17 Jan Resources to Disciple Your Kids
It’s 2017! The year you’re finally going to start family devotions—now what? All the same old fears creep in as you realize you have no idea how to do the what. Relax. Take a breath. Step off the ledge. It’ll be okay. We’re here to help.
There is no excuse these days when it comes to resources for discipling your family. The options are plentiful and often inexpensive or free. Never in the history of the Church has such a wealth of information, teaching, and helpful resources been at our fingertips like it is now!
But, for many of us, we don’t use these resources simply because we don’t know what’s available. Since you may not know where to turn, we’ve done some of the legwork for you. All of the resources listed here are ones we either use or come recommended from leaders and teachers we trust. We’ve broken them down into four categories below:
When your children are younger, it helps to have stories adapted for them in a way that is accessible to them without losing the central theme and story of Scripture. Here are some helpful children’s Bibles:
- The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
- It’s All About Jesus Bible Storybook by The Gospel Project
- The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden by Kevin DeYoung
- The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton
Catechism may sound like an old, dusty, confusing work to you, but it shouldn’t be! In its simplest definition, to catechize simply means to instruct. Catechisms typically do this in a question and answer format, where the parent asks the child a question and teaches them a response. For example, “What is the chief end or man?” the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks. The answer, learned by the student, is “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Simple!
Thank God for the early Christians who did the hard work of doctrinal instruction in this form. This makes it easy for parents to use—the work is already done—and easy for children to remember. These days catechisms are making a comeback, and praise God for that. Here are a couple we’d recommend for you:
- New City Catechism (There’s a great iPad App available as well!)
- Westminster Shorter Catechism (Links to Apple App Download)
- Heidelberg Catechism (Links to Apple App Store Download)
Our churches are filled with singing not because someone once thought it would be a great idea, but because our God is a singing God (Zeph. 3:17). Christians are singing people and our homes should be (though, we do not say this as a law) filled with song and merriment. Whether acapella or accompanied with music, worshiping the Lord through song is important for children to see, hear, and learn. Here are a few hymnals you may be interested in.
- Then Sings my Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories by Robert Morgan
- Hosanna, Loud Hosannas by Dave and Barbara Leeman
Not to be forgotten are the many fantastic supplemental resources available. The Bible must remain superior, as it is the very word of God, but doctrinal and devotional books also have a place in family worship. Here are just a few of the many fantastic books on the market these days.
- Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth N. Taylor (3-6 years)
- The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New by Marty Machowski (6-11 years)
- The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith by Champ Thornton (8+)
- Words About Him: To Help You Worship Him by Nicholas Choy (3-6 years)
- Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God by Bruce Ware (6-11 years)
- Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski (6-12 years. Note: This particular study is through the Old Testament only. The author has written an accompanying book of the New Testament: Old Story New, link below)
- Old Story New: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski (6-12 years)
As you can see, there are plenty of resources available, and how you choose to use them is up to you. If all else fails (not that this is failure by any means), open your Bible, read a chapter of Psalms or a portion of Jesus’ teaching from Matthew, explain it simply, and pray. It really can be that simple. May this year be a year of growth and fruit for your family!
This article was written by Tom Jones.