I love to discover what I call “faith hacks”—practical methods or techniques for living the Christian life. As I read, as I listen to sermons, as I speak to people, I am always looking for insights on how other Christians live out their faith in practical ways. I recently shared an ultra-practical way to display servant leadership and then a way to organize prayer. Today I am shifting to parenting.
I think every parent struggles with adequately shepherding his or her children, and especially shepherding them individually. It is easy enough to implement family worship, but what about each child’s specific concerns or needs? By the time we have taken care of every other responsibility in life, the hearts of our children can too easily become an afterthought.
Brian Croft offers his simple plan for individually shepherding his children, and it is as simple as blocking off a bit of time at the end of each day. Here is how it works: Each of his children gets one night to stay up beyond his or her usual bedtime. When the other kids go to bed, that one child goes and meets with dad. They read the passage he is going to preach that week, discuss it, and then read a chapter from a book the child has chosen to read. Then Brian asks how he can pray for them. He prays with them, then takes them to bed.
And that’s it. It takes just a few minutes, but offers several important benefits: It has been an encouragement to his wife as she sees her husband discipling the children; it has given him the ability to challenge other men in their efforts to disciple their children; and, of course, it has given him regular and dedicated opportunities to care for the souls of his children. It is a simple method and one that requires just a little bit of time and a little bit of scheduling.
See: How Can I Make Sure I Am Individually Shepherding My Children? at Practical Shepherding.