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Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus Paperback – September 30, 2013

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Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus + Formational Children's Ministry: Shaping Children Using Story, Ritual, and Relationship (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) + Postmodern Children's Ministry: Ministry to Children in the 21st Century Church (emergentYS)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (September 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830841083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830841080
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The book's practical chapters make many good points. I don't think there is a Sunday school teacher alive who isn't teaching with the hope of making lifelong disciples. Some of Csinos' and Beckwith's ideas would certainly help." (Violet Nesdoly, Faith Today, November/December 2013)

"This book is a beautiful invitation into a way of ministering alongside children. I love how Beckwith and Csinos write about formation with children as a tale of traveling companions, setting out on a journey together to know and experience God along the way. Rich!" (Mimi Keel, Jacob's Well Church, Kansas City, Missouri)

"Finally--a design for children's ministry that actually takes children seriously! Incisive, thoughtful and creative, David Csinos and Ivy Beckwith have written a wonderful guide, packed full of constructive ideas, for fostering a 'new ecclesial culture' in which children are full and lively participants in Christian life and community." (Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, author of Let the Children Come and In the Midst of Chaos)

"Simply brilliant! If I could influence church leaders and children's ministry practitioners to read just one book on children's ministry, Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus would be the one. In this book Dave and Ivy have achieved something remarkable as they have captured the current picture of children's ministry in the West, succinctly set that picture within recent history and used their collective wisdom, experience and knowledge to purposefully provide the settings for an alternative future in children's work--a future not solely focused on educative or entertaining programs and children's cognitive ability but a much more holistic approach. One that is more intentionally nurturing and formational to children as spiritual beings, theologians, disciples of Jesus and worshipers of God within, of course, a church community--a community that is intergenerational, humble and willing to journey with them as fellow travelers and colearners as we all seek to grow in the way of Jesus day by day. Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus needs and deserves to be one of the most influential texts on children's ministry of our generation and in years to come." (Yvonne Morris. children's adviser, Diocese of Oxford, and author of Side by Side with God in Everyday Life)

"Hats off to Csinos and Beckwith for partnering to produce a book that will help to change children's ministry as we have known it. What a difference this change will bring to the spiritual formation of kingdom kids! As both practitioners and scholars, Csinos and Beckwith have combined their talents to provide a thought-provoking resource for revolutionizing the ministry paradigm found in many, many evangelical churches. They challenge children's leaders to go much deeper than merely providing the best (think fun) hour of the week for children; they want children to meet God and be formed through the Holy Spirit. Of course, there is a chapter on theology but also a chapter on dealing with the hard, honest questions that children ask--a chapter that includes the value and virtues of doubts. Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus explores themes and concepts beyond most children's ministry books. I will eagerly recommend it to my students." (Scottie May, teacher, writer, and lover of children, Wheaton College)

"Finally there is a book for practitioners in children's ministry that spells out what those in the academic world of children's Christian education have been saying for decades: children's ministry needs to be, primarily, about spiritual formation! Ivy Beckwith and David Csinos masterfully weave rich research with practical examples from their experiences leading children's ministries to cast a vision of ministry with children as opposed to ministry to children. Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus provides churches with a clear path to engaging children's hearts, minds and imaginations with the transformative message of the gospel." (Henry Zonio, husband, dad, sociologist, author and blogger at

"In Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus, David Csinos and Ivy Beckwith take a thoughtful and insightful look at the faith of children and how the church has and should respond to that faith. This book is deep enough to be enjoyed by those with years of experience but clear and engaging enough to be read by those just starting in the field. The authors' emphasis on how theology should shape ministry with children is both helpful and challenging. This is a great book for any group of people working with children to read together." (Robert J. Keeley, professor of education, Calvin College, and author of Helping Our Children Grow in Faith, and Laura Keeley, director of children's ministry at 14th Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, and a curriculum writer)

