Surrounded by a Great Cloud of Witnesses - Passing on our Family Heritage to our Children
Much as we take pleasure in recounting family stories, the ones we most enjoy sharing with our children are the family stories of men and women of the church. Because for Christians, church history is our family heritage. The world our children are growing up in is not the same as the one in which we came to adulthood in. The remnants of a biblical framework which for long salted our culture for good are fading quickly. Now biblical views on sexuality, life, marriage, and so many more topics, once the general consensus, are viewed as outdated, or worse, narrow-minded and bigoted. Life as a believer is likely to become much more difficult in coming days, and for this reason, we ought to be calling our children to courage with stories of men and women of faith from past generations.
A great way to introduce your young children to church history is by reading them stories, and here are some great resources we've used:
We've thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling in the two books we've read so far in this new five volume series. Though intended for ages 9-14, these books lend themselves well to reading to a wide variety of ages and would be a great addition to family devotion times.
Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church
Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church
Courage and Conviction: Chronicles of the Reformation Church
Hearts and Hands: Chronicles of the Awakening Church
Rescue and Redeem: Chronicles of the Modern Church
2. Louise Vernon biographies
These are more books that we've appreciated through the years at our family worship times. For a while these older books were out of print, but their popularity has caused them to be once again easily accessible. Here are some of the titles:
- Ink on His Fingers (Gutenberg)
- The Bible Smuggler (Tyndale)
- The Man Who Laid the Egg (Erasmus)
- Thunderstorm in Church (Luther)
- The Beggar's Bible (Wycliffe)
3. Trailblazer Series
A fun series of books for young readers to enjoy independently, the Trailblazer books tell stories of great men and women of faith, often from the perspective of young fictional characters.
You'll find a long list of Christian heroes to choose from in this series, from Adoniram and Ann Judson (book on the left) to Hudson Taylor to Mary Slessor.
4. Trial and Triumph
Canon Press's publication, also suggested for the ages as the above books, actually seems appropriate for somewhat older readers, though it also lends itself to being read aloud to younger children.
Mr. Hannula is not only a gifted storyteller, but he's made some brilliant choices of men and women to profile. Among the 46 featured lives, you'll find some you're well-acquainted with such as Augustine, Luther, Bunyan, and Spurgeon. But I've especially enjoyed reading about (to me) lesser known men and women such as Anne Askew, Renee the Duchess of Ferrara, and