For Christian parents, grandparents, guardians and cargivers whose hearts are being moved by God to return to doing discipleship His way – beginning in the home – times have never been better.
The wealth of gospel-centered, Christ-exalting resources available to us today is nothing short of an amazing gift of our God. But before I give you a list of resources to consider using in your homes or churches, let me remind parents of what I call “The Big Three.”
1. Family Worship – consisting of singing, praying, reading and meditating on the Scriptures together in the home.
2. Family Bible Study – parents actually opening up the Bible and teaching it passage-by-passage to children.
3. Catechisms – a question/answer format that requires children to memorize biblical answers to the most important questions in life. Catechisms were used ferociously in Christian homes of the past to inculcate children with a biblical worldview and sound Bible doctrine. They are wonderful tools that God is blessing in my own home.
Friends, there are no substitutes for these three. If you simply cannot make time to use the various other resources listed below, please do whatever it takes to teach the Bible, worship together, and catechize your children and family. These three are simple, word-centered and require nothing more than a Bible and your voices and minds. Worship. Study. Catechize. The Spirit works through the Word, and the Spirit exalts the Word-made-flesh (Jesus). The Big Three will help us make our homes Word-Saturation Zones for the glory of the Lord.
Assuming you are glorifying and enjoying God in your homes in worship, study and catechisms, and are hungry for additional ways to seize more moments for Christ’s glory, here’s a short list:
1. Helping Children to Understand the Gospel – a wonderful resource for any adult in a position to consistently share the gospel with children, available here: http://www.childrendesiringgod.org/resources/resource.php?id=3
2. Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers – a great set of four books [The Gospel, The Mission, The Trinity, The Scripture] for pre-K children or early readers. Also consider having older siblings read these to younger siblings. Available here: http://www.monergismbooks.com/product.php?productid=18753&cat=357&page=1
3. The Prince’s Poison Cup – a children’s book by R. C. Sproul that uses allegory to present the gospel message in a powerful and captivating way for kids. The book comes with questions for parents to ask children after reading the story that will drive families into the Word. Check out all of Dr. Sproul’s tremendous children’s books at http://www.ligonier.org/store/
4. Sammy and His Shepherd – another super book by Susan Hunt that explains and applies the truths of Psalm 23 to children (and adults). The questions in the back of the book are great at driving readers to the basic gospel message in the Bible. This book is also sold at the Ligonier Store (link above).
5. Big Truths for Young Hearts – a book by Bruce Ware that helps adults teach systematic theology to children. The theology in the short chapters seems best suited for late elementary children or “tweens.” Check it out here: http://www.monergismbooks.com/Big-Truths-for-Young-Hearts-Teaching-and-Learning-the-Greatness-of-God-p-18376.html
6. Christian Worldview for Children – by Brannon Howse. This author actually has a series of these worldview books and they are all worth your time to read to and with your children of all ages. If we are to have the “mind of Christ” then we must filter everything in life through the lens of the Bible. Howse helps us do just that with these mince-no-words books. Find them here: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/secure/store/
7. Family Worship – of all the fine books available on the topic, this one by Donald Whitney seems to present the case in the most straightforward manner. Need pratical advice on how to begin or more effectively lead worship in your home? Shop here: http://biblicalspirituality.org/
8. Passion Hymns for a Kid’s Heart – a book of hymns with wonderful written expositions on the doctrines contained in the hymns, by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada. Want to teach your children the great hymns of the faith and the doctrines of the Bible from which they are drawn? Look no further than this series of books, available at Ligonier Store (link above).
9. Need help doing expository studies through Bible books in your home? Kevin Swanson of Generations Radio is producing some fine ones. Currently he has studies in the Psalms and Proverbs available: http://www.generationswithvision.com/Store/
10. I produce expository Book studies for member of the local church I serve, as well as catechisms. But, for those wanting a formal catechism to use in their home, I recommend A Catechism for Boys and Girls available from Evangelical Press: http://www.epbooks.us/
11. Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ – an awesome chronological Bible study for children that teaches the grand purposes and actions of Almighty God from Genesis to Revelation. Get it here: http://www.ntmbooks.com/
12. For creation apologetics and biblical refutations of all the lies of Darwinian evolution, there simply is no finer source than Answers in Genesis. Do yourself the favor of becoming a frequent surfer at http://www.answersingenesis.org/
13. To give your family a global perspective on the church of Christ, with emphasis on the persecuted church, employ the resources of Voice of the Martyrs, available at http://www.persecution.com/
Most of these resources would also be available at CBD or Amazon or other large retailers, but I have included the above sources because I believe they are deserving of our attention and pocketbooks. So, whenever I can buy directly from these gospel-driven sources, I do. Enjoy surfing their sites and soaking up what the Lord is doing through them.
Happy shopping! May you all grow ever more serious about bringing your homes under the authority of Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6:1-4. There’s joyful room for all (parents, grandparents, teachers) to join in the tremendous task of making disciples of the next generation.
Join the Cross-Centered Homes revolution and never forget “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down!”