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Back to School: 10 Spiritual Practices for Growing Your Faith

Back to School: 10 Spiritual Practices for Growing Your Faith

This fall as kids are going back to school, renew and refresh your faith through these simple practices.

by Jim Wishmyer on August 31, 2019

Adapted from “Peanut Butter Grace

1. Pray throughout the day.

Is it possible for families to “pray without ceasing” throughout their busy days? Super-short, frequent prayers may be the way to go. Here’s how one dad does it.

2. Change a diaper or two, or two thousand.

Secular society may tell you that changing diapers is the most menial of tasks, but by spending most of her adult life in such menial tasks, Mary gave them a special dignity. One dad reflects on how we can recover the dignity of parenting through Mary’s quiet example.

3. Love one another.

Easier said than done sometimes, but it’s the command Jesus leaves for his disciples in the Gospels. Together with other family members, try to find as many verses in the bible as you can that encourage us to love others. As you read and share, talk about what it means to love and why it is so critical that we do. Remind each other of God’s love for us, sharing your stories of experiencing God’s love.

4. Teach your kids about the unique treasures of your church traditions and faith journey.

How do you teach kids the unique beauty of the Christian faith? With a treasure chest and a lesson plan, of course! What are the important symbols of your faith? Your church tradition? Who were some of the pioneer mothers and fathers that helped shape your denomination or even your local church? Who helped form you as a disciple of Jesus?

5. Try these best practices to raise faith-filled kids.

How do you raise faith-filled kids? By integrating the practice of the faith into the everyday life of your family. Here’s a roundup of the research from family faith formation expert John Roberto— including a list of the best practices of faith-filled families.

6. Use special days, holidays, and important family days to teach your children to pray.

Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day provide opportunities to pray for our armed forces. Election day becomes an opportunity to pray for our elected leaders. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are ideal for talking about parenting and praying for all parents.

7. Practice saying “thank you.”

Don’t you wish you heard the words “thank you” more often in your home—even for the small stuff? Look for ways to make this more creative.
8. Make dandelions for dinner. “Can we make dandelions for dinner?” You might think they’re a weed, but the lowly dandelion actually has deep roots in Catholic culture and was a favorite of G. K. Chesterton. Mom and wildlife biologist Lynda Marie shares her family’s enjoyment of harvesting and appreciating this first sign of spring in this edition of, “Of Heaven and Earth.”

9. Serve together in a ministry or mission of your church.

Perhaps serve as greeters or ushers together as a family. If there is a mission your church supports, get involved with helping together as a family. One family made the first Saturday of the month their shopping day together for the local food pantry. Talk together at home while at meal about these experiences.

10. Attend worship together as a family.

Central to our faith is the formation of certain habits that nurture spiritual growth. Faith does not form in a vacuum; nor does it grow in a healthy way unless nurtured with intentionality. Worship is another one of several healthy habits for spiritual growth. It reminds us of the awe and wonder of God who created us, redeemed us, and who calls us to work together to share God’s love in word and deed.

This fall as kids are going back to school, renew and refresh your faith through these and other simple ways. And to God be the glory in our church, in our lives, and through us in the world!

See you in Sunday worship at LUMC where faith and life intersect at the heart of Leesburg!

Tags: church, christian, downtown, virginia, united methodist church, methodist, christian church, leesburg

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