Your Kids’ Ministry Christmas List!!
Finding good books for our kids and for our own souls can be tough! Below I have listed my top 5 books for each of the following categories: Preschoolers, Kids, and Parents. (Yes, I’m a kids pastor!)
Now, you don’t necessarily have to give these books and DVD’s away. Please don’t attempt to teach people with your gifts. If you think your friends are the worst parents ever, please don’t give them. Paul David Tripp’s new book, thinking, “That’ll show them!” Just no, please…no!
Rather, I hope that you and your families will find these books useful, helpful, and encouraging. In short, I want you to know that great resources do exists and don’t necessarily cost a ton. If one of the things below looks like it will minister to you and/or your family, grab it. And if you want to gift one of more of these books to your family and friends in love, go for it!
Ideas For Preschoolers
This wonderful new book consists of 100 chronological stories (50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament) that seek to help our children understand the scope and sequence of the Bible. Each story is beautifully illustrated, biblically sound, and is accompanied by two additional circles: A Christ Connect Circle that helps us understand how the story fits into the bigger Gospel narrative and an application question circle. As an added bonus, these stories directly tie into the Gospel Project Sunday School curriculum, allowing you to bring the Gospel Project right into your living room.
This hardcover book presents the gospel using the story book platform. As the pages turn, your preschoolers will be captivated by the beautiful and fun illustrations that help them see the significance of creation, the temple and the cross. As the words are read, your preschoolers will learn that Christ has come to deliver people from the sadness brought into the world by Adam and Eve. This is one of my preschooler’s favorite books. Yours will love it too!
This is one of my favorite preschool/kids’ Bibles because it doesn’t try to be a kids Bible. Starting with creation and ending with Jesus’ resurrection the book covers 12 biblical stories. By not being exhaustive, the book can recount each Biblical narrative as a story. The beautifully illustrated pages flow from one to the next. And last page of each narrative always ties the story back to the gospel. And the best part for us with young kids is: the stories only last 5 minutes!
It has finally happened! An App has become a book! The “Bible App For Kids Story Book Bible” entered the world of paper last year and become an instant hit. Each of the book’s gospel-centered Bible stories can be read in about 2-3 minutes. But what makes this preschool Bible stand out from all the rest is its free digital content. You can download the Story Book Bible app for free and get access to even more Bible stories the jump, talk, and spin. You also can go to the bibleappforkids.com website and download coloring sheets, videos, discussions guide, and much more. With this one preschool Bible, you can teach your kids the scriptures across all major media platforms (print, mobile and pc).
Divided into two volumes (one is Old Testament stories and one is New Testament stories) these Bibles are perfect for toddlers. Covering twenty Bible stories each, these books deliver gospel centered truth in a board format that your toddler eat on while you read!
Ideas For Kids
What book can help answer your kids’ questions, encourage their hearts to love God, and show them how to be radical follower of Christ? This one! As your 8-14 reads through this colorful book filled with pictures, illustrations, and photos, they will learn about how the Bible was formed, the doctrine of salvation, John Bunyan, the weapons used in biblical times, and much more more. This is by far one of the best Christian kids’ books out there. But I must warn you: If you get this book for your kids, you may find yourself wanting to read it as well!
If you are looking for a colorful book that explains theology to grade schoolers and middle schoolers without babying them, you need to grab a copy of The Ology. The book explores the subject of God, Scripture, humanity, salvation, the church, and many others. It sections contains colorful illustrations with written explanations of big theological truths and tons of Scripture references. You can use the book either as a family devotional using the discussion questions in the back or hand it off to your middle schooler and let him or her start learning the scriptures anew!
The ESV Student Study Bible is a great starter Bible for grade schoolers and older students. It is packed with tons of Bible study notes that help explain translation issues and the meaning of the text. . The Bible has its pages dotted with the profiles of famous men and women in the Bible and “Did You Know” text boxes that help children understand the historical context of various Scriptures such as when the Solomon compares his lovely bride to “a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” (Try that one at home sometime!) At the back of the Bible, students will find a section dealing with how to study the Bible, another section on important Christian Truths, a glossary, and a concordance. And if you have a child who likes color, they will like the fact that this Bible comes in bright orange, blue, green, purple, and a host of other options.
Ken DeYoung with Illustrations by Don Clark
The Bible is not just a collection of short stories. It has a central theme, a big picture. In The Biggest Story, Pastor DeYoung walks his readers through the entirety of the Bible in a playful, elegant, and hopeful manner. With each chapter, DeYoung shows kids that all of the Old and New Testament are about Jesus. DeYoung designed his book to be read aloud on Christmas morning as the family relaxes by the fireplace. You may not have a fireplace, but you will still benefit from adding this book to your Christmas traditions. It’s worth the read. And if you don’t want to read it, you can watch it! Click here to grab a copy of the DVD!
Have your kids every asked you about heaven? You know the questions: “Will it be boring, will our pets be there, how do we get there, etc.?” If they have, grab them a copy of Heaven for Kids. Based on Randy Alcorn bestselling book, Heaven, Heaven for Kids provides thoughtful answers to the above questions and many more. Each chapter is filled with stories, analogies, and scriptural explanations that bring the reality of heaven into full view for our children. Get a copy for your kids and help them start thinking through eternity this Christmas!
Ideas For Parents:
If you are easily stressed out by the commercialism and hectic pace of the Christmas season, you will find this book refreshing. In span of 148 small pages, Keller reminds our hearts just how magical the message of the Christmas story is. He shows us that the story of Christmas is indeed one of great joy because the greatest gift the world has ever known has come in the form of a baby to bring the light of salvation to our dark world!
Paul David Tripp
At times, parenting seems down right impossible. And at one level, it is. No one has the skills and abilities to parent well hour after hour. Thankfully, we are not alone. Paul David Tripp feels our pain! But he doesn’t leave us in our sorrow and frustrations. He points us us to 14 Biblical principles that will enable us to survive the day-in and day-out task of parenting.He points us to the Jesus who empowers unable parents to parent well! Grab your copy today!
After death and taxes, the next most certain thing is conflict. All men, women, and children (even the most mature) are still sinners who are prone to sinning. This little book helps us all put our relationships back together by focusing on how our love for Christ leads us to love others. Filled with tons of direct Scriptural applications, this is a must have for Christians. Conflict is coming! Be prepared!
Motherhood is hard. The world attacks the value and role of a mother but the Bible describes it as a sacred task given by God. Beyond Bath Time gives a realistic view of the struggles that moms face and encourages women to find hope and purpose in the mundane world as she studies God’s Word.
Church life can seem boring and mundane. But it should never be. As you interact with the Ripken’s incredible story, you will see that following God is an unbelievable task. The world is filled with dying children, crying mothers, and hopeless men. The need is greater than we can imagine. But our God is larger still. He makes missions go; He propels the gospel forward through our dark world, creating an amazing narrative of hope! In short, the Ripken’s story is one of insanity!