Taking Faith Home: What is it?
Taking Faith Home (TFH) is an annual resource that provides a different bulletin insert for each week during the church year. Here are some of its key features:
- Based on the Revised Common Lectionary used by many congregations
- Gives examples of each of the Four Key faith practices (caring conversations, devotions, service, and rituals and traditions)
- Includes a weekly prayer, Bible verse, mealtime prayer, and blessing.
- Offers suggested daily Bible readings and Hymn for the week
Who is the audience? Everyone.
How can one resource serve such a diverse population? Not every part of TFH needs to be used by everyone. Here’s how people tend to use it:
- Adults tend to use the daily Bible readings (though few do it without fail. One day is better than nothing and two is better than one)
- Parents and grandparents use the weekly blessings and mealtime prayers with their children. Sometimes they even add the weekly prayer at bedtime.
- Children like to use the conversations and devotions to hear and discuss how God’s love is with them always.
- People on the go (most of us!) grab a prayer, a Bible reading or something that connects them with God’s living Word as part of their journey of faith.
- Couples, parents, and teen mentors are drawn to the Caring Conversations to bond relationships in faith
- Most everyone can take a glance and wonder how to use something from Devotions during the week
- Service ideas and Rituals and Traditions are great for families and youth groups alike
- Any part of it can work for small group ministries: from weekly Bible studies to young adult gathering to social groups to leadership teams that want to be ground their relationships, work, decisions, and actions in the Christian faith.
How does a piece of paper get traction in people’s lives? There are lots of ways to use TFH in a congregation. Here’s some ways:
- A simple bulletin insert that brings God’s word home to be used as daily spiritual food
- It serves as a sermon help and a wonderful children’s sermon resource in worship
- A team-building resource for groups that want to be grounded in God’s living word (staff, council, vestry, session, and other governing boards, task forces, and teams)
- A tool for meaningful contact with shut-ins and those in hospitals and other care facilities
- A cross+generational faith formation tool that can be used to supplement Sunday school anytime during the year
- A meaningful resource for special seasonal gatherings like Advent and Lent
How does a congregation know if the tool is working? FIND OUT!!!
One of the most important ways to get TFH used in congregations is to communicate an expectation that it is a wonderful resource for staff, other congregational leaders, and the homes of those connected to the ministry of the congregation. Here are some ways to raise the expectations:
- Ask leaders how they are using it in their daily lives
- Introduce it in sermons and children’s sermons and then ask people how they used TFH during the week
- Use TFH at various gatherings. It reinforces the principle that if you want people to practice the faith at home, practice it together when people are at congregational events
- Check in with people. Find out what is working for different people and share the wonderful stories of how TFH blesses people’s lives. There is nothing like hearing “stories of success” to encourage others to give it a try
- Do random surveys with households and ask
- Do you know that we have Taking Faith Home?
- Do you take it home?
- Do you ever use it, and, if so, how?
- What stories can you share of how TFH has blessed your life and relationships?
You will be amazed at what you learn and how people will move from knowing they should use it to being excited when they do. More questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-300-0836.
- Enter into a short-term coaching relationship with Debbie Streicher or David Anderson to help your congregation implement a number of strategies that move TFH from being just another bulletin insert to a pearl of great value in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.