Christian history matters for our kids.
Not only that, learning about Christian history can be fun for children. After all, they are drawn to story, and they gravitate toward heroes!
Let’s talk about four compelling reasons for sharing stories about the history of our faith with your kids. Then, we’ll explore some fantastic Christian history books you’ll want to check out!
Reasons to Teach Christian History to Your Kids
1) Teaching Christian History gives kids heroes.
Humans gravitate toward celebrities, sports stars and comic book characters. Let’s give our kids some real heroes–people who loved Jesus and lived to his glory.
The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!” ~ Psalm 16:3 (NLT)
2) Teaching Christian History gives kids peers and a family history.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)
What could be better than allowing the “cloud of witnesses” to point our kids toward Jesus?
3) Teaching Christian History gives kids a clear view of God’s sovereign hand in history.
Charles Spurgeon (the “Prince of Preachers”) once said:
Cheer up, Christian! Things are not left to chance: no blind fate rules the world. God hath purposes, and those purposes are fulfilled. God hath plans, and those plans are wise, and never can be dislocated.”
We often cannot see God’s purposes in our own lives, but we can recognize them years later in the lives of others.
4) Teaching Christian History gives kids solid examples of lives sold-out for Jesus.
One of my boys wrote a long testimony to give on the day of his baptism. He gave me permission to share the last paragraph with you. He was nine at the time:
I’m a Christian. I will follow Jesus for the rest of my life… I’ve been thinking about all the great Christians we’ve been reading about like Lillian Trasher, Mary Slessor, and Eric Liddell. I want to be like them–a God-fearing Christian who leads many lives to Christ. I will follow Jesus with my life.”
Christian History Books
When children are young, we teach Christian history simply by reading it. You can incorporate the readings into your history, science, art, music, devotions or bedtime routine.
I’m excited to share some of my favorite Christian history books and series with you.
Books about Abolition and the Reformation by Danika Cooley (that’s me!)
- In Christian history, the Modern Church has faced turbulence, growth, and reformation. The Modern Church has seen the rise of missions and evangelism. It has experienced brutal wars and oppressive regimes. The Modern Church, too, saw the rise–and fought for the end–of chattel slavery. During the time of abolition, many Christians chose to glorify God by loving their neighbors as themselves. Believers searched Scripture to find what the Lord has to say about his creation. All humans are made in the image of God. We are to love and care for others. Through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, many Christians learned to sacrifice on behalf of those in need. Teach your kids about the Modern Church with fun narrative and important biblical truth through the Who What Why series from Danika Cooley and Christian Focus Publications.
- The Reformation was an important time in both the history of the Christian Church, and in global history. God used his Word, new technology, and faithful believers to bring people to the truth of Scripture. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. Scripture alone is our authority–not the word of councils or popes. We live our lives and do all things to the glory of God alone. Teach your kids about the Reformation Church with fun narrative and important biblical truth through the Who What Why series from Danika Cooley and Christian Focus Publications.
- Martin Luther’s story is exciting.There are death defying moments, epic spiritual battles, narrow escapes, a kidnapping, revolution, and war. As the “Father of the Reformation”, Luther is a vital figure in Church history. His sacrifice and willingness to wage battle against the spiritual, religious, and political powers of his medieval world allowed Christians throughout time to embrace the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as explained by Scripture alone once again.When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther from Danika Cooley and Fortress Press is the perfect family read-aloud, and a fun narrative read for your teens!
Two Great Individual Resources for Younger Kids
These overviews of the history of Christianity belong in every home library.
Christian History For the Youngest Children
The Little Lights series by Catherine Mackenzie are recommended for ages 4-7:
Christian Book: Little Lights Biographies
The Heroes for Young Readers line by Renee Taft Meloche is a set of picture books written as rhyming biographies.
Bethany Hamilton: Riding the Waves (Heroes for Young Readers)C.S. Lewis: The Man Who Gave Us Narnia (Heroes for Young Readers)Nick Vujicic: No Limits (Heroes for Young Readers)George Washington Carver: America’s Scientist (Heroes of History for Young Readers)Louis Zamperini: Survivor and Champion (Heroes of History for Young Readers)Loren Cunningham: Making God Known (Heroes for Young Readers)George Washington: America’s Patriot (Heroes of History for Young Readers)Ida Scudder: Healing in India (Heroes for Young Readers)Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World (Heroes for Young Readers)Daniel Boone: Bravery on the Frontier (Heroes of History for Young Readers)Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Little House Life (Heroes of History for Young Readers
Christian Book: Heroes for Young Readers
The Trailblazers Series by Dave and Neta Jackson are a set of engaging historical fiction that incorporate lives and facts about real people.
Trailblazers: Featuring William Tyndale and Other Christian Heroes (Trailblazer Books) (v. 3)Trailblazers: Featuring David Livingstone and Other Christian Heroes (Trailblazer Books)Trailblazers: Featuring Harriet Tubman and Other Christian Heroes (Trailblazer Books)Trailblazers: Featuring Martin Luther and Other Christian Heroes (Trailblazer Books)Trailblazers: Featuring Amy Carmichael and Other Christian Heroes (Trailblazer Books)
Christian History For Middle Grades & Middle School
Our family loves the Christian Focus Trail Blazers books. They’re perfect for ages 7-14. We read them as we studied history! Check them out.
