NASHVILLE (BP) – Awana, the non-profit ministry focused on children’s discipleship, has announced the release of a new resource designed for biblically based family discipleship titled “Talk About.”
The resource is designed to assist parents with family devotions through a variety of means such as weekly Scripture conversation guides, shareable lesson plans and family activities charts.
For those who sign up, all resources are sent out every week on Thursday through email and on the website.
Shawna Murlin, content developer for the “Talk About” resource, told Baptist Press the resource’s name and foundation came out of Deuteronomy 6:6-7.
“Through this passage, Scripture is telling us that parents are to be talking about God’s Word non-stop, we’re supposed to be having conversations constantly with our children about God’s Word,” Murlin said. “Deuteronomy 6 gives us the why and how of children’s discipleship.”
She continued that the resource is designed to not only benefit children, but help equip parents as well.
“If parents know they’re supposed to be doing this, we thought ‘how do we equip the parent?,’” Murlin said.
“We wanted a resource that would help communicate a beautiful vision of family discipleship. Our main goal is that children know, love and serve Jesus, so the win is the family grows closer together and that family grows closer to God.”
Matt Markins, President and CEO of Awana, echoed the sentiment that the backbone of family discipleship is relational communication.
“We’re being commanded from the Scriptures to talk to our kids, and it’s clear that parents who are disciple-making parents talk to their children,” Markins said.
“If a basic foundation to an intimate relationship with their children is dialogue, then talk related to Christianity should not be a second language, but a heart language for families.”
Markins said he hopes this resource can assist local churches, including many Southern Baptist Churches that use Awana programming, with “becoming an equipping community that trains parents in discipleship.
“We’re giving parents what they need step by step so they have a long-term process and plan to cultivate disciples into young adulthood.”
He even hopes “Talk About,” will be a resource that has influence not only for biological families, but entire church families as well.
“I believe that in the experience of discipling children, both for parents and for church volunteers, those people are being discipled as well,” Markins said.
“We get letters ever year from people that say while they were in the process of volunteering with Awana, they actually did not realize they weren’t saved and ended up giving their lives to Christ. We believe volunteering with children can be a huge catalyst for discipleship growth.”
Markins concluded that while providing skills and resources is incredibly important, it is ultimately a biblical vision that propels discipleship.
“To make the Bible, the Gospel and discipleship central we have to go up to that vision level. We have to point parents’ eyes all the way to the end in Revelation 7,” Markins said, referencing the biblical passage about a future time when all believers will worship around God’s throne. “We want parents to think ‘I want my children to be there in that moment,’ so how can I engineer everything in my life and my kids’ life so that we are being formed by that Revelation 7 vision.”
“Talk About,” can be accessed at here, and those who sign up will receive the first 30 days of content free.