A couple of times a year I do an in-depth analysis of the analytics of Vibrant Faith @ Home, our content-rich website filled with more than 600 faith-forming activities for families of all ages and stages. My logic is simple: while the research tells us what they ought to do to grow in faith at home, the analytics can show us what they’re willing to do.
My analysis is also simple. I look at the most popular activities on the site and determine what characteristics are common among those activities. From this I develop a list of characteristics of a faith-forming activity that will actually get used at home.
Perhaps the most important characteristic is that it can be done in 10 minutes for less. And even this requires developmental flexibility. By that I mean for young families with toddlers, 10 minutes is eternity. It really needs to be less than five minutes! A good example from our summer season is Lightning Bug Prayers. For families with teens or households with adults, you can stretch it beyond 10 minutes. See Hope Sustains Teen Life as an example.
Each activity needs to be short, yes. But you can do a short bit everyday for a week, or a month, or even a season. This is where good “curation” comes into play. The congregational leader selects and sequences a series of activities for families to do for a designated period. For example, many church leaders are sending a weekly email to their young families throughout the summer with the invitation to engage in a different form of outdoor prayer, based on activities they’ve “curated” from Vibrant Faith @ Home.
Each activity is short, but the cumulative effect throughout the summer is positive and tangible.
So, as you curate faith-forming activities for families in your congregation, make sure it is short, 5-10 minutes, but look for ways to provide a short bit everyday for a week, a month, or a season.
– Leif Kehrwald