There you sit, your family gathered around you for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes (or more) on a Sunday morning for uninterrupted talk time—or singing time—or listening time together.
Sound like an idyllic dream? It can be a dream come true if you take full advantage of your family’s drive to church together under the consolidated meeting schedule. Following are some ideas that can help you use this time to enjoy the spirit of the Sabbath:
1. Study the scriptures. If your car is equipped with a tape player, either commercial scripture tapes or homemade ones using your own voices make for excellent listening. Or you can take along a portable cassette player, which will do just about as well. Or, a couple of strong voices and a copy of the standard works will serve the purpose, perhaps even better. Be sure to stop your listening or reading periodically to discuss what has been read.
2. Listen to good music. Sunday is a great day to broaden your musical horizons by listening to church music or classical works that the family doesn’t ordinarily enjoy together. Your car radio may provide the music; but if it doesn’t, a tape player will serve just as well.
3. Sing. This will probably work best with younger children, but given a little time even teenagers will join in the harmony. Let individuals take turns selecting favorite songs. On warm summer days, with the windows rolled down, the neighborhood can rejoice in your musical caravan.
4. Share lesson or talk preparations. Summarize for the family the major thoughts or ideas in your lesson or talk—and get some feedback from them. You’ll pick up useful hints, at the same time letting the family share in the results of your week’s work.
5. Play games. Gospel-oriented games, such as question-and-answer games that will not foster a spirit of competition, can help both parents and children review Church history and doctrine. This will also work with young children, given questions geared to their level.
6. Talk (on a pre-planned subject). Make notes on a subject you might want to discuss on the way to church. You can share the week’s frustrations, joys, and sorrows, as well as plan the coming week’s goals and activities. Remember, in this conversation your audience is somewhat captive—there’s no TV, phone, or doorbell to interrupt—and no one can leave.
7. Create something together. How about a family poem on a gospel subject? Or a hymn? The close proximity of the group lends itself very well to a family creation. Appoint someone as secretary to take down thoughts and ideas. Completion may take several weeks, but once done it will be a treasured family memento.
8. Do missionary work. Since your family will be together, why not invite a nonmember family to join you? Involve them in the activities you have planned. Another approach is to fellowship another member family by asking them to share your ride and activities.
9. Do genealogy. Bring your journals and write along the way. They may not be neat, but at least they will be written and can be recopied later. Take some family group sheets along and get the family members to assist you. Help each other with your personal histories by interviewing each other and taking notes. This makes for fascinating conversation as well as advancing your journal keeping.
10. Review what you learned at church. By dinner time some lessons of the day are lost, especially those of little children. On the drive home review what was discussed at the day’s meetings, share feelings, and let others know of any new commitments made as a result of the lessons.
A creative family will add to this list. At your next family home evening, discuss what you would like to do on your next drive to church. The highways can become byways of family growth and development.—Steve Toy, Otis, Colorado