I love the D6 organization (D6family.com), so when I see a new resource from them, I normally buy it immediately or place it on my Amazon wish list. Recently they published a book by Julie Kurz that sounded awesome! I had not heard of Julie before, but the book went straight to my wish list. One morning a few weeks ago, I came to the office and planned on ordering the book. Then, Jenna (Family Time Training’s Executive Director) walked in the door and placed that same book on her desk! When I saw it, I asked if i could borrow it for a Top 5 blog and here we are!
I learned that Julie is a longtime friend of F.T.T. and has worked with us in the past. I also learned that the book included a few other contributors including the founder of F.T.T., Kirk Weaver! Needless to say I was primed and ready to learn from Julie.
This book is another example of a seemingly one stop shop for church leaders and parents to implement a Bible saturated and research FILLED guide. In addition, the reader will receive the honor of being instructed and encouraged by someone who has been in the field for decades. Julie’s methods do not remain in the theoretical but have been birthed out of study, practice, research, successes, and hardships. There’s not an ounce of pretention in this helpful resource and I encourage you to pick it up.
As always, selecting only 5 quotes proved nearly impossible. However, I feel that this list gives you a great sampling of the quality of this book:
- “The focus of the church needs to be discipling parents so they can model their faith and have spiritual discussions at home that give solid reasons for their faith.” (20)
- “As parents we can live out and inspire faith, but our children must choose to have faith in the powerful and living God. We can teach them God’s story, biblical truths, apologetics, communicate His desire for relationship with them through Jesus, and live our faith out before them, but we cannot make them have faith.” (40)
- “God’s sovereignty over the lives of our children to know and love Him does not negate our responsibility to do the things He has asked us to do in His Word.” (44)
- “Family Time has been a priceless part of our home life…We started when my daughter was two years old, and my son was soon to be born. The goal was to do one lesson each week. A week turned into a month, three months, a year, and eventually 15 years! Doing a weekly Family Time Bible lesson for 15 years added up to more than 750 Bible lessons in our home.” (121 by Kirk Weaver)
- “Children’s and youth ministry are not wrong when they support home-centered family-led spiritual training. The problem arises when church programs replace family and become the primary and sometimes only spiritual training in the lives of our children.” (126)
I also loved the recommendations that Julie had in relation to books, articles, and curriculum. Very very practical and will leave you with a big list of ideas. Also, I loved all of chapter 15, “The Value of Worshiping Together as a Family.” Sometimes this discussion gets reasoned away by church leaders before actually being considered. I love that Julie champions the eternal importance of kids worshiping with their parents on Sunday mornings while also championing the value of biblically accountable children’s and youth ministries. If we could fight alongside experts like Julie to see a revival in families worshiping together on Sunday mornings, western Christian culture would begin to change.
I also particularly enjoyed Julie’s discussion in chapter 9, “Shepherding Children to Faith in Christ.” As a parent, this chapter both encouraged and challenged me in relation to shepherding my girls. The chapter also exposed some dangerous tendencies that have developed in churches that could confuse or deceive children. The salvation of children is a heavy subject and should be handled with care. Julie’s work on this subject is a breath of fresh air!
Ministry leaders, this would be a great resource for your elders, staff, and key leaders to work through slowly. It will also give you ideas on how to evaluate your programing and learn where your families are in this process.
Parents, this would be a great book for you as well. You’ll be encouraged, you’ll walk away with plenty of ideas, and you’ll be mentored in your walk with Christ. This book shook me up in a very helpful way and reminded me yet again of the importance of intentionality in the home.
Director of Training and Consulting
Family Time Training