For years I have argued that we need to seriously overhaul the majority of church’s children’s ministries. The best current research shows churches need to give the “problem children” more leadership responsibilities, teach the Gospel clearly and challenge them.
In the past, that meant churches largely needed to construct their own curriculum but that is not true anymore. Lately, there has been a number of excellent resources provided to children’s ministers that are orthodox and demanding.
Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible, (published by Zondervan in 2007 and aimed at -8 year olds) was the first shot across the proverbial bow. It took stories from Scripture that are usually broken into moralisms and demonstrated how they point to Jesus (see John 5:39). Next, William Lane Craig and Melissa Cain Travis both individually produced a series of fine apologetic books for younger children.
Now, former Los Angeles cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace and his wife Susie, with Rob Suggs, have penned a marvelous book for kids 8 and older. Cold-Case Christianity for Kids: Investigating Jesus with a Real Detective (David C. Cook, 2016) is a perfect addition to any parent or church’s library.
The books is broken into 8 chapters with sample work sheets perfectly designed for homeschool lessons or weekend children’s ministry sessions. The book challenges kids to investigate the claims of the Bible as detectives in training.
This short, accessible and well-written work teaches children how to think like a detective while tackling issues like the historical evidence for creation by an intelligent creator; how morality points to the existence of God; and the resurrection of Christ. The authors even spruce the book up with another little mystery for the detectives in training.
All current available evidence states that evangelical Christians are losing their children to secularism at younger and younger ages. As such, it is past time to serious revamp our approach to children’s ministry. If you have young kids at home, I recommend picking up all the works mentioned above and if you are a children’s minister, I strongly encourage you to pick up Cold-Case Christianity for Kids immediately. Heck, even this 44-year old lawyer enjoyed reading it!