Eric Liddell: Finish the RaceJohn Chrysostom: The Preacher in the Emperor’s CourtSamuel Rutherford: The Law, the Prince and the ScribeFrancis & Edith Schaeffer: Taking on the WorldTitanic: The Ship of DreamsWilliam Tyndale: The Smuggler’s FlameWilfred Grenfell: Courageous DoctorDietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the WheelElisabeth Elliot: Do the Next ThingBetty Greene: Courage Has WingsUlrich Zwingli: Shepherd WarriorLilias Trotter: Daring in the DesertIsobel Kuhn: Lights in LisulandJim Elliot: He Is No FoolGeorge Müller: The Children’s ChampionAdoniram Judson: Danger on the Streets of GoldPatricia St. John: The Story Behind the StoriesHelen Roseveare: On His Majesty’s ServiceJohn Newton: A Slave Set FreeJohn Calvin: After Darkness LightJohn Knox: The Sharpened SwordBilly Graham: Just get up out of your SeatRichard Wurmbrand: A Voice in the DarkMary Slessor: Servant to the SlaveJoni Eareckson Tada: Swimming Against the TideHudson Taylor: An Adventure BeginsAugustine: The Truth SeekerPatrick of Ireland: The Boy Who ForgaveBrother Andrew: Behind Enemy LinesLottie Moon: Changing China for ChristD L Moody: One Devoted ManNate Saint: Operation AucaJohn Welch: The Man Who Couldn’t Be StoppedMichael Faraday: Spiritual DynamoWilliam Wilberforce: The Freedom FighterC. S. Lewis: The Story Teller: Trailblazers SeriesJonathan Edwards: America’s GeniusCharles Spurgeon: Prince of PreachersGeorge Müller: The Children’s ChampionGeorge Whitefield: Voice That Woke the WorldAmy Carmichael: Rescuer By NightMary of Orange: At the Mercy of KingsMartyn Lloyd-Jones: From Wales to WestminsterHannah More: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Stop WritingFanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s SongPaul Brand: The Shoes That Love MadeFrances Ridley Havergal: The Girl Who Loved MountainsCorrie Ten Boom: The Watchmaker’s DaughterGladys Aylward: No Mountain Too HighJohn Bunyan: Journey of a PilgrimDavid Brainerd: A Love for the LostJohn G. Paton: South Sea Island RescueBilly Bray: Saved From the Deepest PitJohn Stott: The Humble LeaderBill Bright: Dare to be DifferentCharles Simeon: For Christ in Cambridge (Trail Blazers)William Carey: Expecting Great Things (Trail Blazers)Jack Turner: Truth in the Arctic (Trail Blazers)Elaine Townsend: At Home Around the World (Trail Blazers)Thomas Clarkson: The Giant With One Idea (Trailblazers)John and Betty Stam: To Die is Gain (Trail Blazers)Maud Kells: Fearless in the Forest (Trail Blazers)Jim Elliot: He Is No Fool (Trail Blazers)Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love (Trailblazers)Polycarp: Faithful unto Death (Trail Blazers)Thomas Cranmer: The King’s Ambassador (Trailblazers)Olaudah Equiano: A Man of Many Names (Trail Blazers)
We love this set. The History Lives set by Brandon and Mindy Withrow has stories in chronological order.
Christian Book: History Lives: Chronicles of the Church
We also use Geoff and Janet Benge’s series:
Christian Heroes Books 1-5 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Christian Heroes Books 6-10 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) (Displays and Gift Sets)Christian Heroes Books 11-15 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Christian Heroes Books 16-20 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Christian Heroes Books 21-25 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Christian Heroes Books 26-30 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)Christian Heroes Books 31-35 Gift Set (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
Christian Book: Christian Heroes by Geoff and Janet Benge
Simonetta Carr has a beautiful line of unusual subjects in a picture-book-for-older kids series.
Irenaeus (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Marie Durand – Christian Biographies for Young ReadersAugustine of Hippo (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Athanasius (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)John Newton (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Martin Luther – Christian Biographies for Young ReadersJohn Calvin (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)John Knox (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Jonathan Edwards (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Lady Jane Grey (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)John Owen (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Peter Martyr Vermigli (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Anselm of Canterbury (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Julia Gonzaga (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)Phillis Wheatley – Christian Biographies for Young ReadersJohn Bunyan (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
Christian Book: Christian Biographies for Young Readers
Have fun teaching your kids about the heroes of the faith!
Bible Resources for Your Kids
Christian Biographies for Kids | Christian History for Kids | Theology for Kids
Christian History Matters for Our Kids.
History matters. Now, more than ever, we see how important it is for our children to know and understand history and the Bible.
- God is the sovereign ruler of all things. It’s important for our kids to see his hand in the history of nations and in the lives of both peasants and kings.
- Christian history is the story of our family history. Our kids get to see how people who love Jesus follow him.
- Understanding history can help our kids learn historic and biblical theology. They learn what the Bible says and what that means for us. They also see when the study of Scripture has taken important turns that have changed the Church.
- Reading Christian biographies and history can be a wonderful way for kids to think outside their own time and culture. God’s Church spans centuries and includes people from every nation.
- Christian biographies help kids consider their own faith, walk with Jesus, and the impact their witness may one day have on others–and on history.
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