Gospel Centered Family

Helping families and churches share Jesus with the next generation.

5 New Books For Families (Just in Time for Easter)

Jared KennedyComment

Here are 5 new books that are out for families this Winter just in time for Easter. I haven't had a chance to look at them all yet, but I'm excited about jumping in. Take a look: 

1. What's Up? Discovering the Gospel, Jesus, and Who You Really Are by Deborah Harrell and Jack Klumpenhower. Deborah and Jack have taken C. John Miller's Sonship  materials and they've turned them into a study a for middle school kids. I got the opportunity to read through this in advance of it's publication, and I love it. You know, preteens can be critics. It's part of how many of us grow at that age. Deborah and Jack know the best way to fight a critical spirit--a clear vision of Jesus an honest assessment of our hearts, and a faithful commitment to working out the implications of the gospel in our relationships. I'm currently working through this study in the evening with our ten year-old, Rachael, and I'm excited about teaching it to middle schoolers at Sojourn in the future. You don't want to miss it. 

2. The House that's Your Home by Sally Lloyd Jones and Jane Dyer. Here's a new children's book by the author of the Jesus Storybook Bible that looks like a great Easter gift. Sally tells us on her blog that the idea for this book came from the mouth of a child:

One day on the corner of Amsterdam and 76th Street in New York City, I heard a little girl, riding her father’s shoulders, say: 'A girl is a daughter, And a boy is a son.' And I knew I had the beginning of a picture book. They became the first two lines of The House That's Your Home. Someone said that the first two lines of a poem give you the DNA for the rest of the poem. I was given the DNA for this book by a child. She was trying to define where she belonged. And who belonged to her. And that's what this book is all about.

3. Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth N. Taylor. Illustrated by Jenny Brake. It has been marketed as a new systematic theology for kids, but this book actually marks the re-release of an old children's ministry classic. Ken Taylor was the creator of the Living Bible, and he was the founder of Tyndale Publishing. I love his Christ-centered approach to teaching the basics of the Bible to Toddlers and Pre-K kids in this book that was originally released by Tyndale back in the 1996. You might look around your children's wing and see if you have an older version of the book to review before placing an order. If you find an old one, you'll certainly want to consider ordering the update. Because what's brand new about the book are Jenny Brake's excellent mixed media illustrations. 

4. Dedicated: Training Your Children to Trust and Follow Jesus by Jason Houser, Bobby Harrington, and Chad Harrington. I love Jason Houser's music. He's the founder of Seeds Family Worship.  I also love his commitment to equipping parents to teach God's Word to their children. Now Jason has a new book out that he's worked on with the founders of discipleship.org, father and son, Bobby and Chad Harrington Here is one of the endorsements from Jeff Vandersteldt, visionary leader of the Soma Family of Churches: 

During my interactions with Bobby I have found him to be very passionate about the church’s mission for disciple-making. He is not just concerned that this happen in our gatherings. He is committed to seeing this happen in all of life. I’m grateful that he is applying his passion and experience to better equip the church to grow in discipleship in the home. I’m especially thankful to see a book coming out of his own experiences with his son. What a gift to have a father and son contribute out of their learning to further ours.

5. Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional by Scott James. Here is a new devotional from the publisher of the Gospel Story for Kids curriculum. It has received high praise from several children's ministry leaders I respect. Here is the review from Sally Michael, co-founder of Children Desiring God:

Scott James has provided families with an easy-to-use, yet spiritually enriching Easter devotional. Starting with the events leading to the cross through the ascension of Jesus, families are encouraged to read the corresponding Scripture, discuss the passage, and make application through questioning and activities. In addition, many selections include a rich hymn to use in family worship. This little book is a great tool for focusing the hearts of your family members on the reality of Jesus s redemptive mission.

Have you used any of these resources? What do you think of them? Leave a comment below and let us know about your experience.