Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church
By Valerie Bell with Chris Marchand, Matt Markins, and Mike Handler
Thinking of what the church will be like in 2050 seems so far away until you realize the future leaders of the church are today’s youth.
There is no argument that the world today is very much different than it was thirty, twenty and even ten years ago. Secularism drives culture and is increasing in power, influence and normality while conservatism and modern Christianity is diminishing in number, popularity, and morality, or, slowly conforming to the world’s views and standards. The cultural gap between secularism and the convictional church will continue to widen unless new action and motivation take over. In the midst of changing cultural climates, Christian leaders are asking a very timely question in order to redirect the direction the church is heading in.
Is the church adequately discipling today’s youth to lead the future of the church in a world that is becoming more and more hostile to the gospel?
Is the church still trying to teach an old dog new tricks when the dog is bored with tricks and instead is more intrigued by the happenings of the world around them?
The conversation is a vital one to have and for many, the answer is the church is not doing its job to disciple children according to the world they live in. Moreover, it’s a terrifying thought to consider that the world we live in could become even more dark and scary if the church, faith, moral values and Christianity as a whole lose relevancy and perhaps cease to exist in the relatively near future.
Enter Resilient: Child Discipleship and the Fearless Future of the Church. This hot-topic book is written by the CEO of Awana, Valerie Bell, along with the VP of Partner Solutions, Rev. Chris Marchand, CCO, Mike Handler and President, Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Markins – talk about a power team! Resilent is both a wake-up call and a love letter to the church about the importance of disciple-making to sustain a lifelong faith that combats cultural adversity.
Backed by a plethora of research, Resilent addresses child discipleship by focusing on three key areas that current church leaders and influencers believe are essential for shaping long-term faith:
– Belonging: Highly relational ministry led by a loving and caring adult
– Believing: Deeply Scriptural ministry rooted in the truth of God’s Word and the power of the gospel
– Becoming: Truly experiential ministry, designed to move kids from simulation to real-world application of faith-based living
Resilient offers a biblical and proven child discipleship philosophy that is applicable to children’s ministry as well as relational ministry within your home and community. Resilient is both challenging and inspiring and is not afraid to tackle hard questions or the harsh reality of the world we live in. Each chapter is filled with true stories, statistics, spiritual direction, practical ways to implement discipleship and more, concluding with insightful questions that provoke action and conversation.
I absolutely loved reading this book and was hooked from the introduction! I often think about raising children in today’s world and seek various Christian resources for support, wisdom, and direction but honestly, I haven’t thought much about the future of the church and the importance of creating resilient disciples. The future is unknown but after reading Resilient I feel encouraged and better equipped to go about discipling my children and the youth I come in contact with.
In my opinion, Resilient is a must-read book for any church leader, in particular, anyone in children’s or youth ministry, as well as for any parent or Christ follower who is passionate about discipleship and spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. I highly agree with a lot that was said in this book and strongly believe that the state of the church, both present and future, lies in the souls of those who are a part of children’s ministry.
** I received this book by FrontGate Media in exchange for promotion and an honest review