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3 creative ways to disciple kids this Christmas.

Christmas is a great season for taking up the opportunity to disciple the kids in your life. Here are 3 creative ways to disciple your kids this Christmas.

Cris Rogers and Dan Scott

3 creative ways to disciple your kids this Christmas

If you are a single parent, a parent of many kids or have a blended family the opportunities to disciple the kids in your life is a gift, albeit challenging to make space for amongst the hectic nature of life. Similarly, Christmas should be a great family time, but can also be a time of stress and challenge for families. We can just let the holidays pass by simply by eating chocolate, watching movies and trying to avoid too many meltdowns, but there is a opportunity to use it to grow the faith of your family. Discipleship is an active choice, but within everyone’s grasp. Here are three activities you could use to help your family grow in following Jesus with their heads, hands and heart over the Christmas season. Like all discipleship can be, they are designed to be imaginative, creative and fun

 

ONE: Act out the Christmas story using play-dough or salt dough.
There are some great kids’ translations of the Bible. One of my favourites is the Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Using play-dough or salt dough make models of the different characters. You can then read the story and act out the story with the models. Once you have done this you can ask the kids some questions which will provoke their imagination in entering the story. For example;

Which is your favourite character and why? Who is most like you? Which character would you like to be?

How do you think Mary/Shepherds/Wise visitors/Herod felt? What questions do you think they had?

What would you do if you were one of the characters in this story? What does Christmas teach us about God?


TWO: Bake Magi Stars for those home alone.
The Christmas star lead people who were far off towards the Christ child. Baking star biscuits and icing them is a simple activity you can do with children while talking about the Christmas star. God is in the business of pointing people to him. Once you have baked a good number you can then put them in nice clear bags of 4/5. You may reflect with your kids how all the characters in the nativity scene were excluded or on the edge of society in some way. Who do you notice in your community who are on the edge/excluded? Who do you want to help point to Jesus? Maybe an elderly neighbour all alone, A friend from school going through a hard time, a family member struggling with illness or their position in life. Make a list together and take the bags of cookies to them, praying that God will give you a chance to also offer them time and love and the chance to point them to Jesus.


THREE: 12 Days of Christmas prayer jar.
Learning to pray for others in an inclusive way is a life-long gift to children. The 12 days of Christmas is a great place to start helping kids get into a rhythm of praying for others. Take a clear and clean jam-jar and create a Christmas prayer jar; if the kids want they could create a nice label for the jar. Take slips of paper or lolly sticks and with the kids write on each slip/stick the people that you all want to pray for. Try to think more broadly than just close friends and family; think about those in need and those who are lonely. As Epiphany approaches we might be thinking about the wise visitors, and Herod’s evil plans and the holy family fleeing as refugees. What a great chance to pray for those hiding from persecution or fleeing war. Parents in our church talk to their 2 year-old about ‘people who don’t have a house’ – again linking to the Christmas story, with older children you can speak more of the reality of war, refugee crises and persecution. Websites like Open Doors, Amnesty International, UNHCR and others can give stories and things kids can learn about and pray for. Obviously not neglecting to pray for friends and family as well! Fill the jar with little notes of people to pray for and each day after Christmas take one or two out and as a family pray together. You could make it a game where each member of the family draws one out at random and says a prayer for that person/group of people

Lent is for the training of disciples

Lent is more important to your discipleship than you think. Its origins are about 1800 years ago in the Egyptian desert where they would baptise new disciples at Easter. Each disciple would go through 40 days of serious prayer and preparation as they approached their public declaration of faith and their renunciation of any other way other than the way of Jesus.

Rev Mark Bishop

Lent in a Bag

Pilgrims journeying together…. Throughout the forty days of Lent, we remember the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. Each week, we will be taking time to reflect upon what might sustain us when we find ourselves in a “ wilderness.” Perhaps not literally, but in terms of facing empty, bleak or difficult times in our own lives. Perhaps something that happens at work, school or at home and we know that somehow we will have to get through it. We will have to “ walk through the wilderness”. “ Lent in a Bag” helps us to consider what we need to journey through that wilderness as pilgrims together.

Rev Wendy Bray

HOW TO USE MAKING DISCIPLES IN LENT

Lent can be an amazing opportunity to take stock and invest in to our discipleship and spiritual formation with honesty and reality.

Cris Rogers

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