In a blog post back in 2016, called, “The Key to Church Growth” I quoted Kenda Creasy Dean,
“If we want young people to take their faith more seriously, we need their parents to take their faith more seriously.”
Almost Christian, Creasy Dean
The thing is, we can’t wait until our children are young people and then suddenly “get serious”, neither can we leave the work of faith formation to children’s and youth workers at church – valuable though that is. If, like me, you are a parent, then you have the privilege and joy of being key influence in your child’s life!
This is both thrilling and terrifying.
Thankfully – we don’t have to do this alone.
Katharine Hill and Andy Frost have written a cracking book called “Raising Faith” – it’s full of wisdom and practical illustrations of what living out our faith and sharing our faith might look like with our children. I want to share just four reasons why you should by this book (there are many more, but lets start with four!) ::
Easy To Read.
The first thing to say is how easy this book is to read. It is not a heavy theological tome with weighty words and weightier expectations – rather, it is more like a manual with “dip in and out of” articles. You don’t even need to read the book from start to finish, each article stands alone with some great truth to share and practical application. There is a pattern through the book, but if a book like this seems daunting – then dive in and read a section that interests or excites you!
Secondly, it is comprehensive – everything is “bite sized”, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get a full on meal when you sit down to digest the content. There are some really helpful sections early on that help us grasp what might be going on for our children as they grow – not just physically, but as spiritual beings. In particular, I’d recommend kicking off with something like, “Spiritual Growth”; this looks at how we can help develop our children’s spiritual curiosity and creativity alongside all the other ways we might seek to develop them as they grow. “Stages of Faith” is a great primer on what a key thinker, John Westerhoff, puts forward in his fantastic book, “Will our children have faith?” Andy helpfully unpacks the key teaching from that book and gives us a framework for understanding how faith develops and grows.
The book is SO comprehensive, that I was finding it hard to think of anything that Katharine and Andy haven’t covered! There really is something here for pretty much everything you might have been thinking about or worrying about – or, lets be honest, not even thought about . . .
Written by people like you and me.
Thirdly, this book is written by people who are living this out as they share it with us – it reeks of authenticity. I feel they understand me as a parent and “get it”. The conversational style connects and it feels like this is something we are doing together – as if we were sat in a cafe having a chat about family life and faith – rather than reading a book.
Finally, this book gives confidence – not an arrogance of “read this and get sorted”, but rather – here is a place to start, whatever you have been doing with your children at home or whatever you have encouraged them in. This book is incredibly hopeful – it doesn’t brow beat, but says, “you can do this!”
If you want a book that will help you invest in your children’s life with God – this is it.