If you were going to fill a gift basket with the ultimate collection of family faith formation resources for churches, which titles would you include?
The list that follows features the resources that Faith Formation Ministries gave to each of the churches who joined our Family Faith Formation Cohort (2019), plus a few of our other favorite new titles.
Every resource on the list belongs in your church library, whether that library is a dedicated room or simply a basket in a well-traveled hallway. Additionally, many of these resources belong in the homes of everyone with children in their life. Yup, they’re that good.
It’s a relatively short list (although when I say “basket” I mean “laundry basket”) and there are many other excellent resources that could be added, but if you’re interested in gathering resources for nurturing faith both within your faith community and at home, these are the ones to be sure to include:
For Ministry Leaders
- Celebrating the Milestones of Faith helps individuals and churches identify faith milestones in the lives of children, youth, and adults and celebrate them together.
- Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality blends practical application and theoretical understanding from a Christ-centered perspective to equip those who are involved in the varied contexts where children are spiritually formed. This book of essays is a must-read for children's ministry leaders and other educators.
- Families at the Center of Faith Formation (now free!) provides congregations with a plan for engaging and equipping families toward the goals of deeper faith and discipleship. We especially loved chapters 5 and 6.
- Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church shows ministry leaders how to position their churches to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the whole church.
- Helping Our Children Grow in Faith uses clear language and includes helpful ideas for nurturing the spiritual development of children. Can you say church book club?
- And Social Justice for All: Empowering Families, Churches and Schools to Make a Difference in God's World engages kids in understanding--and responding to--fourteen justice issues including clean water, creation care, immigration and refugees, hunger, race, and poverty. Ministry leaders need this book; so do parents and caregivers.
- Dear Parent: A Guide for Family Faith Formation uses the framework of four "Building Blocks of Faith," to encourage parents as they help their children find their place in God's family, know God's story, live in hope, and discover their calling. Each chapter ends with discussion or thought questions, ideas for living the chapter topic out, and a short resource list.
- Growing With is a parent’s guide for journeying with their kid from adolescence through emerging adulthood. From the good folks at the Fuller Youth Institute.
- HomeGrown Handbook for Christian Parenting gives parents real-world advice on how their family can grow in faith together. Its companion book, the Home Grown Study Guide invites authentic, informal conversations between parents. Small group study for parents? Check.
- I Wonder: Engaging a Child's Curiosity about the Bible offers ideas for helping kids engage with the Bible. It includes recommendations for story Bibles and devotionals.
- Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship explains the relationship between faith formation and worship and contains practical ideas for parents helping kids participate during worship. This is a one-per-family book, folks.
- The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family: Over 100 Practical and Tested Ideas to Build Lasting Faith is grounded in research from the Fuller Youth Institute and empowers parents to nurture family faith.
For Families with Children
- At Your Baptism pairs vibrant illustrations with simple text adapted from the French Reformed Church liturgy. Wondering how to explain baptism to a child? #problemsolved
- Everyday Family Faith is a pocket-sized resource filled with ways for parents to build lifelong faith habits into their busy lives. Looking for a way your church can celebrate the end of the school year and provide families with an inexpensive, simple gift to support family faith formation during the summer months? #twobirds #onestone
- Faith 5 bookmarks are a high-impact, low-cost way for your church to provide families with a doable 5-step system for growing in faith together each day: Share, Read, Talk, Pray, Bless. Keep a stack of these bookmarks on hand at all times.
- Faithful Families:Creating Sacred Moments at Home is filled with ideas to help families turn everyday moments into faith-nurturing, sacred moments.
- God’s Big Story Cards provides families with interactive ways to grow as they select a card, read the Bible story, and roll the die to choose one of six ways to explore the story. The bulk purchase discount makes it affordable for churches to buy, and this free Family Event makes it easy for churches to introduce families to the cards so they’ll use them at home.
- God Loves Me is a series of 52 Bible storybooks designed for children ages 2 to 3. Each book includes a prayer and suggestions for learning-through-play activities. The books can be ordered as a full set or individually. #babyshower #birthdaypresent #baptismgift
- Teach Us to Pray is a daily prayer book that guides families in both listening to and speaking to God through songs, Scripture readings, guided action, and quiet contemplation.
- You’re Invited: A Week of Family Devotions on the Lord's Supper is the reusable devotional book you’ll want in the hands of every family with children ages 4-12. It encourages conversation about communion and includes an information section for grownups. Fun fact: Now in its fourth printing, Faith Alive Resources has distributed almost 7,000 copies of this book.
But wait—that’s not all! We love free stuff, and we’re guessing you do too. So while you’re building your collection of resources, be sure to check out these freebies: 10 Ways for Families to Engage Kids in Worship, 10 Ways to Help Your Family Grow in Faith and the fabulous Dwell at Home series of resources which include devotions (for Advent, Easter, and Pentecost) and '5Ways' tools for families with children.
And of course, check out the contents of the Family Faith Formation toolkit, where you will find more lists of great resources—including story Bibles and picture books—under the Resources by Topic tab.