Arch Books, The Story Bible, Follow and Do, Growing in Faith, and Portals of Prayer for Kids—all of these titles are children’s books and resources that are used to foster the knowledge of Christ in children twelve and under. Maybe you’ve bought some of these books for your own children. Maybe it was just last week. Or maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve had little ones in need of spiritual nourishment. So, what do you do with books you no longer need? Or with books you simply no longer need to hold onto? Below are a few ideas to consider.
Make a special book box.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, I understand that this topic might be a little emotional. I’m all for sentimentality. My mom can tell you a story about me crying on the bumper of the van we were selling when I was seven years old. I’m someone who holds onto things way past their usefulness because of the memories attached. So believe me when I say that I’m not asking you to get rid of every book you may not need in your household anymore. I suggest first going through your books and pulling out the ones that meant the most to your family. Put them in a special box to be taken out at family gatherings to reminisce over. Be picky about the ones that are truly important—yes, I am asking you to employ the Marie Kondo method and keep only the titles that “spark joy.”
Put books in the church library.
My home congregation resides in a small, rural town I can only describe as middle-of-nowhere, America. They just started building up a library in the church. It’s currently just a small bookshelf near the coffee and tea station, but it’s been a blessing to the congregation. It’s a place we can direct members and newcomers to find resources on topics they are struggling with. By giving your Christ-centered resources to your church, you ensure that they are used for years to come to instruct others in the faith.
Place books in a little library.
Evangelism can be difficult; I, like many other people, sometimes feel intimidated by it. And this is coming from someone who is in the faith because Jesus used someone else to ask me to church! But evangelism isn’t a one-size-fits-all box, and there are many ways you can reach out in the mission field. One way is taking your unused books and putting them in a little library. Little libraries are those boxes filled with books that sit on people’s properties, in public parks, and sometimes outside of churches. Anyone can stop by and take a book or leave a book for others to enjoy. By putting Gospel-centric children’s books in a little library, you are sharing the Good News of Christ with the mission field that is your community.
Give to a supported-living community.
This option may seem a bit strange, especially if you aren’t familiar with what a supported-living community is. At a supported-living community, customized support is giving to those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In these communities, staff members work with residents to reach their personal goals and help them live independent lives. And if there happens to be a Bethesda Lutheran Community in your area, the staff members also provide support in spiritual matters and faith-building. These supported-living communities want the adults in their care to have Bible-based resources where learning with clarity is the priority. So, use discernment when donating your books to places like this and check that they are written for all ages, have realistic illustrations, and do not say “for kids” on the cover!
Don’t have children’s books to donate but still want to give books? Consider turning this motivation into a project to simply purchase titles for any of the worthy causes listed. Hop over to cph.org. You never know what deals might be going on or how your generosity could impact generations to come.
A Bible that focuses on clarity for students of all ages: