This book offers practical and helpful suggestions as to how we as parents can encourage our children to make good decisions and show they have the power and authority to make a difference. It gives various examples of how you can take everyday situations and circumstances and provide opportunities for empowering your children to listen and respond to God. For example; A nine-year-old girl who was being bullied was encouraged to pray for the child doing the bullying and as a result, she believed that God showed her that the other child was lonely and decided the right thing to do was to befriend her and show love to her rather than be mean. This meant that the girl no longer focused on her own hurt, but had compassion for the bully.
One of the key messages that stood out for me, was how the church sees children. “I do believe that the church in general has stood back from our children and said, ‘we love you, we value you, but we don’t need you.’” (Rachel Turner) The church doesn’t need them because some of them are very young, and what could they possibly have to offer, they are inexperienced and not up to the standard we require. Sometimes adults think children need games and craft in order to learn and lose sight that the children can have their own relationship with God. Rachel goes on to challenge the church to empower each and every child for who they are, as part of the body of the church, seeing their potential, using their gifts, abilities and strengths, building on them and providing support and mentoring from adults, who come along side and nurture the children.
Many people view children taking part in a church service as cute or lovely, or say things like “It’s nice to see them involved.” It comes across like a show or presentation that people clap. Yet we generally fail to see the holy spirit working in them and value the children for contributing spiritually to the life of the church. Rachel shares a testimony of a little boy that brings an amazing God moment to the congregation and looks at the importance of the delivery of this, encouraging the church to open their hearts and receive spiritual leading from the children.
I would recommend this book for all parents of children, as it helps to model the ways of sharing your faith with your children and equipping them on their spiritual journey. It’s also a great book for everyone who works with children in the church setting. It addresses many of the issues that hold the church of today back from being the all-encompassing body of Christ.
Check out www.rachelturner.org.uk
This review was written by Fiona Stutton, Children’s Ministry Adviser for Thrive Youth Ministries.