Faith Formation in Families

Advent calendars and activities>

Faith formation ideas for daily family life>

Faith Development in Families>

Helping Children deal with natural disaster/tragedy>

Faith 5 Family Huddles>

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Teaching Values in Families>

Advent calendars and activities

  • Intergen Team’s Advent activities for families or church use, includes crafts, decorations, puppets, Advent Calendars, Advent candle liturgies and more.
  • Uniting World’s Advent Actions Calendar
    On this page, scroll beneath the Advent resources for churches and you will “Love over tinsel – a journey through Advent in 25 actions” that is free to download and/or sign up to get a daily email to inspire you to action. This resource challenges you to take one action each day that puts the focus on Joy, Hope, Peace & Love in the midst of all the busyness
  • Advent activities and Advent calendar ideas
    Activities for homes and churches collated by Uniting Church NSW/ ACT:
    --an Advent Treasure Hunt,
    --Advent Story Box,
    --Advent Paper Chain,
    --and two Advent Calendars. (You may want to check dates/days are correct for 2017 and that the activities will work for families in your context.)
  • Edible Christmas Story
    This activity could be done in a home or church, with children or people of all ages.
  • Advent calendar candle idea
    A simple candle with numbers 1 – 24 attached. Once a day as a family light the candle then chat, pray or be thankful while the number burns down.

Faith formation ideas in daily family life

  • Messy Lyfe: Living Life with Jesus by Rob Hare and Lucy Moore
    6 week devotional for families at home about how Jesus is always with us so how do we learn how to be with him? Each week gives things you could do or ways to respond that are already part of your day/week. These simple actions won’t add to your to-do list. Could also be used by a family life group.
  • God centred Mom “This blog chronicles my messy journey of “relentlessly replacing ‘me’ with ‘He'. Sharing the daily struggle of remaining God-centered while mothering four wild-at-heart, energetic and often stubborn boys,” writes Heather MacFadyen. This resource has been used by Laura Carson, Intergen Project Worker, Northeast Adelaide, “This site has really good resources to use at home, using resources that are around the house. And good Lenten resources, too.” 

Faith development in families

Family Ministry is an approach to ministry and programming, not a specific program. The Family Ministry approach assumes that:

  • Christian faith involves living out beliefs and values in every relationship, arena and calling of life.
  • The family* is the primary social unit in which, through which, and to which Christian ministry happens.
  • Christian faith is caught more than it is taught. It is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through trusted personal relationships — often in families.
  • Congregations have a duty to equip and encourage parents to nourish, communicate and pass on faith to children in their own home.
  • A faith community is called to work for the welfare of the individuals and families in the wider community, particularly for children and people with special needs.
  • The Christian congregation is an extended family made up of people of several generations caring for one another.

*Family Ministry relates to people's actual 'closest relationships' rather to any specific definition of what constitutes a family or household; and it relates to all-adult households as well as those with young children.

This short document offers many practical ways that churches can support families with faith development, as well as helpful resources and courses. Faith Development at Home (430 kb PDF)

This document offers 10 prompts – ideas, tips, and resources – for families and churches that encourage faith formation in the home. The big ten Faith at Home (41 kb PDF)

Helping children deal with natural disasters/tragedy

The lives of Australian children are often affected by natural disasters across our country, such as floods and bushfires. Some of our children have experienced direct, physical loss. All of our children see graphic pictures of what happens around the country during a natural disaster or other tragedy. 

As caring Christian leaders we need to deal with children's fears and questions. Below is a reprint of the March, 2009, issue of Faith Family. The short articles on 'Shared tears', 'Disaster's questions and Easter's answer', 'Difficult times' and 'Dealing with tragedy' can be helpful for both parents and ministry leaders.

You are welcome to download, reprint and use any of this material however please identify its source.