(David C. Cook)
When a child leaves children’s church each Sunday or transitions into the next stages of life, ministry leaders and workers often wonder: Did I do enough?
Children and family ministry veteran Michelle Anthony asked similar questions and found she wanted to delve beyond the traditional children’s church program to truly impact the next generation of children. Anthony uses her 20-plus years of experience in children’s and family ministry to challenge ministry leaders, volunteers and the overall church to truly focus on a child’s spiritual formation instead of merely teaching biblical information and good behavior.
Anthony lays out an investment plan for spiritual formation by first acknowledging parents as the primary nurturers of their children’s faith. Though the church should provide support with tools to empower parents to be examples of faith, ultimately a child’s development falls on his or her parents. To that degree, both the home and church must create an environment where children can encounter Christ and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The goal of spiritual formation isn’t the actions of the child but the development of the child’s heart to allow the Holy Spirit to move throughout the child’s life at His timing.
This short and easy-to-read book provides ministry tools after each chapter that challenge workers to assess their own children’s programs and allows them to dream beyond what they can see and start following the plans God has for the children. Anthony shares how even children are part of a bigger story that God wants to carry through generations.