We are always searching for new resources that might help you as you minister to kids and teens. Lately, we have found several books and Bibles you may find helpful. They are listed below with a mini review.
- The Beginner’s Bible Bilingual. This resource just might have had me screaming for joy when I found it! It’s the first bilingual Bible I have seen for children. It is a story Bible and not the actual full Bible, but that’s even better. This story Bible would be great for teaching children the Bible who may know Spanish better than English. If you know how to read Spanish phonetically, but don’t speak it fluently, this can allow you to read the Bible story in Spanish. This is also great in households where one language is primary, but parents are trying to help their kids learn the second language. It’s also a great first text for a ministry teaching English using the Bible.
- Windows on the World An Operation World Prayer Source. I haven’t had time to read every word yet, but I love what I’ve seen so far. It has a two page spread with photos and basic information on a number of countries and people groups from Bijagos to Yazidis and more. The book also covers various regions and world religions. Part of the information is an overview of current religious beliefs and prayer suggestions for that particular group of people. I would advise pre-reading entries before sharing them with children in case there is something you don’t feel would be appropriate to share for some reason. The book has lots of great photos and maps. This could be a great tool for discussing spreading the Gospel message and missions.
- Live in Grace, Walk in Love. Looking for a great devotional book for older kids and teens? This one by Bob Goff might be a good one to suggest. Each day has a one page devotional that is easy to read and starts with a verse of scripture. Bob Goff’s focus is on reflecting God’s love to others. He’s not into other theology usually, so this book is not one for deep thinking. It is a great way to encourage Bible students to read at least a Bible verse a day and think about practical ways to show God’s love.
- Chronological Study Bible by Thomas Nelson. I have other chronological Bibles, but this is the first one I have that is also a study Bible. It really helps you understand how things fit together – especially where the prophets and other books fit into the history books. The study entries are numerous. They tend to be historical, geographical, cultural and archaeological in nature. The normal tendency for theologians to be agnostic or atheistic in how they see the world is minimal here compared to other things I have seen. I obviously haven’t read the entire thing yet, but if it continues to be good, it may also be a great resource for mature teen Christians to better understand the chronology and culture behind the Bible.
- Something Needs to Change. I won’t spoil the book for you, but David Platt does a great job of encouraging those who are serving and inspiring those who aren’t. It reads like an adventure story and I think most teens who like to read would enjoy it. You will enjoy it for the encouragement you will find within the book.
- The World Jesus Knew and The World of the Old Testament by Marc Olsen. I both love and am annoyed by these books. Written for children, they are rather tall books with colorful two page spreads about a lot of primarily cultural topics in the Bible. They have entries for things like food, clothes, Jerusalem and more. What annoys me is that the author is a theologian and writes like one. He hedges things in the Bible by saying things like “the Bible claims” or similar phrases that underline his own possible doubts about the Bible. My bottom line is that you will find a lot of helpful cultural background for your lessons in an easy to read and share format. I just don’t think I would give it to children to read and start planting seeds of doubt that many theologians like to sow.
I have a few more new resources to share with you, but will wait to later. I hope you find some of these will help your ministry.
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