Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Guide to Children's Sermons: A Book Review

If you have followed this page for long, you know that I am not a big fan of children’s sermons.  But, I am also aware that they are a non-negotiable part of many worship services.  So, it is important to do them as well as possible.  Guide to Children’s Sermons, by David L. Bartlett and Carol Bartlett, is a new book that aims to teach worship planners how to do that.  Half of it is devoted to explaining how children respond to children’s times and therefore how planners need to prepare them.  The other half is a collection of 22 sample children’s sermons.  The “explaining” half is a little bit academic.  Do not read it looking for new, creative, or zany ideas.  Read it for a solid vision for why and how to provide good children’s times that will serve as a good foundation for the weekly challenge.   

One of the themes that runs through the whole book is the importance of children hearing the key stories of the faith told and told well in the sanctuary with their whole faith family.  The Bartletts are clear that children hear and respond more clearly to stories than to object lessons, sermons or “talks about.”  Actually the real title of this book could be “Telling Faith Stories to Children during Worship.”  That central vision makes the book well worth reading and offers readers a way to rethink their approach to preparing and delivering children’s times. 

No one has time to read this book (or much of anything else J) during what is left of December!  But, if you order it now, you will have it to dig into come January.

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