• The Whole Story for the Whole Family


The Whole Story for the Whole Family is the family devotional parents need to help their kids grow in their faith.

Parents are called to be the primary spiritual influence in the lives of their children. That means we, as parents, should help them know and understand the Bible so they can know, love, and understand God and His Son, Jesus. But so many parents feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of discipling their children. Where to begin?

The Whole Story for the Whole Family is a step in the right direction. In an easy-to-use and simple format, this devotional guide will equip parents to start teaching their children the Bible. Rather than seeing the Bible as a mis-matched collection of random stories about different characters in history, your kids can see the Bible as one story, woven throughout space and time, with one character standing at the center: Jesus. Through the use of an object lesson every day, digestible sections of Scripture, and simple discussion questions, The Whole Story for the Whole Family can help.


  • The Whole Story for the Whole Family sample chapter

  • Michael Kelley on The Build Your Best Family Podcast

  • Michael Kelley on Mornings with Carmen


the author

Michael Kelley is a husband and father of three who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he serves as the Sr. Vice President of Church Ministries for Lifeway Christian Resources. He is also the author of Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal: A Boy, Cancer, and GodBoring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life, and Growing Down. Follow him on Twitter at @_michaelkelley or read more content like this at michaelkelley.co.

author q&a

Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?

It took our family a long time to actually start having a daily devotion time together. But having done so pretty consistently for the last 10 years, it has played a major role in shaping who we are. As we have done this, we developed our own rhythm and I decided that perhaps other families might benefit from that same kind of rhythm. So I wrote the book in a pattern that fits what we have done.

At the same time, I wanted to write something that would help parents teach their kids the main storyline of the Bible with Jesus as the central character. Hopefully, the book will help the family see how the Bible fits together, but do so in a really approachable way.

For whom did you write this book?

I wrote the book for parents like me, who had the desire to spiritually lead their families, but just had trouble getting started. So I wanted to make sure that the book was really simple, really easy to use, and that the pattern in it was realistically achievable for a family who is willing to commit to it.

In today’s technological, fast-paced culture, why is it necessary for families to spend time together reading the Bible?

The Bible doesn’t just tell us what to think; it shapes the way and manner in which we think. When we, as families, spend consistent time together reading God’s Word then our minds begin to be formed by the Bible. This helps the family think through all the issues that come at them in the culture today. 

But the bigger reason is one of simple obedience. I believe God’s intent is that parents are the primary spiritual influences in their children’s lives, and one of the main ways we do that is by reading the Bible together.

Talk about what this has looked like in your own family’s life. How old were your children when you started reading the Bible together as a family? How has this time been formative in their understanding and appreciation of God’s word?

We first started reading the Bible together when our kids were 6, 3, and less than a year old. We had to establish a new routine in the morning in order to do it then – lunches had to be made the night before, all homework done, and everybody had to be ready for school and work at the same time. But establishing that routine early has really served us well in multiple ways, not just having devotion time together.

As the kids have gotten older, we have steadily moved to a place in which they are now not just participants, but actually take turns leading the devotion to our family. I sincerely hope that having them not just listen but lead helps them gain the confidence that they can read the Bible for themselves, and that they can do this same thing for others in the church and their own families.

How can this devotional help parents who are not sure where to start when it comes to discipling their children?

The book is really just a tool. Hopefully, though, it’s a really approachable and achievable tool. I think parents can let themselves off the hook a little bit here and understand that the win, at first, is not having a revival break out over eggs and toast every morning. The win is consistency because reading the Bible is a bit like cooking with a crock pot. We can’t “microwave” spiritual growth and understanding into our kids. They need to sit in it; soak it in. And we, as parents, trust that over time the Lord will actually change their hearts.

What do you hope families will do or take away after reading this devotional?

I hope families have a better understanding of how the Bible fits together, and how everything really points to Jesus. But I also hope that parents have a renewed sense of calling and confidence that they can actually plan a significant role in the spiritual lives of their children. It’s important to remember that the daily devotion time whether with this book or another one is not the end game; it’s a launching pad. The time we spend together each morning ought to be the groundwork that lets us have many, many more conversations about life, feelings, and everything else, but those conversations are framed by the thinking around God’s Word.

press inquiries

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The Whole Story for the Whole Family,
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