Saturday, June 1, 2013 Children's Ministry, Larry Fowler

"Raising Rock-Solid Kids" was the first book by this author, I then followed it with "Raising a Modern Day Joseph" a study and book recommended by AWANA for parents. I led this study with a group of moms from our church. So when this came out I was excited to see it in my review package from the publisher. Larry Fowler has a heart for children and families. His books seek to give parents the tools to raise children that have a firm foundational belief and understanding and relationship with Christ. So many parents and even ministry workers feel inadequate at their calling. They long to give children the best but feel that they are not adequate to the task. Larry Fowler shows through scripture, practical applications of the Truth of God's Word. His love for the family institution and children is evident in his writing. Many of his books are recommended by the AWANA program for parents, directors, volunteers and workers. As a Pastors wife, Sunday School teacher, children's worker, Youth worker and a stay at home mother of 5 I am always on the search for good resources that will give me better insight to the work at hand. I want fresh perspective, I want to be reminded of the importance of the work, I want to be given new tools, a new outlook and encouragement. Children's ministry, like teen ministry, is extremely challenging in todays secular minded society and broken homes. The light of Christ is often hidden in the muddy water of secularism and sadly this even creeps into our church buildings and homes. More and more I see children that are from broken homes or homes of parents who are unbelievers but send their children to the church either as a last ditch hope that their children will have a better life or for the selfish reason of having a few hours of time without children and with out the cost of babysitters. I have seen an increase of young and old children a like that have no knowledge of Jesus, they sit in awe as they try to wrap their minds around the history of the old testament, the miracles of Jesus, the movements of God. This book is not about programs, or ways to implement bible stories or memorize scripture. It is more importantly about building or laying a foundation that is firm and rock-solid, one that is not built on the shifting sands of secular world views. His approach is to take knowing scripture, applying scripture and relating scripture and combine these three approaches into one arrow that strikes the heart of a child where ever that child may be. It is in fact his books that made me look more closely at our AWANA program. Yes, the children were memorizing massive amounts of scripture, but they did this to obtain an earthly prize or award at the end of the AWANA season. Few of them had learned the practical application of the scriptures they were memorizing and even fewer could personal relate those scriptures to their life or current situation. Ministry is not about just one of these three approaches but about all three combined. It is these three things that will make a firm foundation. I memorized the alphabet in kindergarten because I was told to - but not until the end of that year did that memorization mean anything to me nor was it until then useful in my life. The same can be said of biblical truth and knowledge. To know it is no enough, to understand it is not enough on its own, but to know, understand, apply - that is powerful. If you are searching for a practical book to help your ministry staff or to encourage yourself this is one. Thanks Regal for this review copy.

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