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How Can I Get My Busy Family on the Same Page?

Sometimes families can feel like they are running in different directions. Plus, in all that running it is hard to stay connected with each other and easy to lose sight of what matters most. If we want to prioritize our schedules, we must begin with scheduling our priorities. In other words, we must give priority to what matters most to our family. There will always be other things pulling at your time and attention, but when you are intentional with your schedule, you will make time to engage your family where it matters most. How do we get our families in a position to reset and refocus? One way we would like to suggest to you is a weekly family meeting.

Of course, you don’t have to call this gathering a family meeting. It can be a family gathering, family check-in, team huddle, or whatever language feels more inviting to members of your family. We will just simply refer to it as a family meeting. This is meant to be a weekly gathering in order to set up your family for the rhythm of what happens next. In our family, this happens on Sunday, which allows us to connect it with our time of worship, rest, and reflection. Remember a goal for this time is to coordinate schedules and activities, but the bigger goal is to schedule your priorities and turn the focus of your family to God. What happens in a family meeting? Ultimately this is up to you of course. Here are several things that could be helpful for your family to consider:

 Invitation – This means that part of your weekly check-in should be warm and inviting or even fun and engaging. It could be something as simple as a family game or making a dessert to share for this meeting. This time can be short and simple if needed, as long as everyone feels like they are part of the family.

2) Look back – This is an opportunity for your kids to talk and for you to listen. It can be brief and simple or longer and more in-depth depending on what you want to do. Having this time built in will also give you the opportunity to catch important things you may have missed from the week. Remember this is a time of sharing, not simply reporting information. Keep it personal and encouraging. Maybe you can ask them about their highs and lows or one thing you would keep and one thing you would have changed about this past week. You can direct this however you want as long It gives an opportunity for your family to hear from each other.

3) Look ahead – This is a check-in where you look at details for the week ahead. We recommend using a family calendar (like this one) to plan ahead and in order to be better organized for what is happening over the coming week. The value here is not simply organization, but it gives you an opportunity to speak value to any activities or remind your family why you invest in these opportunities on your schedule. Spend your time on the week in front of you, but remember to glance 2-3 weeks ahead so you are not caught off guard by those bigger events.

4) Eternal Truth and Weekly Goals – Take time to have a scripture of the week, a word of the week, or some other rhythm of truth that can keep your family focused on eternal truth. Remember, the point in getting organized in the first place is to create margin and rhythm to engage your family with eternal truth from God’s Word. In addition, have members of your family share short term goals for the week. It can be something simple from a personal goal to a family goal based on what you have happening that week.

5) Pray – Reflect on what you are thankful for and how you can pray for one another that week. Prayer can be a powerful way to unite your family in a common direction. This can be as simple as making a grateful list and a prayer list that you update each week before leading a family prayer.

There are many benefits to a family meeting. It allows your family to be proactive and feel a team-like atmosphere. It can help you control your calendar rather than your calendar controlling you. Best of all, it gives an opportunity for relational connection and allows you to model godly priorities for your family. You are teaching them to slow down and “be” rather than just “do” each week. You are even setting your kids up for rhythms they can carry into adulthood and with their own families.