Subtitled Guiding Your Children Into the Joy of Worship, this is quite a unique book. First of all, it should be stated that Robbie Castleman is a mother of two boys, assistant professor of biblical studies at John Brown University (wherever that is), national director for the Religious and Theological Studies Fellowship with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, as well as husband of a minister. So she has rather a full resume.
This book is very short and easy to read, and basically details Robbie’s suggestions on how to make church-going accessible for your children. In Robbie’s ideal church, once a child is past the age of 4, they should be able to sit through the entire service with their parents on a regular basis.
This is quite a far cry from all the churches I’ve ever been in, where children can spend the majority of their Sundays up until they’re about age 12 in Sunday School.
I won’t go into all Robbie’s methodologies for two reasons: 1) You won’t have any reason to read the book. And 2) some of her suggestions are more suited for a church with a more structured liturgy. (As far as I can work out, she is Presbyterian, but exactly what branch of Presbyterian in America I’m not sure).
But this is an encouraging book, if only for the huge burden of authentic worship that it lays on us as adults. Do we get enthusiastic about the content of songs? Do we pay close attention to what we’re learning in sermons so that we can be edified? Do we prepare our minds to come into God’s presence? How seriously do we take communion/baptism?
In fact, I can guarantee that if you read this book (whether you have children or not), you will be convicted of your own approach to worshipping in church. Robbie’s enthusiasm and fervour for coming before the presence of God is infectious, and it has certainly made me want to rethink my approach to church in 2008.
4 1/2 out of 5.