Within the body of Christ, we are being knit together not only with adults and young people, but also with children as "members one of another." How should we care for the children in our families and congregations? What can we learn from them and how should we allow them to care for us?
If we "order our lives for the good of our children," Rodney Clapp has noted, "we will be odd and out of step with our neighbors because we live in a society that cares little for the welfare of children." How does the gospel commission us to serve the needs of children who are beyond our families and faith communities?
Our contributors remind us that in Scripture and Christian tradition we discover a rich picture of childhood that should inspire creative religious education for children and renewed commitment to serving all children.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore the meaning of childhood and how we can serve all children. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Children issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
- "A More Vibrant Theology of Children," by Marcia J. Bunge
- "Living in the Shadow of the Manger," by Margaret Eletta Guider, O.S.F.
- "Beyond Noah's Ark," by Susan R. Garrett
- "Parenting Virtues Today," by David L. Johns
- "The Child in Christian Art," by Heidi J. Hornik
- "Intently Watching," on van Honthorst's Childhood of Christ
- "Invoking God's Care," on Rembrandt's Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph
- "In Her Heart," on Jesus Among the Doctors (Unknown artist)
Hymn and Worship Service
- "We All Are God's Children," by Harriet Ilse Ziegenhals
- Worship Service by Harriet Ilse Ziegenhals
- "On Raisin' Abel," by Robert B. Sloan, Jr.
- "Good Grief!," by Mark McClintock
- "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," by LeDayne McLeese Polaski
- "Hanging in Through it All," by Joy Jordan-Lake
- "Children For Sale," by Joy Jordan-Lake
- "Caring for Children in Crisis," by Helen Wilson Harris
- Theresa Huntley, Helping Children Grieve: When Someone They Love Dies, 2nd ed.
- R. Timothy Kearney, Caring for Sexually Abused Children: A Handbook for Families & Churches
- Douglas Adams, Children, Divorce, and the Church
- "Nurturing Children in Faithfulness," by Bob Fox
- John H. Westerhoff, Will Our Children Have Faith?
- Marva Dawn, Is It a Lost Cause? Having the Heart of God for the Church's Children
- Catherine Stonehouse, Joinging Children on the Spiritual Journey: Nurturing a Life of Faith
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)
- "A Vibrant Theology of Children"
- "The Childhood of Jesus"
- "Living in the Shadow of the Manger"
- "Beyond Noah's Ark"
- "Caring for Children in Crisis"
- "Parenting Virtues"
- "Teaching Children the Story of Creation," by Andrea Harrell Moore (Moral Landscape of Creation)