Legacies of Faith: 5 Church History Books for Kids
Teaching church history to kids may not seem urgent, but it is important. It teaches them a "family history" featuring brothers and sisters in Christ who have leveraged their life for the sake of the gospel. It helps them understand that God is big, in control, fulfilling His purposes, and using His people to advance His gospel. I also think it helps cultivate an imagination of what's possible and can shape how they think about life and labor. Church history can help us see what is possible and inspire us to be faithful in reaching the lost in our current generational moment. Would you like to introduce church history to your kids? Here are five resources to get you started.
For Babies & Toddlers: Banner Board Books
Published by Banner of Truth, the Banner Board Book series features four board books of short biographies on the lives of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Katharina Luther, Susannah Spurgeon, and George Whitefield. I love how these books have helped me and my wife talk about life with our boys from birth. When we read about Katharina, we talk about how she used her gifts to serve others. When we talk about Susannah, we talk about how she trusted God and helped others, even when she was sick. George Whitfield is an example of a man who was determined to preach the gospel, even when it was hard. And Martyn Lloyd-Jones loved God and people so much that he left being a doctor to become a preacher. My wife has used this book to teach our boys to pray for their pastors. These are just one of the ways you can use these books and shape our infants' imaginations.
For Young Kids: Everyone a Child Should Know
Everyone a Child Should Know is my favorite book for kids on church history! This is a perfect book to read weekly because it features 52 profiles of Christian men and women, including John Bunyan, Joni Erickson Tada, Adoniram Judson, Katie Luther, and more! Each profile features an illustration and description of the person’s life, identifying what we can learn from this brother or sister. It emphasizes how Jesus works through “his friends,” referencing the people in the book and you and me today. It’s a great way to help kids see that God works through His people and to inspire the next generation to leverage their lives.
For Young Kids: The Church History ABCs
The Church History ABCs is a bright and fun book uses the alphabet to introduce diverse characters from church history. Each page features common words that start with that letter, a short bio of the person, and additional fun facts in the back of the book. Similar to Everyone a Child Should Know, it does an excellent job of demonstrating how men and women from all over the world, aall throughout history, have leveraged their lives for the gospel. If you like this, you'll also like Crossway's Reformation ABCs and Bible History ABCs books.
For Teens: Risen Hope Series
These could be great resources for helping teenagers understand the Early Church and the Middle Ages. Christian Focus has published two books from this series: Reign and Redemption. Church historian Michael Haykin has said, "Luke Davis has done an impressive job of telling the history of medieval Christianity for young adults through a skillful use of story and traditional narrative. Highly recommended!."
For Teens: Know the Creeds & Councils and Know the Heretics
Error often forces us to clarify the truth. In this way, heresies have caused the church to articulate orthodox doctrine clearly and compellingly. As students begin to study theology, they will inevitably be introduced to the history of errors that threaten the spread of the truth. These books can help students understand how the church has responded to error with truth throughout the ages.
BONUS | For Parents: Theologians on the Christian Life
If you're interested in learning more about church history, Crossway's Theologians on the Christian Life series is a great place to start. These helpful books help you understand the theologian and his view of the Christian life. It's an excellent way to learn history because it emphasizes how their thinking has impacted the church and our lives today. They have biographies on Augustin, Lewis, Newton, Owen, Spurgeon, and more.