What happens when you open your heart and home to young families?
You may have heard of a DVD series called ‘What’s in the Bible’ by Veggie Tales creator, Phil Vischer. It’s an overview of the bible from genesis to revelation, through 13 DVDs, that is engaging to watch but jam packed with so much information. It’s really for the whole family!
This is what has happened for us in our little community in the central west of NSW….
This year (2017) a group of families here in our town have been impacted from watching this series together.
Our youngest son is in year 5 at school. I guess God had already orchestrated the whole thing. But I was so unaware.
I knew a few families with children similar ages to ours in our town that had an interest in God but not connected to a church family.
I talked with four mums that I had this series, which we had never watched from start to finish. I shared that I wanted to invest into my kids with some biblical knowledge and truth while they were young. I invited them to join me and my family on Wednesday night for dinner and to watch this DVD together. I asked they just come once and see if it would be something they would like to do with their families. I asked them to keep me accountable in doing this for my kids.
This was in term one, we are now at the end of year and Wednesday night ‘bible night’ is a normal part of the week for these families.
We started the year with no-one willing to say grace, now in our pray time everyone wants to pray and some times a number of times.
We are really surprised to see how this has all unfolded.
We had no grand plans, no goals to get these families to church. We just wanted to open the door to conversation, and building personal relationships with Jesus.
Each DVD has 2 sessions. The first night we planned to watch one then have discussion and questions. We ended up watching 2 sessions each night, and after each DVD questions and comments just flowed so naturally. We now have a phrase called “Big questions with Wayne” (hubby). These DVD’s are so full of information, it’s amazing to watch and learn together.
It’s hard to capture in words what unfolded in our rumpus room. We were so surprised after the first week the families keep coming.
As the DVDs draw to an end, I was not sure what would happen next, if anything.
I was hearing comments like, you guys must be looking forward to having your Wednesday nights back. Again we had no plan or goal or expectation, we were open to what ever God wanted for us. Even if it was just a short season.
In the final DVD it talked about spiritual disciplines, like reading the bible, meeting together, memorising scripture.
After the DVD finished the question was asked, so next week we will do that? Read the bible and memorise it together?
The four families that came that first night, come every week. To read bible together and connect.
From week one there was no binding contract or rules. But what has happened is that these families have been connected with the bible and their heavenly father.
I guess you might be wondering what happened once we finished the DVD series? We just do what we did every week. We meet for dinner, then open the bible together.
We simply just began reading Luke together – a smallish passage aloud, then next bit each week. Well actually twice, once by a child and once by an adult. So it can be heard. We read from what ever bible the family has so we have lots of versions open at once. Then we ask 3 questions. We each have a clip board and we think, write or draw our answer and then share our thoughts.
- What do you learn in the story about “people”?
- What did we learn about “Jesus”?
- What about “me”, does this passage impact or challenge me?
From what we have seen and heard in our rumpus room, you don’t need any fancy bible study or bible teacher. Just simply open the bible together and you will be amazed what the kids and adults alike will pull from the passages. It’s so hard to put into words what we have watched unfold this year. We have seen God draw his children to Him!
So our evenings are simple but a big part of our week. A real highlight in our week. We have dinner at 6pm sharp, sing a few songs together, open the bible, pray then home to bed by 8pm. It’s an ordered time combined with laughter, and noise and fun and tears that any group of families would have.
Just this week we had our final week of bible night for the year. Again we had no grand plan to what will happen next year, if the group still want to meet. We spent some time over dinner reflecting on the time we have spent together, what we have all learnt and what we are thankful for. As we spoke about the future, we asked the group how they see the future? Do you want to meet next year? It was amazing to hear the ideas thrown around the room. Some talked about starting again, inviting others to watch the “What’s in the bible?” Speaking of particular people who they think would like to be involved. Some said they just want to continue. We finished the night with no plans. We left it open for the Spirit to work in their hearts. We now are waiting to see what God has install for these families.
I would like to encourage you to check our this resource, it’s great. We have heard and seen of it’s impact on every age. Also to think about who you know that may benefit from watching this DVD with you?
Julie Spencer, from Molong in NSW shared this story with us at the end of 2017. I’m sure she’d love you to be praying for their group, and how God will work in these families as they start 2018!