I picked up Formational Children’s Ministry by Ivy Beckwith because I wanted to read a book on children’s ministry that would challenge me to think more about the way I lead the ministry. I can’t say this is what I found. Though there are parts of the book that I disagree with (ie: denominational differences and the idea that we “resist the urge to lead children to a single conclusion” about Scripture – can we leave it to kids to interpret the Bible all on their own?), the book was less stretching than I thought it would be. What Beckwith did was nudge my thinking toward small changes that I can make.
Beckwith shares her thoughts, as well as numerous examples, on the need to use story, rituals, and relationships in a children’s ministry. Reading this book will encourage those thinking about making children’s ministry more than babysitting. It will challenge those who are content to go through the motions to rethink what they want to see the children learn and become.
Children’s ministry is not a waiting period before the real spiritual growth happens. It is not a service designed to occupy children so that the adults can study and grow. There is so much more that can and should be done within a children’s ministry. If you are interested in a children’s ministry that is intentional about the spiritual growth of your students, you will find a few good ideas in this book.
My advice (rating) – borrow from a friend (3 out of 5)