The Best Resources for Children's Discipleship Training.

Last week I presented what I believe are the best Children's Bibles and Bible Storybooks to use in reading the Bible with your kids. Children's Bibles are the best resources to use in seeking to make disciples of your children, but they are not the only resources that are available. There are also a lot of excellent, Biblically faithful discipleship resources out there as well. I have used some that I am really pleased with and so today I want to share with you my top recommendations. If you are a grandparent or an aunt or uncle or even a friend of parents with young children, these resources would make great Christmas or birthday presents.

Sally Michael's Making Him Known Series.  These books are mostly written by Sally Michael who has served along with her husband David, as the children's ministry directors at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN. She and her husband are also the founders of Children Desiring God, which publishes resources for children's discipleship within churches. Sally has written these devotionals which work through a main Biblical theme centered on knowing God. Each day's reading focuses on an aspect of the overall theme based on a Bible story or one or more passages. Each day's reading has a pretty good illustration as well as questions and suggestions on how to help your children understand the main lesson. There is also at least one verse highlighted in each day's reading that you could memorize or just go over a few times with your kids to help them know the main point of the lesson is from God's Word. We have loved using these with our children. I'd wait until the kids are at least in first or second grade to start using them. These help you and your children to meditate on who God is and how God has graciously worked to save us. I couldn't give a higher recommendation than the one I am giving for these books. They are excellent.  Find the books at a good price here. The books that are currently available in the series are: God's NamesGod's Providence, God's DesignGod's Wisdom, God's Battle, God's Word, and God's Promises.

The New City Catechism. Churches have made use of catechism's for centuries in order to help believers receive an overall understanding of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. The New City Catechism is a recent attempt to continue that tradition in evangelical churches. It began as a resource produced by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, NY and they graciously shared it with everyone else through The Gospel Coalition. The catechism is not polemic when it comes to certain non-essential doctrines which evangelicals divide over, like baptism or the millennium. The NCC focuses on teaching the Gospel through 52 questions and answers divided into three parts. Part 1 is God, Creation and Fall, and Law. Part 2 covers Christ, Redemption, and Grace. Then part 3 focuses on Spirit, Restoration, and Growing in Grace. Just this year, Crossway has published two excellent resources to use at home to teach the catechism to your children. They have also produced excellent videos on Youtube which have children singing each question and answer to music which goes a long way in helping your children memorize the catechism. They also have an app and a website. We are currently working through this catechism as a family, taking one Q & A each week, going over and over it to help our kids memorize it. You'd be amazed at what your children can memorize and retain. Another excellent resource for you.

Seeds Family Worship. The mission of Seeds Family Worship is to see God's Word in every home. They really mean it. They give away their music and encourage you to give it away as well. When they first began, if you ordered one Seeds CD of music, they would send you two and encourage you to give the second away to someone else. Their music is God's Word put to music. Your kids will love the songs, and they'll start singing the songs, and when they do they'll be singing and memorizing God's Word. We have used these while riding on van trips. Our kids love the songs and maybe even more important, my wife and I don't mind listening to it. It's actually pretty good. Get yourself some here.

 The Good Book Company Children's and Youth Bible Notes.  The Good Book Company produces what they call, "Daily Bible Reading Notes" for all ages. My wife and I use Explore Daily Bible Reading notes for adults. My daughter has XTB, short for EXplore the Bible for ages 7-10. They also have Beginning with God for preschoolers and Table Talk for use with your whole family, Discover for ages 11-13 and Engage for teenagers. The thing that sets these daily Bible devotional materials apart is it's focus on the Bible. It constantly points you back to the Bible for the answers and the applications which helps us to meditate on God's Word and think about what it actually says. This is a great discipleship resource for you and for your children.

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