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Put-your-sunglasses-on bright evangelism

Put-your-sunglasses-on bright evangelism

One of the fun things about being married to my wife is hearing her “guess what happened today” stories. They often involve her meeting another woman and having a conversation that goes something like this:

Them: Oh, are you Stephanie Carmichael?
Steph: Yes.

At this point you’d think the next line would be: “Oh, are you married to Ian Carmichael? That must be such a blessing!” But alas, no…

Them: My little boy loves your books. We read them every day and he knows the words off by heart. Your books are his favourite thing to read!

As you can imagine, Steph tells me about these incidents with a big smile. 

Generally the other person is talking about the Books for Little Ones. But a regular variation on the conversation is a Sunday school teacher saying how much they enjoy using the Teaching Little Ones curriculum.

Steph’s skill has always been in writing simply and engagingly for younger children using her training in early childhood education. Back in 2003, she used that skill to help us develop a child-friendly version of the well-known Two Ways to Live gospel tract. This simple tract is called Who will be king? and if you’ve never seen it you can read it online.

But we’ve always thought there was a need for a slightly longer, ‘slower burn’ version. Something that isn’t just to be quickly read through but for which the child’s brain is fully engaged and key points of the gospel are taught and reinforced. 

I’m delighted to say such a resource is now published and available (and put-your-sunglasses-on bright). 

The Who will be king? Activity Book uses the gospel text from the tract but adds brilliant illustrations by Dawn Lam and a wide variety of fun activities to get kids thinking deeply about the good news of Jesus and its implications for them. 

 It’s hard to explain all that’s in this activity book, so take a look at the complete preview. There are many ways you could use it, including:

  • working through it with your own children or grandchildren
  • making it part of a series of Two Ways to Live-based Sunday school, weekly kids’ club or holiday club lessons
  • using or giving away the books at a summer (beach) mission
  • as an end-of-year gift for a class
  • as giveaways for kids in church at Easter or Christmas.

So what age range of children is it for?

There are some activities that don’t require kids to be able to read, but there are a few that will make even the good readers concentrate. A rough suggested age range would be 5-12, taking into account that the younger ones will obviously need more adult help and some at the older end may find it too easy. But kids are all different in their abilities, so know your child and work out which bits you might need to help them with and which you just let them do alone.

Whatever the age of the child, a critical step is for you to ask them what they think about what they’re learning.

Wherever or however you use the Who will be king? Activity Book, kids will learn about the love God has shown them in the Lord Jesus and how they can now be friends with him. As disciple-making disciples, that’s something we can all join Steph in smiling about.

Ian Carmichael

Ian has been with Matthias Media from its beginning (1988). In late 2020 he stepped down from the CEO role, and now works as an honourary consultant and editor for Matthias Media and Vinegrowers. Ian and his wife, Stephanie, have two adult children, two (gorgeous) grandchildren, and are part of Chatswood Presbyterian church in Sydney. Ian is one of the Vinegrowers team providing free consultations for church leaders who want to more effectively grow the disciple-making culture in their church.