I’ve been volunteering in the children’s ministry at our church for several years. I’ve taught in AWANAs, in Sunday school, worked in VBS, volunteered in Junior Church and spent time in preschool classes. However, the more time I’ve spent working in these classes, the more discouraged I’ve been about how often children don’t seem to be absorbing anything or experiencing God in their lives. So, it was with much interest that I began reading 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries by Michelle Anthony & Megan Marshman.
In this wonderful book, Anthony and Marshman outline seven key components of effective children and students’ ministry. These are:
- Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home
- Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs
- Teaching Scriptures as the ultimate authority of truth
- Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit’s power to teach and transform
- Engaging every generation in the gospel of God’s redemptive story
- Making God central in daily living and every biblical narrative
- Working with the community to further God’s will.
This book is a book that writes down so many of the ideas that I intuitively feel after spending time volunteering in children’s ministry. It was nice to see that my ideas were similar to ideas that others had been having. I enjoyed seeing how their efforts played out in practical real-life examples in their various ministries.
I especially loved hearing the ways that they had attempted to invite response to God into their ministry. One of these ladies had taken out the video game consoles in their student ministry and replaced them with a prayer wall for students and parents to come and pray and to write down their prayer requests. I love this. I love seeing that space is made for exercising a personal response to God and their attempts to equip the parents in their ministries for more effective discipleship of their children.
This is a book that is valuable for helping your children and students’ teams in equipping parents to disciple their children, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and teaching the Bible as a continuous story of God’s redemptive plan. This is a book that I’m going to directly give to my husband for his feedback and recommend to the children’s ministers I know.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review.