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Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship Paperback – February 21, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Compelling reading. . . . Filled with good ideas, straightforward challenges, and true-to-life examples. It's a passionate call to spiritual parenting that reminds adults to actively participate in church services themselves while leading little ones into God's presence." (Bookstore Journal)

"Robbie Castleman does wonders in this book! She actually does show how 'training children to pay attention to God . . . is one rare way to have your cake and eat it too.' Her biblically grounded theology and experientially tested practical ideas give us wonderful suggestions that deepen our own participation in worship, even while we help children truly worship instead of merely keeping quiet. This book is essential--for pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, parents and every other member of the congregation (since we all are responsible for forming the church's offspring). The Christian community could be changed by this book; read it avidly and give it to everyone you know." (Marva J. Dawn, author of Is It a Lost Cause? and Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down)

About the Author

Robbie Castleman, a mother of two sons, is assistant professor of biblical studies at John Brown University and the national director for the Religious & Theological Studies Fellowship with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She is the author of True Love in a World of False Hope and several Bible study guides. She and her husband live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 139 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; Expanded edition (February 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830823409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830823406
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Professor of Theology & Biblical Studies
John Brown University
Known to my students as "Dr. C."

Besides the books listed here, I have contributed chapters to several other works: Faith on the Edge, For All The Saints, Shaped by Faith, My Heart, Christ's Home Devotional, and my husband and I wrote the study guide for Howard Synder's Community of the King. I also have contributed to the Baker Handbook of the Bible and have written for several journals.

Parenting in the Pew, the 3rd edition expanded & updated, Fall 2012
Story-Shaped Worship (IVPress) will be published in spring 2013.
Essentials of the New Testament (IVPress) will be published in 2014.

I am married once and only to a good man who loves me well, Breck Castleman. Our older son, Robert Dayton, is an artist and works as the museum manager for 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas. Our younger son, Scott Breckinridge, is a pastor, like his father and grandfather, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Breck and I also have a beloved beagle named Gilbert and five wonderful grandchildren!

Customer Reviews

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See all 23 customer reviews
I have implemented most of the ideas and have reaped wonderful rewards.
JBake
Starting Sunday with good conversation, a relaxed breakfast, and a godly focus, will definitely cause us to come before His presence with singing.
B. Cobb
Robbie Castleman has written a very helpful book on how to train your children to be in the worship service.
Douglas VanderMeulen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Stewart VINE VOICE on August 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Parenting in the Pew is part memoir and part practical theology as a pastor's wife grapples with issues regarding children and the public worship service. For individuals and churches who are questioning participating in children's ministry programs through elementary school, Parenting in the Pew will provide food for thought and conviction that it is good, right and worthwhile for children to worship with their parents.

For those who already worship as a family or have minimal children's programming, Parenting in the Pew provides encouragement and helpful reminders that the point of having children in worship is to worship, and not to have them sit perfectly still so everyone knows you are the best parent in the room. That can be very important to hear.

Castleman believes that children can be expected to sit through the whole worship service at about age four and everything but the sermon by about two and a half. She does not advocate having children color or look at other books during the worship service. So, if you are looking for practical advice on how to keep your toddler quiet and busy, this book will not meet that need!

I'm glad this book was written and I think it's helpful for the church as a whole. It may or may not be a must-read for your family. I enjoyed her personal style, but she delved into personal beliefs I don't share at a few points, so I would not commend all of her theology. I don't think it was a waste of my time, but I admit, I was looking for toddler tips!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Britt Hanson on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am a church planter. Wondering what to do with kids and not feeling like "Children's ministry" was the way to go, I came upon this book. Robbie breaks us all out of our "children's ministry looks-like-this" mentality, to a new world where parents are actually together with their children.
Many people think that this is going back to and age of "children just be quiet" or gearing the service "just for kids" which it is neither. Robbie breaks us out of both paradigms bringing us to a place where parents are to parent and not simply escape into the mystical point of worship. Where worship is not simply seen as a feeling to attain, where children get in the way, but where worship is something children can be trained in. This is a must read for all who are thinking about church planting and bringing the family together in a practical way. I have made this manditory reading for all my leadership team.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By obrien2@juno.com on November 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
We are using Parenting in the Pew as the basis for a series of seminars for parents and children. Castleman rightly puts the focus on worshiping God and not "what we can get out of it" or "how to keep kids still." She says that while we often say "Bless my soul, O Lord," the Scripture says "Bless the Lord, O my soul." Rev. Cynthia O'Brien, Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church, Fairview, Portland, Oregon
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
The suggestions in this book are novel yet simple to apply. These tips have transformed our worship experience. Instead of finding tips to entertain or distract children, Castleman demonstrates how to engage children in the service and how this effort enhances the parent's worship, to boot! Thank you, Robbie Castleman. I recommend this book to parents of all denominations who wish to share their love of God with their children.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Douglas VanderMeulen on May 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the perennial issues all parents have to deal with is how to effectively train their children to participate in the morning/evening worship service. This can be one of the most embarrassing seasons in any parents life. But it is also one of the most important seasons in the life of your child as they learn to participate in the right worship of God among congregation of the redeemed.

Robbie Castleman has written a very helpful book on how to train your children to be in the worship service. This book is a very practical guide to help you train-up your children to enjoy the worship service. She helps the reader understand that the quality of what happens on Sunday starts on Saturday evening. As a pastor's wife, Castleman had to sit with her children as a "single mother" because her husband was in the pulpit. She tells you how she not only survived but how she learned to make the time in the pew Christ honoring both for her and her children. I could not over state how helpful this book was to my wife and me as we brought our children into the worship service and toddlers. Great gift idea. Should be on every church's book table and a regular part of a congregations' helping young parents in training-up their children in the way they should go. This book should be given to every young family that attends church services.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JBake on May 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book if full of excellent and practical advice to help train your children to worship the Lord right along with mom and dad in the service. I have implemented most of the ideas and have reaped wonderful rewards. It is a wonderful experience when your kids worship with you. Even my two-year-old is sitting relatively quietly and more importantly, she is participating in the service!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patricia L. Lacoss-Arnold on February 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
My mother gave me this book. I wasn't very excited about it since we have some differences in how we parent and our views on church. I loved it though! I couldn't put it down and have been recomending it to every christian parent I know. In fact my parents have been getting large orders of this book and giving them away and I think that is what I am going to do as well.

This is a book about how to raise your children to be spiritual people who understand and know God. It is about including them in church instead of sending them off to be entertained so that the adults can worship. It is a very convicting book and if you follow it you will find church to be both harder work (parenting) and more fulfilling.
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