Last week, I was excited to announce the release of my new book, The Whole Story for the Whole Family.
This is a family devotion book, one born out of our own experience over the last ten years. And today, I wanted to share a little more about how the book is structured and what you will experience if you choose to use it. Hopefully, what you’ll find is a resource that is very approachable, very simple, and very achievable – something that can be done in about 15 minutes per day.
Each day is structured in five parts:
If your family is like ours, then you’ll know that one of the toughest parts of having a regular devotion time is just getting started. I don’t mean just getting started in actually establishing the pattern, though it’s hard to make that choice; I also mean getting started every time you sit down together. I wanted to take that into account in the book – to make sure that each day began with some kind of hook to capture interest and attention and at the same time introduce the text for the day.
In the “Show” section each day is a game, an object lesson, or an easy-to-answer question. It’s meant to be done in five minutes or less with little or no preparation beforehand. It also provides a transition that explains how the “Show” section relates to the “Read” section that day.
In the “Read” section is the biblical reference to read together. Most days, this is somewhere between 8-15 verses that capture the heart of the Scripture. Further, the daily devotions are organized chronologically so that kids (and adults!) can start to understand the general storyline of the Bible. This is a great time to spread out the leadership as well, asking children to actually read from the Bible themselves for the family.
Next is the “Explain” section. It’s not overwhelming – just a paragraph or two that sets the “Read” section in the context of the biblical narrative and also provides some explanation about what the text means. This is also the section which tries to emphasize again and again that Jesus is the main character of the entire biblical story, and that every single text relates to Him.
These paragraphs can be read, but even better for them to be talked through and explained. In either case, hopefully they serve to explain what the family just read together.
Then, each day has a “Reflect” section with three questions that are meant to be discussed. These are a combination of fact-based questions, reviewing what you just read together, and application questions to help kids know how that particular biblical text relates to them personally.
Finally, each day has a “Pray” section with a guided prayer for the family to use as they close out the devotion.
And that’s it. Simple, consistent, achievable – by God’s grace. In total, there are 52 weeks with 4 devotions per week. That’s because, in our experience as a family, we needed one day a week just for our family to catch up with one another. So ideally, you would take one day per week and just share about what you are thankful for and how you can pray for one another as a family.
This was a great joy – and a great challenge – to put together. And my hope is that this can be a tool the Lord would use in your family to help you learn, love, and live the Word of God together.
If you’d like to see how these five sections actually look for Day 1 of the devotion, you can download a sample at the link below: