Favorite Children's Ministry Reources
Whether you're recommending books for parents, stocking classrooms or buying books for your church's bookstall, here are a few of our favorite resources for kids, families and church. All of these books are both children's ministry director and mom approved and have been well loved in both our home and church.
Books are divided by age group, although there is always overlap between the ages. Sections are also provided for special topic books, as well as a few resources for teachers, parents and children's ministry leaders.
Books for Toddlers (0-3)
- The Biggest Story ABC - an alphabetical board book that tells the full story of the Bible from A to Z
- The Big Picture Story Bible - a beautiful story Bible that helps even the youngest toddlers learn the Big story of the Bible
- Jesus: A Theological Primer Series (Big Theology for Little Hearts) - a board book that teaches big truths about the doctrine of Jesus using simple words and pictures that even the youngest toddler can understand
- The Gospel (Big Theology for Little Hearts) - a board book that teaches big truths about the gospel using simple words and pictures that even the youngest toddler can understand.... also in this series are books on God, the Holy Spirit, the Church and Creation
- Tiny Theologians Book Series - "Does God Sleep?" (a book about God's power), "Does God Go on Vacation?" (a book about God's presence) and "Did God Learn His ABCs?" (a book about God's knowledge)
- 8 Books in the Baby Believer Series - these books are simple board books that each use a common baby/ toddler topic (numbers, colors, opposites, ABCs, etc )to teach huge truths about God and His Word. Books include: First Bible Basics, Psalms of Praise, From Eden to Bethlehem, Let There be Light, Holy Week, Jesus Heals, We Believe and Our God
- Indescribable: for Little Ones - a board book that looks at creation and God the Creator
- What are Hands For - This helpful and engaging training tool will help parents to teach their kids that God didn’t make their hands for behaviors like snatching, pushing, or hitting but for positive actions like waving, clapping, praying, high-fiving, helping and serving.
- What are Mouths For - a book to teach kids that God didn’t make their mouths for behaviors like biting or lying, but for positive actions like giving kisses, chewing, singing, asking for forgiveness and telling the truth.
- Sing and Play Big Bible Truths - You only get to raise your children once and your little ones need to know the big truths of God – Christ, sin, salvation and the gospel. Sing and Play Big Bible Truths is the perfect tool to introduce babies and toddlers to the Bible truths they need to learn now and for later on in life.
Books for Preschoolers & Young Elementary (3-7)
- Arlo and the Great Big Cover Up - a story about a boy who disobeys, then tries to hide his sin and how his mom points him to Jesus
- Polly and the Screen Time Overload - a story of how Polly learns that technology is a good gift best used in moderation and learns to limit her screen time to enjoy time with family
- Lucy and the Saturday Surprise - One Saturday morning, Lucy and her brother, Lewis, each get to choose one piece of candy from the store. But Lucy's delight quickly disappears when she unwraps her chocolate and discovers it melted! Envying her brother’s long-lasting lollipop, Lucy spirals into a pattern of discontent: see, covet, take, and hide. Her envious actions make her feel miserable, but her dad helps her find the path to freedom and grace.
- Meg is not Alone - In this picture book, Meg’s parents accidentally leave her at church after the morning service, which makes her feel scared. But Meg is not alone. Various people in the church stay with her until her dad returns. These church friends care for her by giving her things like tissues, cookies, and storybooks, and she learns how to be a church friend to others. With easy-to-understand language and colorful illustrations, this children’s book highlights Jesus’s command to “love one another,” showing kids that God has provided the local church to be their loving community.
- A Tale of Two Kings - a beautiful story of the gospel showing how Adam failed as the first king and Jesus reigns as the forever king, pointing to God's redeeming work through Jesus.
- Wherever You Go I Want You to Know - this is a great story to remind kids that whatever they do and wherever they go, you want them to love and follow Jesus.
- Tales That Tell the Truth (14 Book Series) - We love all 14 of these books, but the one I pull out to read the most is "The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross." Other books in the Series are:
- God's Very Good Idea: A True Story of God's Delightfully Different Family - about the church
- The Friend who Forgives- about Peter's denial and Jesus forgiving him
- Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer - about prayer
- The Christmas Promise - about God fulfilling His promises by sending Jesus
- The Prisoners, the Earthquake and the Midnight Song - about Paul and the Philippian jailer
- The God Contest - about Elijah and the prophets of Baal
- Jesus and the Very Big Surprise - about Jesus' return
- Goodbye to Goodbyes - about Lazarus and the empty tomb
- The Storm that Stopped - about Jesus calming the storm
- The One O'clock Miracle - about Jesus healing the official's son
- Jesus and the Lion's Den - how the story of Daniel points to Jesus
- The Big, Wide Welcome Storybook - about the church
- The Awesome, Super, Fantastic, Forever Party - about heaven
- Very Best Bible Stories Series - Faithful and fun re-tellings of classic Bible stories that will introduce pre-school children (aged 2-4) to truths about God. Series includes books on Daniel, Noah, David, Jonah, Esther, Deborah, Moses, Creation, Christmas and Easter
- His Grace is Enough - This illustrated, rhyming book will help parents explain to children the unique and wonderful Christian message of Gods gracethat Jesus offers forgiveness and allows us to move on from our mistakes.
