible story and studying it simply. Once they complete 4 activities, they can bring to church to get a chance to spin the wheel. Each box on the sheet is meant to help them develop spiritual disciplines that will serve them the rest of their lives as they follow Jesus.

4. Make specific time to pray for your kids and family each day

This one doesn’t involve your whole family but can make an impact on them. I recently read an autobiography of a missionary whose father would go into his prayer closet after each meal and just pray for every child. He talked about how he remembered his father’s prayers and how they were some of his most impactful moments on his faith journey. Praying for your family doesn’t have to be within earshot but bringing our kids to God each day will make a difference.
Here are some ideas to help guide your prayers:
Four Daily Prayers for your Children 
Praying Big Things for your Little Ones

-by Pastor Andrew Vancott

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