Seize Teachable Moments Point Children Toward Loving God

Seize Teachable Moments and Point Children Toward a Loving God

On the first Sunday of every month, everyone in our Sunday school gathers in the sanctuary for a short teaching time followed by muffins, juice, coffee, and shenanigans before the sticky trail of crumbs takes us all to our regular classes. When I can, I like to use that time to reassure the kids that church people actually know what’s important to them, that we see them and know they like to have fun. So along with singing and Scripture memory work, on the first Sunday in March, we read aloud from a picture book about Saint Patrick before diving into the green-sprinkled muffins.

Just in time for the March holiday of leprechauns and shamrocks, St. Patrick the Forgiver shares Patrick’s true story of peril, loss, and, ultimately, forgiveness. Captured and enslaved by the Irish as a boy, Patrick escaped but then returned to Ireland in response to God’s call to preach a message of love and grace to his captors.

Big Biblical Values on Kid-Sized Pages

In 2021, IVP Kids began producing books that appeal to children while providing strong support to parents, grandparents, and other shepherds of children’s hearts who are willing to venture into big biblical topics with little readers. The IVP Kids imprint offers the gift of words to get the conversation started, to seize teachable moments, and to point children toward the loving God who orchestrates every single detail of our lives. Author/illustrator collaborations have produced delightful drawings to support the text. Best of all, the books address significant occasions as well as the challenges kids face on this broken ground without resorting to pat answers or fluff. 

I’m sharing my review of three titles from the IVP Kids imprint over at The Englewood Review this week. If you are concerned with imparting a big-God theology to the little people in your life, CLICK HERE to become familiar with this sampling of what’s available.

The @IvpKids imprint produces books that appeal to children while providing strong support to parents, grandparents, and all shepherds of children’s hearts willing to venture into big biblical topics with little readers #ReadIVP #ERBks

And while we’re already on the subject of books…

Somehow I missed out on a lot of Christian pop culture in the ’80s and ’90s, so reading this 25th-anniversary edition of Rich Mullins’s biography was, for me, a first-time introduction to the song-writer behind “Awesome God,” “Step by Step,” and a number of very familiar worship songs from that era. In the spirit of Surprised by Joy, Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven is a spiritual biography, so James Bryan Smith is primarily concerned with the shaping influences on Mullins’s following life and the impact of his ministry.

Pushing back against an evangelical culture which may have been a bit obsessed with “being good,” Mullins’s signature statement when he signed autographs was “Be God’s.” His identity as God’s child shaped his music and the way he shared it with the world. Well-chosen excerpts from his writing and his conversations underscore his conviction that “What I believe is what makes me what I am” and document a life ordered around his pursuit of the kingdom of heaven.

Sadly, Rich Mullins’s ministry was cut short by a fatal car accident in 1997, but his life and music interpreted a gospel of simplicity that reads like freedom in 2023. Out of struggle and imperfection, his story reverberates with hope for all who follow Christ imperfectly but hold on to the promise of being remade and renewed in His likeness.

Holding You in the Light,

The life and music of #RichMullins interpreted a gospel of simplicity that reads like freedom in 2023. Out of struggle and imperfection, his story reverberates with hope for all who follow Christ imperfectly. @ivpress @jamesbryansmith

How Will You Come Close to God in the Days Leading up to Easter? (Here’s a FREE Resource to Help…)

As a gift to my newsletter subscribers, I’ve created a collection of 20 devotional readings called Come Close to the Story, a preparation for your true celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday. This Lenten season I invite you to join me for a daily pause—most readings should take five minutes or less—to come close to the story. In your busy life, remember that Easter is on its way. Affirm your belief in resurrection power, and then admit that without a death, there would be no resurrection.

Every month I send a newsletter with biblical encouragement straight to my subscribers’ email inboxes. Frequently, I share free resources, and the newsletter is where everything lands first. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his Word, and it’s my goal to help you along that path.

To add this free resource to your pursuit of biblical literacy and to make Come Close to the Story part of your Lenten observance, simply enter your email and then click on the button below…

Success! You're on the list.
Ash Wednesday is a day to grow in our understanding of where to take our struggle with sin.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Many thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing copies of these books to facilitate my reviews, which are, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

8 thoughts on “Seize Teachable Moments and Point Children Toward a Loving God”

  1. How wonderful that your church provides for inter-generational interaction within the body of Christ. A child cannot have too many “aunts, uncles, and grandparents” investing in their welfare. And adults benefit from the wonder, joy, and exhuberance/shenanigans of children!


    1. Yes, the adults were listening in on the story just as attentively as the kids. And they certainly need the challenge to memorize scripture that comes with our monthly memory verse. For some reason, they are not as fiercely motivated by my box of candy prizes…? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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