Over the last several months I’ve made it a point to read books on children’s ministry. I didn’t know much about it before I started in it this past June.
As I read, my understanding of children’s ministry has grown. And with that understanding, I’ve been able to more effectively serve the people God has placed in my life. Additionally, my passion for serving God has grown exponentially as well.
God’s Word is the most important and most influential book in my life, but God has also used other books to help me better do what He’s called me to do. Here are a few books that have helped to shape my ministry.
1) Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids (Jack Klumpenhower)
A wonderful book on raising your expectations in children’s ministry. Put another way, to not sell kids short on their ability to understand God’s Word by dumbing down the Bible to them, but instead to teach them all the truths of the Bible and clarifying difficult concepts for them.
The Gospel is the best news we could ever teach children, so one thing you’ll learn through this book is how to incorporate the gospel into every lesson you teach, no matter what passage of Scripture you’re teaching from.
2) Kids Ministry that Nourishes: Three Essential Nutrients of a Healthy Kids Ministry (Jana Magruder)
A great resource and reminder of what makes up a healthy kids’ ministry. A healthy kids ministry is one that appropriately applies the truths of the Gospel to the hearts of children.
Without this emphasis, children will be told what is right and wrong without the life-changing, Gospel-enriching truths being applied to their hearts and seeing the Holy Spirit change them on the inside, instead of attempting to fix their outward behavior apart from Christ.
3) Loving & Leading Children (Abb Thomas)
This book breaks down what it takes to build up a strong children’s ministry that spiritually prepares kids to enter their teen years. What kinds of questions should you be asking about your ministry to children?
The book gives us helpful things to think through regarding our ministry to children as well as provides us biblical answers to those questions.
4) Sustainable Children’s Ministry: From Last-Minute Scrambling to Long-Term Solutions (Mark DeVries; Annette Safstrom)
A helpful book on the importance of building up people who can serve in the children’s ministry. Based on Ephesians 4:12, pastors are called to equip the saints “for the work of the ministry”.
Children’s ministry leaders should be training up others to build up the body of Christ in the church. It’s when children’s ministry leaders can do this well that they will be able to serve families most effectively, and in the process, avoid ministry burnout.
Drew Williquette is the children’s pastor at First Baptist Church of Glen Este, Ohio. He has served in this capacity since June of 2019. He and his wife Jenna love serving the parents and children at First Baptist and would love to do what they can to help your child grow in the Lord.