Saturday, September 08, 2007

Endorsements for my forthcoming book

Here are what some folks have written about Helping Our Children Grow in Faith (which will be available in January from Baker Books):

"I loved this book! Robert Keeley points us in the right direction for building a ministry strategy with children. It is a delight to find someone with a clear vision of how the entire life of the church needs to be developed if we want our children to have a healthy, growing faith in Jesus Christ. This is a 'must read' for every children's pastor and lay leader who cares about the spiritual nurture of children."

Kevin E. Lawson,
Director of Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Educational Studies
Talbot School of Theology
Editor, Christian Education Journal.

“Robert Keeley provides local church leaders with an accessible resource to guide reflection on their ministry with children. Two very important themes weave through the book, the role of the biblical story and the role of the faith community in the "three dimensional" faith formation of children.; the forming of "a faith that affects their head, their heart, and their spirit." Dr. Keeley challenges readers to see Bible stories as more than "moral tales' and discusses how to allow children to discover in those stories who God is and the relationship they can have with our great and loving God. Drawing on his rich experience as a Children's Ministry Director, Dr. Keeley offers practical suggestions for welcoming children into the faith community as authentic participants. He envisions church as a "child friendly culture," an environment healthy for the spiritual growth of children. And he points the way to forming such a community.”

Dr. Catherine Stonehouse
Asbury Theological Seminary
Dean of the School of Practical Theology
Orlean Bullard Beeson Professor of Christian Discipleship
Author of Joining Children on their Spiritual Journey

“Christians love their children deeply and are concerned for their growth, especially their growth in faith. For that reason Robert Keeley gifts us with a delightful, helpful, and accessible book for parents and children's ministry leaders. "Helping Our Children Grow in Faith" is an excellent resource for shoring up children's growth in faith. It also is an entry point for exploring the burgeoning field of resources becoming available that address the faith and spiritual life of children.

Writing from a reformed tradition, he rightly posits the faith of a child as coming from God, and it is the Holy Spirit that begins that work. But the community of faith and the parents are to help build the child's faith. Here is where this book shines.

Structured around six key principles, this book is loaded with stories and examples of how to implement them. For example, because Keeley feels that a church that mentors children may have a greater impact than a church with dynamic programs, he describes how mentoring might take place. His chapter on story is insightful. He also has the courage to go against the popular trend of separating children from adults for worship. He says that children need both--a time to worship with adults and time for worship intended for their own age.”

Scottie May
Dept. of Christian Formation and Ministry
Wheaton College
Co-author of Children Matter: Celebrating their Place in the Church, Family and Community

"Helping our children grow in faith is an engaging look at the opportunities and challenges of nurturing children's faith. Prof. Keeley's clear explanation of faith nurture, and thoughtful examination of the role of parents and congregations in the process is a refreshing invitation for the church to re-prioritize its children's ministry."

Darwin Glassford
Assoc. Professor of Church Education
Director of M.A. Programs
Calvin Theological Seminary

"Keeley has done us all a great service and made very insightful material available. I've always wanted our children to grow in faith and I've worked hard at it. But now I understand better how it happens, what it takes, and how one stage is different from another. Growing their faith won't happen without growing a church in which they can grow. This book will take you inside the church by taking you inside the process of forming a child's faith!"

Howard Vanderwell
Resource Development Specialist
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Co-author of Designing Worship Together

"Bob Keeley combines biblical grounding, educational research, and much experience to create this down-to-earth guide. Readers will find here not only practical advice but also a wise proposal about changing our congregational cultures in ways that benefit young and old. Above all, readers will be inspired by the deep love and respect for children shining through this book."

Debra Rienstra
Associate Professor of English
Calvin College
Author of So Much More: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality

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