Resources for families
Advent is a special time of year that has been set aside by Christians for centuries to prepare for the celebration of our long-awaited Savior, Jesus Christ. Here are some recommended resources that you can use this Advent season:
• Angela Epperson, children’s ministry director at Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, recommends Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski. This resource is also available in a curriculum format that can be used in Sunday school classes or other children’s programs.
• Another free Advent resource that can be used for family worship is provided online by The Village Church in Dallas, Tx. You can access it here: https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/guides/2016-advent-guide. A preschool version is also available https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/guides/family-advent-guide.
• Meg Brown, associate children’s director at Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington, suggests a free LifeWay Advent Guide that can be accessed at https://kidsministry.lifeway.com/category/advent/.
• The Way to the Manger Book — “I would suggest that if churches are equipping families with Advent guides and devotions, they leverage the opportunity to also promote family devotional time for the new year,” said Brown. “It was such a great catalyst for our parent-equipping arm of family ministry! Super easy win and families loved it.”
“This past year we offered Shelia Walsh’s Family Devotional for $10 and encouraged our families to give it at Christmas and then begin in the new year! Also, there are great resources from The Word in Worship Families. Super simple and easy way to encourage family discipleship in the everyday, no matter the season.”
• For families with older children, Linda Coulter, director of childhood ministries at Red House Baptist Church in Richmond, recommends All the Colors of Christmas Advent Calendar book published by Focus on the Family. “I have used a variety of resources over the years,” said Coulter. “This year we are going back to a resource from Joshua Straub from 2017 called 25 Characters of the Christmas Story, An Advent Experience for Families.” You can access it here.
“My favorite book is The Way to the Manger, A Family Advent Devotional by Jeff and Abby Land, from B & H Kids. Jeff worked at LifeWay for years and they have several adopted children. They know how to relate to kids and this is a wonderful Advent tool!”
Coulter added, “Focus on the Family usually has resources. The one from last year was Know Him By Name.” You can access it here: https:// www.focusonthefamily.com/?s=advent.
• Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional by Paul David Tripp. Though written for adults, this devotional has a “central theme” that can be utilized for family worship time.
• Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas edited by Nancy Guthrie. This book is an anthology of Advent readings which includes writings from pastors and authors such as St. Augustine, George Whitefield, Martin Luther, John MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada and many others.
• The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp. This Advent resource provides each day a reading, devotional activity and questions for reflection.
For more information, contact KBC’s Matt Flanagan, children and student ministry consultant for the Church Consulting and Revitalization team, 502-489- 3386, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meri Beth Arbogast is editorial assistant for the Western Recorder.
Meri Beth Arbogast