How to disciple your family on vacation

by Mark Smith, Faith at Home

Monday, July 2, 2018

School classrooms are empty, and the days of summer have begun. It’s time for cookouts, swimming pools, fireworks and family vacation.  

Vacations give parents and grandparents extra opportunities to spend quality time with their children and grandchildren. It’s a special time for the entire family to visit new or favorite places, enjoy God’s beautiful creation and make memories that will last a lifetime.

This summer why not make the most of your time away from your busy schedules and continue to disciple your family while on vacation? Here are some easy ways you and your family can make this year’s vacation unique.

Enjoy the ride
As you travel down the road, be creative and make up a story together. Have someone begin the story and let everyone contribute by adding an idea. As the story unfolds, write down the main points or draw pictures to help your family remember your fictional adventure. When finished, talk about God’s bigger story that is true. Check out Faith at Home’s Family Summer Guide, which includes pointers for telling “God’s Big Story.”

Build a sandcastle
If you and your family visit the beach, a great group activity is to build  a sandcastle. Share some history of how kings used to make their homes in castles. With your visual masterpiece in the sand, read John 14:2-3 and say, “One day we will live forever in God’s house.”

Go on a hike
No matter if you are at the beach or in the mountains, there are always great places to go on a hike. During your excursion read Psalm 36:6-7: “Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings” (CSB). Ask your family, “What ways do you see God caring for you?”

Worship under the stars
Pick a night on your vacation to stay up late. Watch a movie, churn some ice cream or play board games. Following the activity and after the sun goes down, go outside with a flashlight and your Bible to talk about how God is always there and never sleeps. Click here for more information on this discussion. See the “My Help” activity in the Family Summer Guide for more.

Visit a church
If you are on vacation over a weekend, find a church and attend one of their worship services. You will easily be able to talk about what you learned about the Lord through the music and sermon. Also, use this opportunity to help your family see that all churches are really one big church under God’s direction.

Photo sharing
Using a smartphone app, create a way for everyone to share their photos to an account and label it, “Vacation Memories 2018.” Have fun uploading and commenting on everyone’s posts. A few weeks after your family vacation, gather everyone together and have a slideshow from your trip. Then ask, “What memories did we make?" 

Family vacations are great ways to make memories, be disciple-makers of your children and grandchildren and invite the Lord into every aspect of your life.

Remember the apostle Paul’s encouraged to us in Ephesians 5:16-17.“Pay careful attention, then, to how you live — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (CSB).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mark Smith serves the as the senior consultant for Family Evangelism and Discipleship with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.