I’ve been less active on this blog lately because of writing heavily for Seeds Family Worship. This year Seeds launched the Twenty-in-2020 initiative: an effort to help your family memorize twenty Bible verses together in 2020. The memorization part is really easy—even effortless—just listen to the songs (stream on any major platform, like Spotify or Apple music or download individual songs for free on this page). As I wrote for Seeds, there’s something almost magical about music that makes things sticky. Just by listening to these word-for-word Scripture songs, you can’t not memorize the verses.
Along with the songs, we’ve created four devotions per verse for your family to read at the dinner table. These devotions are designed to reinforce the main concepts of the theme verse and to help create conversation around the table. One of my favorites to write so far was for Joshua 1:9. Three of the four devotions were about John O’Leary and his amazing story of surviving a house fire (that he started, playing with gasoline in his parent’s garage) when he was nine-years-old. Read them here: Part one, two, and three.
James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits (which I’ve recommended more than any other book over the last two years), talks about the importance of “Habit Stacking.” If you want to start a new habit, try “stacking” it, or combining it, with an existing habit. You’re more likely to succeed when you do so. Example: “I will do five pushups when I stand up from my desk for Lunch.” Or, “When I open the fridge to get a snack, I will do five squats before putting anything in my mouth.” Combine a new habit with an old to create an association.
This is why at Seeds we’re pushing families to ditch the pressure of having some fancy “Family Worship Time.” That’s great if you already do, but if you don’t, the idea can be intimidating. Instead, try to help your family connect with God while you’re already gathered around the Family Table. This combines the new habit (talking about God) with an existing habit (eating food).
Story Based, Simple, and Short
We’ve tried to make it as simple as possible by writing story-based devotions. These tend to appeal to the entire family and at least give everyone something to talk about. The devotions won’t answer every question you have about a verse, but we hope it will get you talking, making some memories, and making Scripture more memorable together.
Keep it simple: once or twice a week, when you’re at your Family Table (or the picnic table, or the SUV console table – wherever!) go to the Twenty-in-2020 page and read a devotion. Let the Twenty-in-2020 palylist play in the background when you’re cleaning up dishes or going somewhere in the car. That’s it. If you want to get fancy, your younger kids might enjoy watching the videos (also on the landing page) and following along with the hand motions. But keep it simple to start. Over time you’ll see your family has almost effortlessly memorized twenty Bible verses. The goal is to get God’s word “hidden in your heart” (Psalm 119:9-11) so that it will change your heart over time.
You can sign up at the bottom of the landing page to receive email notifications whenever new devotions are released, which will be every Monday. When’s it’s all said and done, we’ll have 80 devotions, twenty songs, and twenty videos online, all free for your family to enjoy.