Simply put, it’s Dads doing Bible Studies with their kids with other Dads and their kids. For over the 26 years, Practice Ministries has become a way for thousands of Dads around the world to teach their children God’s Word and direct their children to keep the way of the Lord by doing Bible Study with them. Questions? Contact us.
This is the number one most FAQ we receive. Here’s the answer: Doing it is the right way to do it! The only way to not do this right is to not meet. We do offer some guidelines called Practice Makes Perfect which can help your Bible study run smoothly and over time your group will develop its own rhythm and personality.
If you’re interested in learning more, or are ready to start your own Practice Ministries group, you can click here – Start a Group. Have a question you can’t find an answer to? Please contact us here.
The leaderbook is written as a guide to help dads leading the lesson to lead it well. In your group, you will have dads from every stage of spiritual maturity. The leader book was written in a discussion style with suggested answers to questions asked for the dad who needs a strong track to teach from. Some dads literally read the lesson word from word and it works great. Some dads will take a look at the lesson and use it as a guide but will blend in examples from his own experiences and make the lesson totally his. As long as the integrity of the lesson is kept and the group can follow along, each dad can adapt the leaderbook to his own style.
The workbook was put together for dads and kids to have a way to prepare for Bible study. We affectionately call it “homework.” Each page in the workbook corresponds to the same number lesson in the leaderbook and is a one-page summary of that lesson. Doing the workbook is totally optional but many dads have found it to be their favorite part of the study. The time together puts you in the spiritual driver seat in your family just by making time to sit down together and open the book.
We have found that about 2nd grade age is a good age, but we have had groups that begin as young as Kindergarten or 1st grade. The key to a younger age is to keep the lesson short – present one or two main points from the lesson and continue in it the next time you meet. By the way, we’ve had many groups go all the way through high school together and Practice Ministries has lesson series for Kindergarten to High School ages.
The short answer is yes, of course, you may combine different ages or grades in a group. Over the years, though, we have found it is best if the age difference in a group is no larger than two grades. For example: Combining 1st and 2nd grade, or 3rd and 4th grade works, but combining 3rd and 6th grade ages will lessen the effectiveness for both. However, if logistics dictate that you have two grades or more together, i.e.: 1st grade brother comes with your 4th grade son, then teach to the 4th grade level and let the 1st grader rise up to that level.
Yes, of course, boys and girls can be in the same group. However, part of Practice Ministries is social with kids getting to be with their friends, and at some ages, you will speak to boys and girls differently. So we have found that as much as possible, keeping the Bible studies dads and sons, and dads and daughters is best.
There are many conferencing tools available to set up a virtual bible study and we have found Zoom to be the most effective option. If you would like assistance with setting up a virtual Bible Study, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
Yes, moms may be a part of Practice Ministries. We have had mom-daughter groups that use Practice Ministries’ material for Bible study. While Practice Ministries model is father-son and father-daughter as we believe that fathers are biblically commissioned to be the spiritual leaders in the family, there are instances when a father is not in the home for whatever reason, and of course, Mom is welcome! Practice Ministries groups have often been a blessing for single-moms as dads bring her son or daughter so he or she has an “adoptive dad” for the morning.
For groups deciding about meeting weekly or every other week, there are pros and cons for both. Every week pro: it’s easier to get into a routine; con: there is generally less attendance. Every other week pro: there’s generally better attendance; con: it’s harder to establish a consistent discipline and rhythm.
If you have more than one child you want to do this with, you may want to consider alternating weeks with the different age groups, i.e.: a 2nd grade group on the first and third Thursdays of the month, and a 4th grade group on the second and fourth Thursdays.
The best answer: go with whatever works best for most in your group.
A child absolutely may come if his dad cannot attend for whatever reason. You are welcome to be an “adoptive dad” for that child and bring them to the study when his or her dad cannot attend. By the way, we have many granddads who bring their grandchild to Bible study.
A group of about 10-12 dad-kid couples is a great size. At the minimum, you’d like a group of about 4 couples just so it doesn’t get too small in case one or more couples can’t attend the study.
Of course. We set up the Bible study for the community aspect of faith but if the group you’re interested in meets during a time when its hard for you and your son or daughter to attend, then, by all means, please do this one-on-one. Whether in a group or one-on-one, you are teaching God’s Word to your child and helping him or her be disciples of Jesus Christ.
We do not charge for our materials or to participate in a Bible study, but we do have a budget to meet. We send a letter out once a year asking participants to consider if willing and able to make a contribution. Gifts can be made by check or made on-line here.
Our director, Bill Zukoski writes all the lessons and devotions. You can access the lesson library here.
You can learn more about the directors here.
See here for the story of how it all began.