Free marriage and family resources became even more accessible, April 1, when the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention launched its “@home” family ministry app. After a quick, no-cost download from the app store, users can find guides for weekly family devotionals, 5 to 8 minute videos on marriage and an assortment of other resources, all geared toward helping families grow together and grow in faith.
SBTC Discipleship Associate Lance Crowell says the convention developed of the app in answer to the increased focus of churches on family ministry.
“As the family ministry movement has begun to make strides in Texas, many churches are working to help families take spiritual leadership in their homes,” Crowell said.
The app provides guides for a family worship time that includes prayer, a focal Bible verse, discussion and a weekly memory verse. In the fly out tab for each week, parents can also find discussion guides geared specifically for the ages of their children designed to point them in a direction for discussion and application. Those weekly guides are all housed in the devotions section of the app’s family area. In the resources section, parents can find additional helps such as articles about Easter traditions and Passover.
“What’s great about this app is that it provides weekly family devotionals, and there are even age-graded applications, so if you have preschooler or you have a pre-teen, there are things that you can do for both of those,” said SBTC Women and Children’s Associate Emily Smith.
Since the family’s spiritual health and growth hinges upon a good relationship between husband and wife, Crowell and Smith point out, the app has an entire section devoted to marriage building.
Steve and Debbie Wilson, founders of Marriage Matters Now, sit down with each other in short video devotionals geared for couples, walking through passages such as Ephesians 4 and Philippians 2. Under the resource tab, couples can find practical wisdom for living out marriage at home, such as “The Tech Battle at Home” and “The Power of Words.”
Crowell said this entry level tool will help establish spiritual disciplines in the home for the vast majority of church members who do not already have any such habits.
“One of the things that we focus on is that this is really an entry level tool,” Crowell said. “If your family does weekly devotions this might be a bit too basic for them. We believe that 80% or more (just an estimate not hard facts) of church families do nothing spiritually at home each week, so this has been designed to get them started. This is truly the first step. We did not want it too big, but we wanted it to be something that could develop spiritual patterns and disciplines for families.”
The SBTC offers these resources completely free to any downloader thanks to churches’ faithful support of the Cooperative Program.
To download the app, search “SBTC Family App @Home” in the app store. The @home app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android Phone, Android Tablet and Windows Phone.