Most seminary students are involved in teaching children in some venue or another. Many are husbands and fathers, and so are responsible for instructing their own children on a regular basis. Others are not yet husbands or fathers 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 to minister to people of all ages and backgrounds.
A number of years ago, I stumbled upon a helpful series of books for teaching children about church history: the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series by Simonetta Carr. This series is designed to introduce children to key figures in the history of the Christian church. Volumes in the series have covered heroes of the faith such as Athanasius, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, and Charles Spurgeon among others.
The CBFYR series is aimed at children ages 7–12 but can certainly be enjoyed by those outside this age range. These beautifully illustrated books are clear, engaging, and substantive enough to communicate meaningful information about some remarkable men who stood for Christ in a variety of historical times and places. My own children have enjoyed 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.
In addition to this series, in 2022 Reformation Heritage Books also published a more comprehensive volume (272 pp.) for slightly older children titled Church History also by Simonetta Carr.