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5. Leading a Devotion

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The devotion is a key component of your visit. First, it is a specific way to share  God's Word with the member. Second, it serves as a teaching example for family devotions.​

This section summarizes some of the principles from Chapter 14 “Caring for the body of Christ” (Built on the Rock, pages 250-264). 


Leading a devotion often is the most significant part of a member visit. During the devotion, you are sharing God’s Word with the member and praying together.


Because many households do not regularly have devotions, leading a devotion demonstrates how it is done and encourages people to begin a new practice. This helps serve the purpose of Christ’s commission to teach and make disciples.


You need not prepare a different devotion for every visit. Develop a few standard devotions for different kinds of visits (e.g., average home visit, hospital visit, someone going through difficult times, grieving family).

What to Include in a Brief Devotion

Scripture Reading

Although meditations written by Christian leaders may be helpful, nothing replaces the power of God’s Word. Always include a direct reading from the Bible in all your devotions.


Praying is always important in your devotions. Consider the following ideas:


  • Prepared prayers from hymnals, catechism, devotion booklets

  • Luther’s Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer.

  • The Lord’s Prayer.

  • Prayers from the heart (ex corde).

Brief meditation (optional)

A short meditation on the text may be helpful, but not necessary.


  • May come from a devotional book, such as Portals of Prayer (CPH), Forgiven to Forgive (Ambassadors of Reconciliation), A Reason for Hope (Ambassadors of Reconciliation) or other devotional resources.


  • An open discussion by the group on the scriptural reading (have some questions available to invite discussion).


  • Be certain that your meditation time rightly distinguishes between Law & Gospel.


  • Ensure that the Gospel is clearly articulated. This may be the last time that a person hears the Good News for him or her.


  • Avoid using a meditation as a replacement for reading from the Bible.


  • Don’t preach – this is a short devotion, not a sermon!

Hymn (optional)

Hymns offer great reflections on different biblical texts. Music helps people remember the message long after the devotion has ended.


  • Hymns may be sung (when appropriate) or read together.


  • Use some hymns as prayers.

Resources Available to Prepare a Devotion


Use hymnals for resources when preparing a devotion. For example, you will find the following in Lutheran Service Book (LSB) by Concordia Publishing House (CPH, 2006):


  • Readings of the day (Daily Lectionary from LSB, p. 299).


  • Psalms (LSB, pp. 1-150).


  • Prayers (“Prayers, Intersession, and Thanksgivings” from LSB, p. 305).


  • Hymns can be sung or read. Many can be read as prayers (e.g., LSB #769 “Eternal Spirit of the Living Christ”).


  • A brief rite for devotions. For example, see “Daily Prayer – For Individuals and Families” (LSB, p. 294), where you’ll find a brief rite for different times of the day:


  • Morning


  • Noon


  • Evening


  • Close of Day

Devotion booklets and websites

A huge array of devotions are available. Choose simple ones to keep your devotions brief and easy for teaching others how to use.




  • Books available from Concordia Publishing House (


  • Devotional materials available from Christian book stores. However, critically review all material for doctrinal content prior to using.


  • Especially look for the proclamation of the Gospel.


  • Be aware of errors that contradict Scripture or the teaching of your church.


Bibles frequently feature devotional helps including suggested readings, prayers, etc.

Catechism and other instructional materials

Note that these sources often include devotional helps as well, including:


  • Prayers.


  • Scripture readings.


  • Use short sections from the catechism for meditation (e.g., the explanation to the second article of the Apostles’ Creed).

Complete this lesson by preparing a brief devotion

Prepare your own devotion or reference one you have chosen to use. Remember to include at least: Remember to include at least:

  • Scripture Reading

  • Prayer

  • Brief Meditation

Submit to Conversation
Created Date
1. Commit to regularly attending Bible study.
2. Commit to personal daily devotions.
3. Commit to personally visiting members in my assigned zone of responsibility.
4. Preparing one or more devotions that I can use in my home visits.
5. (If not the chairperson) Commit to preparing any reports for my board and sending them to the chairperson at the time requested.
6. (If the chairperson) Commit to requesting reports well ahead of meetings, preparing, and sending in advance the agenda, minutes, and all reports to those responsible for attending the meeting.
3. Commit to praying for our pastor(s) in his(their) presence during board meetings.
4. Commit to reviewing all reports between meetings so that our time together can be better spent discussing and making decisions.
5. Commit to organizing our board so that every member is visited regularly every year.
7. Commit to regular performance reviews for our pastor(s), prioritizing listing things that he does well, identifying one or two areas for improvement, and together developing a continuing education plan supported by the congregation.
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