No one likes to feel like a failure. The primary emotion many parents feel when you begin to talk about family devotions is guilt. While guilt can be a temporary motivator, it will not help make permanent change in homes. Parents who try to have devotions out of a sense of guilt or failure will soon quit trying. Help parents let go of guilt by making it easy for them to succeed. The best way to set parents up for success is to have them start small. Encourage parents to make a commitment that is reasonable for their family and to put their commitment in writing. If they have not been doing any type of family devotion, suddenly trying to spend one hour a night in faith conversations is not going to happen. Small steps would include reading a Bible story to their child twice a week, praying together each day at bedtime, or actually completing that take home activity paper you provide each week.
Even the best plans can be forgotten if there is no accountability. Encourage parents to be accountable to other parents. Form discussion groups and prayer groups for parents to talk through their successes and struggles related to having faith conversations.
Another great way to set parents up for success is through practice. Plan a family fun night that includes a devotion led by the parents. Prior to the family fun night, give parents a copy of the devotion and gather supplies for them. During the family fun night, play several games or show a movie, and then ask families to find a quiet place where individual parents share the devotion with their children. By creating the right atmosphere and providing supplies for each family to engage in a faith conversation at church, you are helping parents realize that this is something they can do. As parents leave, give them a second activity to do at home with their children during the week.