Lounging in a hammock strung from the shady oak trees, sunglasses on, ice cold lemonade in one hand, and a great book in the other. This is my ideal picture of summer! Summer seems, for many of us, to be a time for sun, vacations, relaxing, and enjoying a new book. And for many teachers, it is also a time to re-focus and recharge for the coming year.
Even though you may not know what Sunday School will look like in the fall or how different it will be from previous years, it’s always good to get a refresher on the fundamentals of teaching Jesus to kids and young adults (plus it can count towards your CPH Reads goals). Summer is the perfect time to catch up on the latest books, technology, or resources that are available to enhance and further skills and knowledge. Here are five books about children’s ministry—from early childhood to young adult—that will have you feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the new year!
Reenergize Your Ministry
Getting energized (or reenergized) about your Sunday school program can often feel like a struggle, especially when you're trying to focus on the basics of the coming year, such as where classes will be held. Energizing Your Children’s Ministry starts with the initial understanding that re-evaluating your children’s ministry is as basic as your ABCDs: Assess your church’s needs, Build relationships, Create a leadership team, and then Define the focus. These key steps are essential in creating and leading children’s programs that inspire and educate children and their families.
With experience and personal anecdotes from the author’s more than forty years of children’s ministry work and personal anecdotes, this is a practical resource for church workers and volunteers who are passionate about reaching God’s littlest disciples with the Good News of the Gospel.
Understand the Foundations of Children’s Ministry
Coming up with a plan for your children’s ministry can seem like a daunting task to even the most seasoned teacher. Blueprints for Children’s Ministry can help you and your church understand the basics of children’s ministry, addressing questions such as: Why build a children’s ministry? What’s the difference between children’s ministry and child ministry? How can children’s ministry be constructed? This book offers Scripture-based tools for building a children’s ministry in your church. Find joy in serving as you partner with parents to lay a solid faith foundation for children.
Learn About Working with Special Needs Children
Do you feel like you could use more training on how to work with kids with special needs? If so, help is available! This collection of practical articles includes basic theories of child development, accommodating student needs and how those needs have changed throughout the years, ideas for adapting and modifying lessons, recognizing types of disabilities, and shaping attitudes others may have toward those with disabilities. Reaching Every Child gives you feasible, useful strategies for teaching the faith to all children.
Growing Your Youth Ministry
Teaching the youth of today is not always an easy task. It can be especially difficult teaching about God’s Word when they are bombarded daily with information from all directions. Youth ministry is about connecting childhood to adulthood and laying a solid foundation that encourages youth to stay connected to the church throughout their lives. But how do you do that in today’s society? You need to be encouraged too, and that is what Connected for Life is about. Read chapters written by people who know what it’s like to serve teens and their Savior. You’ll find guidance, encouragement, and advice on leading a youth ministry that supports young adults in their faith for life.
Education That Lasts a Lifetime
What happens when students “graduate” from their Confirmation classes? Is their spiritual learning over? Not at all. God’s Word works in the lives of students beyond instruction in the classroom. Timeless Truth: An Essential Guide for Teaching the Faith can help you focus on equipping students (whether young or old) for lifelong learning as they look to the timeless truth of God’s Word for answers.
This book uses current educational research and best practices to provide a practical framework for helping students embrace their lifelong identity as children of God. Find a philosophy for teaching the faith, uncover why confirming the faith matters so much, and look at strategies for designing lessons around the big ideas of the faith.
No matter where life takes you this fall, always remember that God will walk with you while teaching you about His promises to the next generation. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
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