What Are You Doing for Advent?

I've been trying to figure out what our family will do for Advent this year. More specifically, I want to know how to lead and disciple them in spiritual formation, as we worship the Lord together.

We have used a number of different materials over the years, for family devotions and my own personal devotions. Some of you have traditions that are meaningful for your family.

In my process of figuring out what we will use, I came across this Gospel-centered Advent material from Austin Stone. For a low price of $5, it was a worthy purchase!

The material has two parts:
  1. Personal devotional material for adults (and teenagers).
  2. Family devotional material to lead your children.
    • BONUS: They also give you coloring sheets to make ornaments. 
    • Negative Bonus: I can't stand when illustrators distort the Bible's descriptions, as in the case of these coloring sheets. Our children need better than a tiny Noah's ark and wimpy angels.
I just finished reading through the Bible chronologically, so I may use this personal devotional material. (However, since I've also been writing in my kids' bibles, I may not cover all the Advent material here). And the family devotional material in this book looks great!

Edit: Apparently it's free now. Lucky you!

Other Options

Before I came across this material, I was considering teaching my children about 31 names of God, for the month of December.** However, I can always do that another time. Remember, Don't Be a Seasonal Christian Parent!

And just after I wrote this post (and bought the other advent guide), I learned about the Grace Church Advent Guide. This looks great, and is in a simpler, 5-week format.

Really, anything you use (for the most part) will be beneficial. Just do something!

What will your family be doing for Advent devotions? Is it something traditional, or new?

And if you haven't started yet, it's not too late to catch up!

** If you're curious, here is the list of 31 names of God that I was going to use (and will probably still use in the future):
  1. Theos (New testament) – supreme being
  2. EL, ELOAH: God "mighty, strong, prominent" (Genesis 7:1)
  3. ELOHIM: God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7) (Genesis 1:1).
  4. EL SHADDAI: “God Almighty,” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5)
  5. ADONAI: “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15)
  6. YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH: “LORD” Exodus 3:14; (Deuteronomy 6:4)
  7. YAHWEH-ELOHIM: "LORD God" (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5)
  8. YAHWEH-JIREH: "The Lord Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14)
  9. YAHWEH-RAPHA: "The Lord Who Heals" (Exodus 15:26)
  10. YAHWEH-NISSI: "The Lord Our Banner" (Exodus 17:15)
  11. YAHWEH-M'KADDESH: "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy" (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28)
  12. YAHWEH-SHALOM: "The Lord Our Peace" (Judges 6:24)
  13. YAHWEH-TSIDKENU: "The Lord Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16)
  14. YAHWEH-ROHI: "The Lord Our Shepherd" (Psalm 23:1)
  15. YAHWEH-SHAMMAH: "The Lord Is There” (Ezekiel 48:35)
  16. YAHWEH-SABAOTH: "The Lord of Hosts" (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7)
  17. EL ELYON: “Most High" (Deuteronomy 26:19) (Gen 14:18-20; Heb 7:1)
  18. EL ROI: "God of Seeing" (Genesis 16:13)
  19. EL-OLAM: "Everlasting God" (Psalm 90:1-3)  
  20. EL-GIBHOR: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) (Revelation 19:15)
  21. Other names in Isaiah 9:6. . . .
  22. Word – John 1:1
  23. Lamb -- Rev 5:16; I Cor 5:7
  24. Immanuel  -- Isaiah 7:14
  25. Son of David – Matt 1:1
  26. Son of Man – Matt 8:20
  27. Alpha, Omega, Beginning, End – Rev 21:6; 22:13
  28. Ancient of Days -- Daniel 7:9
  29. Teacher – John 13:13
  30. High Priest – Heb 3:1; 4:14
  31. Redeemer – Job 19:25
If you want this list (and some other notes I had) in email form, just contact me.

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