There are lists of Kidmin books that every personal in children’s ministry should have. They include titles from people like Jim Wideman, Sue Miller, Reggie Joiner, Dale Hudson, Ryan Frank and many more. Chances are that you have some or all of them on your shelves already. The purpose of this post is to give you a list of books that have little or nothing to do with Children’s Ministry that you should also have in your library.
1. A Good Study Bible
Just because we are teaching kids doesn’t mean that we should sacrifice the depth and breadth of scripture in our teaching. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are going to teach kids, you should prepare just as much, if not more, than you would to teach a room full of adults. That means having a good study Bible to study with. I really really like the ESV study bible. The translation is top notched, and the notes in this Bible will inform and challenge you in your reading. If I were to pick only one Bible to read for the rest of my life, this would be it. I am also partial to NASB MacArthur Study Bible and the HCSB Study Bible. I understand there is also now an ESV MacArthur Study Bible which, though I haven’t seen it, I imagine would also be a great resource.
2. A Good Bible Commentary
You should have a good Bible Commentary as well. There are many good ones out there. Look around a little bit and find one that suits you. Before you invest a lot of money though, make sure to do some research to make certain you are comfortable that the commentary is grounded in biblical truth. Personally, I have a couple of commentary sets, but one I really like is the The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Abridged Edition. This two volume set is an abridged version of the 12 volume Expositor’s Bible Commentary which is also really good and goes much more in depth, but is also a lot more expensive. I know this is a non-kidmin listing, but there is also a really good “commentary” with a kidmin focus. It has all of the useful information of a commentary but is geared towards those who teach kids. It is called The Bible Story Handbook.
3. A Good Devotional Book
I am a huge fan of Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening. That said, there are tons of good devotional books out there. Find one, or several, that work for you and start to read through them. Make this part of your daily quiet time with God.
4. Books on Child Development and Educational Theory
As those who work in children’s ministry, we should be students of children. Part of that involved knowing how they develop and how they learn. Find a good book or two on childhood development and educational theory and read up. It isn’t always the most riveting reading, but it will further your knowledge of kids and how they develop. One I’ve read that was pretty good was Created to Learn: A Christian Teacher’s Introduction to Educational Psychologyby William R. Yount.
5. A Good Book on Church History
Like other categories of books in this listing, there are a number of decent books on church history. One that I really like is Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley. The book covers church history from Jesus through 1996. It’s not a short book, but it is manageable, and it will give you a very thorough history of the church.
6. Counseling Books
There are many good resources out there on biblical counseling. There is a really good series that includes books geared specifically to men, to women and to youth. While there is not a book geared directly to children, I would advise getting the other three to have a handy scriptural index when it comes to counseling the kids in your ministry. The three volumes are:
- Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling
- Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women
- Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth
7. Rose Charts Books
I have become a fan of Rose publishing. Their charts and graphs have a way of taking complex Biblical concepts and information and presenting them in a simple easy to understand format. I have personally reviewed the first three books of charts, maps and timelines and highly recommend them:
- Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines
- Rose Book of Bible Charts Volume 2
- Rose Book of Bible & Christian History Time Lines
They also have a selection of smaller books called “Bible Basics” that compile many of their most useful charts and information in easy to use resources. I have several of these and refer to them often:
- Rose Bible Basics: The Bible at a Glance
- Rose Bible Basics: Why Trust the Bible?
- Rose Bible Basics: Christianity, Cults & Religions
- Christian History Made Easy (Rose Bible Basics)
- Rose Bible Basics: Names of God & Other Bible Studies
- Myth-Busters (Rose Bible Basics)
- God in Real Life (Rose Bible Basics)
- God in Real Life (Rose Bible Basics)
- Being Jesus’ Disciple (Rose Bible Basics)
- What Christians Believe at a Glance (Rose Bible Basics)
- Parables & Other Studies (Rose Bible Basics)
- Jesus (Rose Bible Basics)
8. Jesus Storybook Bible
There is no hiding that I am a big fan of the Jesus Storybook Bible. In my listing of best Christian Books for Kids, this book came in second only because I felt like a Bible had to be #1. In fact, the ESV Children’s Bible came in #1 in that listing. I believe that every child, and everyone who works with children ought to have a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible. The Jesus Storybook Bible is a book that clearly lays out the story of the Bible (God’s story) in a way that kids can easily understand and clearly point every story back to its main point – Jesus!
9. Come Ye’ Children
This is the closest thing to a “children’s ministry book” in this listing of non-children’s ministry books. It is so much more than that. Come Ye’ Children was written by Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, to explore the importance of children and speaking God into their lives. I promise that you will refer to this book over and over again – at least you should! You can also hop on over and check out a very detailed synopsis and review of the book on Dad in the Middle.
10. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
This may be the “oddest book” in this list, but I have had more people tell me that this book really impacted them than virtually any other book I know of. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story was written by Donald Miller. It is the story of how he discovered that he was not living his life to the fullest in the way God had intended. This book will challenge you in terms of how you lead your life.