God’s family: Family faith formation @ home



Before you begin, invite those gathered to go outside (or if weather does not permit, around the house) and gather something that reminds them of new life (a flower, a leaf, water, a cross, the Bible or anything they think connects with resurrection) and place it in the center of the gathering after each repetition of “He is risen indeed!” Repeat as often as necessary.

One:    Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    There are signs all around. Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    The old has gone and the new is come. Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One:    Because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we can begin anew. Christ is risen!
All:      He is risen indeed!
One:    We are here, Holy Spirit. Show us new ways to be faithful.

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share a where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something (a person, community, experience, event, etc.) for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world … [invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier]. We bring our prayers to you, prayers for … [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: 1 John 3:1-2

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

Before the Scripture is read a second time, get a picture of your family to hold or set where everyone can see it, or bring to your mind’s eye a picture of your family. Keep that picture in your mind or in your view as you listen to the Scripture read a second time. Hold on to those thoughts until the last activity.

Connecting through story

Watch and listen to the book “The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.”

  • Why do you think Sally notices things?
  • Why do you think she finally spoke up?
  • Why did others join her?

Connecting with our lives 

Engage in dialogue:

  • What makes your family different from your friend or neighbor’s family?
  • What special traditions or ways of acting in the world define who your family is?
  • How do people know you are a member of your particular family?
  • Why did God claim us as God’s own children?
  • What does it mean to be a child of God?
  • What special traditions does God’s family share?
  • How does God’s family act in the world?
  • How do people know who is a member of God’s family?
  • How do you show you are a member of God’s family?
  • How do your actions reveal God’s love in the world?
  • If you really believed you are God’s child, how would you live differently? 

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion:

  • God knows who we are, knows our name and claims us as God’s own children.
  • As God’s children we are a part of God’s family — cherished and loved beyond measure.
  • The world does not assign our value — not money, not stature, not status, not power. It is being claimed and loved as God’s child that gives us value.
  • Too often the people do not recognize or notice others’ value because they are paying attention to what the world thinks is valuable.
  • Just as each family has distinctive traditions and ways of acting, so God’s family has distinguishing characteristics.
  • The world will know we are members of God’s family by the way we love and worship God and demonstrate it through our love of others.
  • The world will only know God is loving if God’s family acts in ways that are consistent with who God is and what God values.
  • We reveal God’s love when we live it out in our relationships and the world around us.

Take a piece of paper. On one side, draw a picture of your family (it could be those who live in your home, or include cousins, grandparents or friends who are family). On the other side, draw a picture of God’s family. Talk about the ways in which they are similar and different and how your understanding of being a member of God’s family might strengthen your own family.



Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.


REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.