i know i have talked about this book before, but a recent conversation with a friend this week brought it to mind again. i LOVE this book. it is by far the most encouraging book for children's ministry and parenting that i have read. it is a short and powerful read. this book will challenge the way you think about children's ministry and encourage you all at the same time.
spurgeon reminds us that value of a soul is not determined by its age. we are all guilty (yes even children's ministers) of putting more energy and emphasis in caring for adults and pointing them to jesus, but their soul is no more valuable than a little one's. we often teach the gospel to kids as if they are not really going to be saved until they are older anyway - like our god can't save them as a child.
spurgeon also challenges us to teach the hard doctrines to kids. just as they are important for you and i to know and understand god, they are are important to the kids. he pushes back on the idea that things are too hard fro children to understand. he says that if something is too hard for children to understand, then fault lies with the teacher. if the teacher does not understand it well enough to explain it simply to a child, then they do not truly understand it. sure there are things that developmentally are hard for children to understand, but i think spurgeon is right. this had driven me to study theology more than ever before. to explain sovereignty, atonement, suffering, and grace to a child correctly, i had better know it well. spurgeon as well as those at desiring god argue that the most theologically educated people in your church - meaning those who not just know but who understand it - need to be those in children's ministry.
he also challenges those who teach in children's ministry to teach with such care because our children do not have the choice to leave and sit under better or more theologically correct teaching. they do not have the discernment yet to know when our teaching is incorrect. i had never thought about it like that before.
there are many more things i love about this book, but i want you to read it, so i will stop now. trust me, if you are a parent or in children's ministry, you need this book.