Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should be Your Church's #1 Priorityby George Barna
Pub. Date: 11/28/2003
Publisher: Gospel Light Publications
No one can deny that our culture is opposed to Christian values, and the influences bombarding our children’s moral development can be deadly. But few parents and church leaders realize how critical it is to start developing a child’s biblical worldview from the very earliest years of life. The problem is complex: parents who themselves did not… See more details below
No one can deny that our culture is opposed to Christian values, and the influences bombarding our children’s moral development can be deadly. But few parents and church leaders realize how critical it is to start developing a child’s biblical worldview from the very earliest years of life. The problem is complex: parents who themselves did not receive early spiritual training leave their children’s training to the church. Yet the church often focuses on older children—not realizing that a child’s moral development is set by the age of nine. The answer is for churches to recognize the need to come alongside parents to provide them biblical worldview training, parenting information, counseling, etc., that will equip them to help their children become the spiritually matuare Church of tomorrow. Profiles presented of churches who are effectively ministering to children and winning the war our enemy is waging against them\. Research orientated books on childhood spiritual development. Raising Heaven Bound Kids in a Hell Bent World by Eastman Curtis / What Your Kids Need to Know About God and When by John Trent / Introducing the Spiritual Side of Parenting by Ron Clarkson / Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson.
- Gospel Light Publications
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Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions is an informative and encouraging book. Children are important to God; it is showed over and over in the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. But sadly Children's Ministry is often the low man on the totem pole in many churches; Youth and Adult Ministries are often viewed as more important. However, Children's Ministry is just as important, if not more important, as Youth and Adult Ministries. Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions is a book about, how important Children's Ministries are, the needs of children spiritually, and how to have a successful Children's Ministry. George Barna did a lot of research and gathered a lot of data for this book, so that he could provide a compelling and complete argument for the importance of Children's Ministry. The research and data showed a lot of insightful things regarding the importance of Children's Ministry. One of the things I found the most interesting and important to the argument for Children's Ministries is that by the age of 13, children's spiritual character is mostly set in place, and that whatever beliefs a person accepts when he or she is young are not likely to change as the individual grows older. This means that we should be focusing more on children and helping them develop and grow their spiritual character, instead of trying to change their spiritual character, of lack of, as a teenager. So what do children need to develop spiritually? Barna suggests that kids need the four things, which he calls the four Ps, to help them establish a healthy spiritual character and foundation. Purpose is the first of the four Ps; children need to know that God has a purpose and plan for them. Perspective is the second P; by the time children have reached middle school they have developed a worldview and once they have that worldview they automatically try to make choices that are consistent with their worldview. So it is important that we help them in developing their worldview into one that honors God. The third P is provision; children thrive and grow spiritually when they know that they are physically safe and that they are accepted. The last P is performance, by being able to achieve specific spiritual activities, children are able to feel confident spiritually. After reading about the needs and importance of Children's Ministry, the thought of educating and developing kids scared me. It scared me because I felt the weight of how importance of the task is. I didn't know how to take on this great responsibility of growing children into spiritual champions, and I really didn't want to screw up. But Barna did not leave me hanging, after presenting all of the facts, he then goes and tells you how the successful Children's Ministries do it. Barna went around to different churches and studied their Children's Ministries to find out what works and what doesn't work so well. He then presents to you the methods and "tricks" of the great Children's Ministries. Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions is a wonderful and informative book that gives the needs of children spiritually, along with showing the importance of Children's Ministry and how to have a successful Children's Ministry. I very much enjoyed this book, and I am very glad to add it to my shelf of books that I will keep and reference in my Children's Ministry.