Book Review: 52 Creative Family Time Experiences (Smith/Randall House)

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Do you ever hear the term “Family Worship” and think how in the world am I as a parent supposed to do this?  I ask myself this as I have a newborn – only 6 weeks old.  For me, right now, it looks like praying with him while I’m feeding him or talking to him about patience when he is screaming for food or for his diaper to be changed.  But, I know as he gets older, my husband and I have the primary responsibility to lead this little treasure to Christ and to help him grow to be a man of God and to have a heart for God.

Timothy Smith’s new book, 52 Creative Family Time Experiences, helps parents succeed in their role as their child’s primary Christian influence.  This book is a great jumping off point for parents who really need help and direction with leading Family Worship.

Here are some great points about this new tool you can use:

1.  It is adaptable.  If you have kids of varying ages, you can use this book with all of them.  It gives you ideas to make the lesson more applicable to older children and younger ones alike!

2.  It is organized.  Everything from the opening activity to the closing prayer, this book gives you 52 weeks of creative ways to teach the Bible to your children.

3.  The main point is there.  Smith definitely gets that it is the parent’s role to be their child’s main discipler. It is not the church’s.  I’m thankful that he gets it!  I wish every writer writing for families and for youth/children would get that main point.  That is clearly what the Bible teaches.

4.  It is varied.  Smith understands that all children (and adults) do not learn the same way.  He has examples and activities that hit in every learning style: auditory, smell, vision, touch, doing, etc.  This helps when all of your children learn different ways.

My only hesitation for this book is that it is not gospel-centered enough for me.  I would want to teach the explicit Gospel of Jesus in every lesson.  Take just one lesson – the one for Thanksgiving.  It says we need to thank God because He is good and blesses us.  We need to be thankful.  It doesn’t mention that we need to be thankful for the cross of Christ because it is the only way our sins are forgiven.  There are some that teach that and have it written in the lesson, but not all of them.

All in all, this is a “get book” – especially for parents who are striving to teach their children about the Bible and have no clue where to start!