This book begins with a personal invitation to the reader. “He is waiting… Not just for anyone, God is waiting for you!” Make no mistake, this book is about more than information. It’s about God and helping kids to know Him in their everyday lives.
Ten Things Every Kid Should Know About God – Life Applications to Build Your Child’s Confidence in Salvation, by Tina V. Bryson and published by Leeway Artisans Inc. “presents foundational truths in language your child will understand and apply to their life. The goal is to answer many common questions they may have about salvation, new life in Christ, and ministry. Using life application stories and illustrations, this book will equip they young believer with biblical knowledge that will deepen their relationship with God and build their confidence in their decision to follow Christ.”
The author states, “After teaching these classes for quite some time and heading up our childrens’ worship where I often led the invitation, I was still dismayed many times that children didn’t seem to grasp basic foundational truths.” She relates how the kids in her ministry struggled to communicate the most basic concepts of the faith. This was her motive in writing the book:
It was evident to me that they needed something that would break down “churchy” stuff like grace, salvation, baptism, repentance….and put it into words that they could understand. I had been mentored through an international college ministry when I was in school and learned the importance of grasping the basics as a young Christian and how it can set the foundation for your walk with Christ. I wanted to pair up a very simple life application story….to help them see the concept and then overlay the biblical doctrine…kind of like how Jesus taught with parables. I figured that they would remember the stories and that would help them understand how to live out the principle.”
In the conclusion, Tina invites children to contact her directly so she can celebrate and pray with them. This relational approach will help children to relate to and trust her text. Bravo Tina!
I love that there are many different translations used for the additional scripture and stories! I know I tend to always use my favorite translation and I think it is good to expose kids to multiple translations. Tina places the scripture verse directly in the text so kids stay focused on what they are reading and her point and do not have to leave the book to look up the verse.
Tina is a great writer, very natural and conversational in style and she keep the book intriguing and interesting making you want to read on. Using her own life stories, she colorfully and clearly gives “light bulb” moments to very difficult topics keeping them fresh and not “churchy” or “adult” yet not childish or condescending. Her use of her own stories were intimate and transparent, again creating trust through her vulnerability. In some of the later stories she uses her adult experiences to explain the concept. This could lose some of the earlier momentum as children will not be able to emotionally grasp these adult experiences. I do not feel 8 – 12-year-olds relate to high school rebellion, losing your engagement ring, or the tragic loss of premature twins. However, the the way she ties the stories into the concepts is just short of brilliance – clear, simple, relative, and just plain obvious explanations really make this book stand out as a beacon in the fog.
The book is an excellent resource for parents to use to talk to their kids. I would suggest using the authors stories to trigger your own memory and stories from your own life or that of your children to make it a personal experience.
I think this book would make a great “curriculum” for a class. A class of kids with questions or kids who are new believers, with their parents and pastors or mentors.
Tina has written an excellent resource to help kids understand their decision or reach it. It is available for $10.00 at www.tinavbryson.com She has samples and more information on about the book here.