- WOW! The Good News in 4 Words - The gospel is often called “the Good News,” and that’s because it’s the best news ever! Wow! tells the Good News using four words: Wow! Uh-Oh. Yes! and Ahh. Bright, joyful illustrations and fun-to-read rhymes walk kids through God’s whole story―and show kids that God’s story is really their story.
- Seek & Find Bible Stories - Children will not only love finding, counting and sorting over 450 hidden things in this large format board book, but they will also learn key truths about God's character through the biblically faithful illustrations and retellings of Bible stories. They will learn that God is our Creator, our Rescuer, our Provider, and the Real King of everyone and everything.
- The Prince's Poison Cup - When Ella gets sick and has to take yucky medicine, she wonders why something that will help her get well has to taste so bad. When she puts the question to Grandpa, he tells her the story of a great King and His subjects who enjoyed wonderful times together―until the people rebelled against the King and drank from a forbidden well. To their horror, they found that the beautiful water in the well made their hearts turn to stone. To reclaim His people, the King asks His Son, the Prince, to drink from a well of horrid poison. The poison will surely kill the Prince―but He is willing to drink it to please His Father and help His people.
- I See Jesus - The Old Testament is full of shadows... And when we look at these shadows, we can see something that looks a lot like Jesus. In this beautifully illustrated book, author Nancy Guthrie, helps children and adults spot the shadows of Jesus on every page of the Bible. Through Bible stories familiar and unfamiliar, children will discover Jesus as Gods Lamb, the Lion of Judah, Savior of the World and so much more.
- Jesus and the Gift of Friendship - In this thoughtful children’s book, readers journey with Zeke as he suffers from missing a close friend and experiences rejection after inviting a neighborhood boy to play. With help from his mom and consistent prayer, Zeke develops an unlikely friendship and an important dependence on Christ.
Books for Elementary Age Kids (5+)
- Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science - excellent devotions that help children to see God as the creator and marvel at His work in creation
- The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden - an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.
- The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New - beginner's theology book to help kids of all ages understand who God is and how we, as his children, relate to him.
- The Promise: the Amazing Story of Our Long Awaited Savior - a storybook that focusses on the big narrative of the Bible, inviting children to see Jesus from creation to the manger.
- Little Pilgrim's Big Journey - This is a beautifully written retelling of the classic Pilgrim's Progress story Part I follows the classic story of Christian as he journeys from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Part II is the heart-warming sequel, which follows Christian's family as they encounter new challenges and learn many new lessons along the King's Path. Children ages 2-10 will learn timeless truths in an engaging way through these heirloom-quality books. [personal note - the illustrations are captivating and my 4 year old begs to read these books in Bible time.]
- Little Pilgrim's Progress - In this fresh, imaginative new edition, the characters of Bunyan’s tale are portrayed as animals living in a woodland realm. Children will delight in the lavish illustrations, reading alongside their parents or interacting on their own with the timeless words and beautiful imagery that they discover on every page. This book will help children see the trials and triumphs of faithfulness with fresh eyes, leading them to declare along with Christian, “I am going to the King!”
- The Dead Sea Squirrels (book series) - Enjoy the misadventures of Michael, Merle, Pearl, and friends as they navigate everyday life at school, flee from a squirrelnapper, and more. You’ll laugh out loud and learn more about the life of Jesus from two previously petrified squirrels who actually lived in Bible times. [NOTE - there are a total of 11 books in this series]
- Church History ABCs - The Church History ABCs is a fun way for kids to learn about great figures in Christian history. Twenty-six heroes of the faith march through the alphabet, boldly telling their stories in language children can understand. This wide range of characters―men and women from across the centuries, from all over the globe―reflects the breadth of church history and reminds children that these great figures of the past were living, breathing people who lived and died for the glory of God.
Books for Elementary Age Kids (8+)
- Trailblazers: Missionaries and Medics - These biographies follows the trailblazer’s journey to faith, and on to the work that God had planned for them. With lots of dialogue, these engaging stories show how God uses normal individuals to bring about his purpose. [NOTE - these are part of a series of Christian biographies]
- Christian Heroes Then and Now - the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series answer today's call for positive role models and for opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him.
