When I, Mary, was first looking for resources to help us with church planting I was really looking for something that spoke DIRECTLY to a church planting family. I wanted something to say, “THIS is what church planting will be like for you!” and “THIS is what you need to know about church planting as a family.” I now see this was a silly way of thinking. What I have found is that all the best resources for my family can be the best thing for every family.
You and I must live missionally with our families. This means we know where we live, who we meet and what we do is all for the glory of God and the good of Christ’s kingdom. For Christ-followers, this is the only way to live. So, after The Curious Garden (follow the link to see my previous post), we sought out resources that would shape our family to be rooted in the gospel every day. It came down to taking seriously the basics of family discipleship.
Here are the top 3 resources that have shaped and equipped our family:
This book is made up of 10 short chapters that take you through the narrative of the whole Bible and points right to Jesus. For small kids, this helps sum up the gospel story and shows them how the entire Bible is waiting for Jesus. It is creatively written and the illustrations are really great too. I can’t tell you how many times we have read it through. We really love reading it at bedtime.
This has gone from a “nice idea” to being really foundational in our homeschooling. And yes, it is actually a catechism but set to a modern tone. We have the book and the app. The app has songs to help memorize each part and we love listening to it in the car. Both Alyssa and Evan has memorized the first 12 questions and answers! It teaches them doctrine and theology that we apply to every day moments. For example Kid A pushed Kid B, then I say “Kid A, can you push Kid B, do they belong to you?… Who do they belong to?… That’s right, ‘we are not our own but belong to God'”. This example happens on a daily basis of course so we have that questions memorized pretty well.
This has actually been in our library for a long time. It was handed down to us from a friend, but we didn’t start using it until recently. It teaches a new bible verse for every letter of the alphabet. They explain each verse in a kid friendly way and then tell a story of how that verse works in the life of a brother and sister, Bill and Missy. Our kids act like they know Bill and Missy and they remember the stories of what goes on in their lives. It is a really neat way to teach scripture to kids. At the end there are a few question prompts for parents and a prayer script. What we love best about this book is that it doesn’t just teach kids how to be good people but it emphasizes that only by God’s grace can we do these things. Instead of teaching moralism (more rules) it teaches a reliance on God’s grace through faith, hiding God’s word in our hearts and prayer.
Each of these books have made it’s way into our daily routine. We keep them out and use them often. Of course, there are whole seasons where we fall behind but we always strive to get back to them. We see how much they have shaped our family and we hope they are a blessing for you too.