"Popular approaches to children's ministry equate good children's ministry with glitzy, fun programs that parents and congregations appreciate for giving them respite from children's presence. In contrast, Csinos and Beckwith define children's ministry as serving and caring for children, leading them in turn to serve one another and the world as Jesus' followers. This insightful book will help congregations--not just 'children's ministers'--explore what Jesus meant by teaching us to welcome and be led by children." (Diana R. Garland, dean of the Baylor University School of Social Work and coeditor of Journal of Family and Community Ministries)

"With all the creative planning, programming, theologizing and dreaming that's been happening for youth and adults, there has been too little fresh thinking about ministry with children. Thankfully, that's changing--and this book is prime evidence of that good news. If you're ready to venture into new horizons in children's ministry, start reading. You'll find well-written chapters full of wise insight--and you'll be inspired to be part of a new era in the spiritual formation of children." (Brian McLaren, author, speaker, activist,

About the Author

David M. Csinos ( is an author and speaker in the areas of children´s spirituality, culture, and spiritual formation. Dave is author of Children's Ministry that Fits and editor (with Melvin Bray) of Faith Forward. He is founder and President of Faith Forward, an organization for innovation in ministry with children and youth,and he is a doctoral candidate and Teaching for Ministry Fellow at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

Ivy Beckwith (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is director of educational ministries at Rutgers Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. She has worked as an editor and education consultant for Group Publishing and Gospel Light Publications and held educational positions in churches in both the Midwest and on the East Coast. Beckwith is the author of Postmodern Children's Ministry, The Ultimate Survival Guide for Children's Ministry Workers and Formational Children's Ministry.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elsie Rempel on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Csinos and Beckwith’s bold and provocative title, “Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus” made me wonder what this book would hold. Could the authors contend they have found out how Jesus would organize children’s ministry in our current context? Would this be like a WWJD bracelet around current ideas for children’s ministry? With an introduction entitled “Doing Children’s Ministry Differently” I was curious.
Perhaps the first wearers of the label “Christians” faced similar responses. We Christians do after all refer to ourselves as little Christs, as those who walk in the way of Jesus, with Jesus and his other followers. That can also sound presumptuous; because it is a bold goal, one we can only accomplish as Christ is increasingly formed in us. Yet that bold and even revolutionary goal is precisely what this book recommends as a paradigm for Children’s ministry. Children are to be accepted and regarded as disciples in training, with gifts and insights to offer while we accompany each other on our journey of faith. This journey embraces all aspects of church life and introduces all travellers to the wide and diverse family of friends that are attracted by Jesus.
This basic orientation grounds David and Ivy’s comprehensive book on faith formation. Its view of “children’s ministry” is therefore much broader than the age segregated educational model that dominated church life in the last century. This view of children’s ministry emerges from the authors’ solid grasp of the physical/psycho/social/spiritual development theories of the last fifty years and more, information which they effectively summarize for their readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Budd on February 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has so much paradigm shifting information. I got this because we are working on coming up with Learning objectives for our various classrooms. Well, that is not what this book is about -- this book is about coming along side of and instilling the truth of the Bible into children by sharing life with them. I still have a ways to go and my head is not completly around this yet. WOW!
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Wow! This book sums up all I have been learning about Children's Ministry recently. I am so impressed and it is so lovely to see it all one book. If only every pastor and childrens worker would read this! If I had the money I would buy a copy for every childrens worker i know.

If you are frustrated with sunday school or children's ministry than this book will help you think about it differently. It will help you work out what is important today and a little bit about what it could look like. Finally people are thinking about it theologically and practically!

Thanks David & Ivy!
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This is a great book to start thinking about doing Children's Ministry differently. The focus is on intergenerational activities, involving children in the life of the church and worship, alternatives to the schooling model, and much more. It is a great book to get the conversation going about how to do Children's Ministry differently.
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By RogueReverend on November 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful book that takes everything that I have thought about ministry with children and puts it into clear, concise language. You'll be saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" on nearly every page.
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