The Biggest Story Bible Storybook - a retelling of 104 Bible stories teaching the overarching storyline of the Bible, with really engaging pictures
- The Big Picture Story Bible - Everyone loves a good story―especially children! The Big Picture Story Bible presents the remarkable true story of the Bible. Simple words and striking illustrations unfold the storyline of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation. All ages will enjoy this exciting discovery of a God who keeps his big promise.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible - The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible, pointing to Jesus as our Savior. From the Old Testament through the New Testament, as the Story unfolds, children will clearly see that Jesus is at the center of God's great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too.
- The Gospel Storybook Bible - This easy-to-read storybook introduces your family to many captivating people, places, and events in Christian History from both the Bible's Old and New Testaments, showing how each one ultimately points to Jesus Christ. As you share these Bible Stories together, you and your family will meet Jesus and learn a new, life-changing way of recognizing Jesus Christ as the hero of every story. [Personal note - we're currently reading this one with our 4 year old. I love the questions at the end of each story and the way the gospel is presented in each story. My son has been drawing the pictures each day and it's been sweet to see what he hears and draws.]
- The Kingdom of God Bible Storybooks - What makes The Kingdom of God Bible Storybook different? Faithful: Follows the text of Scripture without oversimplifying it or changing the meaning. Thematic: Focuses on God's covenant promises and the central theme of the Kingdom of God. Christ-Centered: Every chapter points to the longing and need for the promised King to come.
Books for Specific Conversations
These are all great books to have to loan to parents to to recommend when parents ask how to speak to their children about various topics.
- The Moon is Always Round - a story born out of loss that teaches children of God's goodness in the face of suffering and grief.
- Zoes's Hiding Place : When You're Anxious - a story to teach children that God comforts us when we are anxious and afraid
- Jax's Tail Twitches: When You Are Angry - a story about getting angry, and learning about the power of saying sorry, seeking forgiveness, remembering God's words, and praying together.
- Buster Tries to Bail - a story for when you are stressed and worried, about turning your worries over to God.
- God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies - written to help parents of preschoolers talk to their children about how their bodies should be treated by others and their private parts without shame
- God Made Babies: Helping Parents Answer the Baby Question - a book to help parents start the conversation with their children about reproduction by giving them the basic tools to guide them—including specific biblical content and age-appropriate ways of talking to children at different stages. Written for ages 4-8
- Good Pictures Bad Pictures, Jr: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds - Using gentle, age-appropriate messages, children will learn to Turn, Run & Tell when they are accidentally exposed to inappropriate content. Written for ages 3-6.
- Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn Proofing Today's Young Kinds - a read-aloud story about a mom and dad who explain what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it. Written for elementary aged children.
- God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender - the story of a teacher helping children to understand that God gives each of us the gift of being male or female before we are born. This is an especially helpful book in today's world of gender confusion.
- The Great Big Sad - this book walks through the story of siblings whose grandmother has died and how they both respond differently to grief. It also includes several helpful pages of information for parents to read/ discussion prompts for families to use.
Books for Teachers
- God's Bible Timeline: The Big Book of Biblical History - this is a great resource to have in the class, or for families to have at home. It has pictures, illustrations and explanations to help children grow in their understanding of the big story of the Bible.
- Show Them Jesus - Show Them Jesus is an instruction manual for Christian teachers of kids and teens written by a lay Bible teacher with 30 years experience. With a simple framework and lots of real-life examples, Klumpenhower's book helps teachers to identify and communicate the heart of the gospel to each child in each lesson. Conventional wisdom says, Make class more fun! Or just, Make it easier! But Show Them Jesus challenges the culture of low-stakes, low-expectations teaching and invites teachers to do nothing less than teach and treasure the good news of Jesus Christ and Christianity in every lesson.
- Keeping Your Children's Ministry on Mission - Jared Kennedy shares a four-fold approach for gospel-centered, missional children’s ministry: hospitality, teaching, discipleship, and mission. This practical resource covers a variety of topics ranging from creating child protection policies to putting together lesson plans to catechism, helpful for children’s ministers and volunteers alike as they disciple children with the powerful message of the gospel.
- The Trellis and the Vine - this book is a must read for anyone in ministry showing how real ministry is people ministry, not programs, and yet the importance of having a solid trellis (administrative structure) to really support the people ministry (the vine).
- Trauma Informed Children's Ministry - helps children’s ministry leaders understand trauma and strengthen their ministries to serve and disciple hurting kids.
Gospel Centered Kid's Ministry - As kids ministry leaders, we need to take a hard look at what we are missing in our kids ministries and provide kids the one thing that will satisfy them and keep them connected to the church—the gospel. Gospel-Centered Kids Ministry also addresses how to communicate with and encourage gospel-centered leaders and parents as part of your ministry.
- On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church - examines why child predators target churches and offers eleven straightforward strategies to protect children from abuse and to help young victims recover if it does happen. On Guard moves church staff and leaders beyond fearful awareness to prayerful preparedness with an actionable plan.