by John Aloisi

Most seminary students are involved in teaching children in some venue or another. Many are husbands and fathers, and so are responsible for training their own children on a daily basis. Others are not, but are still involved in teaching children within the context of their local church. Although sometimes viewed as something less than real “ministry,” teaching children is a significant ministry opportunity in and of itself. It’s also a great training ground for learning about ministering to people of all ages and backgrounds.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a wonderful series of books for teaching children about church history. To date, Reformation Heritage Books has published four volumes in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series by Simonetta Carr. This fairly new series is designed to introduce children to key figures in the history of the Christian church. So far, available volumes have covered John Calvin, Augustine, John Owen, and Athanasius. In addition, a book on Lady Jane Grey is currently in the works. And anticipated volumes include sketches of Anselm, John Knox, and Jonathan Edwards among others.

The CBFYR series is aimed at children ages 7–12. But the beautifully illustrated books have been perfect for teaching 5 and 6 year olds in our church’s Sunday morning kindergarten class as well. The books are clear, engaging, and substantive enough to communicate meaningful information about some remarkable men who stood for Christ in a variety of historical circumstances. My own children love these books, and on numerous occasions I’ve come downstairs in the morning to find an early riser stretched out on the family room floor reading about Athanasius or one of the others. They’ve received the books as Christmas presents and on other special occasions, and each time they’ve been excited to devour the new volume.

If you are wondering why believers should be concerned about teaching church history to children, the author of this series has written a helpful article on that subject. Assuming you are convinced of the value of teaching children about church history and are looking for a tool that will help you introduce children to Christian servants of the past, I can think of no better series of books to help you accomplish that goal.