63% of fathers who live at home with a child that is ages 0 to 18, say they eat dinner with their child every day. 27% say they eat dinner with their child several times a week. Only 8% said they shared dinner with their kids once a week or less.
Bottom line - many fathers eat the evening meal with their children. And if you strategically encourage fathers to make the most of this time, they can have of a great family discipleship opportunity.
As a children's ministry leader who is trying to empower parents to be the spiritual leader of their home, you can help them leverage this time for family discipleship.
Here are some tips to pass along to parents about not just eating with their kids, but also facilitating "dinner table discipleship."
Pray for the meal. Pause to thank God for His provision. Go around and have family members share something they are thankful for before you pray.
Provide parents with key questions from the past weekend's lesson at church. Here are some ways you can do this.
Hard copy take home paper. Rather than handing your take home paper to the kids, hand them to parents as they are leaving church. If you do this, you have a better chance of seeing them actually being used as opposed to seeing them on the ground in the church parking lot.
Here are some other things you can do for dinner table discipleship:
One of the places that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 for family discipleship is when you are sitting at home. One of best opportunities to do this, is when you are sitting at home around the dinner table.
We live in busy, busy times. Someone quickly prays and thanks God for the food. Then families rush through dinner and as soon as their plates are clean, they head their separate ways.
If you want to see the families in your church start engaging in dinner table discipleship, then emphasize it. Provide some simple tools they can use. Talk about it at church. Show parents the great opportunity they have to help their family grow in their faith.
We've heard the statement that says, "Families that pray together stay together." It is so true. Better yet, I think we can expand on that by saying,
"Families who do discipleship together, grow in their faith together."
Your turn. Share with us more ideas about discipleship at home. What have you seen be effective for this? What are some other tools or resources you recommend for seeing kids discipled around the dinner table? We look forward to reading your ideas and input in the comment section below.