Know a kids’ ministry leader? Bless them by buying them some of these books and sending them and their team to the NEXT conference!

I asked my friends that are serving in children’s ministry the top books they’d recommend someone leading in Kids Ministry needs to read, especially if they are just starting out. Some of the authors on this list came up repeated times, so I just picked one of their books.

Oh, before I give you the book list – If you are involved in Kids Ministry in ANY way – you need to come to NEXT. Everyone – leader, volunteer, helper, big church, small church, in-between church, veteran or just starting helping in kids ministry… is invited. NEXT is, a children’s ministry conference designed to encourage and equip you to make a difference in the lives of kids and families. The day is full of lots of practical workshops that will help you make a difference in your kids’ ministry immediately. More details at:

Here are the top 10 kids’ ministry books:

1.       Give me Jesus: Gospel-Centred Children’s Ministry that Changes Lives By Ryan Frank
This is full of practical advice on how we keep the gospel at the centre of children’s and family ministry.

2.       Think Orange – Imagine the impact when church and Family Collide By Reggie Joiner
Helps you know how you can synchronize what’s happening and be talked about in the church with what’s happening and be talked about in a child’s home. It gives great advice on strategically partnering with parents.

3.       Making your Children’s Ministry the Best Hour of Every Kid’s Week By Sue Miller and David Staal
Provides step by step guidance and creative application exercise to help a church develop a thriving children’s ministry – one that aims to be the best hour of every kid’s week.

4.       Leadership Essentials for Children’s Ministry By Craig Jutila
Looks at four foundational “pillars” of leadership called P.A.T.H. (Passion, Attitude, Teamwork, Honour). This book is to help you with your practical leadership skills, passion as a leader and vision as a leader.

5.       Volunteers that Stick By Jim Wideman
Excellent volunteers are essential to a strong kids’ ministry. This book offers practical strategies for any size church on getting volunteers in the right spots, and then helping them grow in their skills and enthusiasm.

6.       Lead the way God made you By Larry Shallenberger
This book helps you discover and use your personal leadership style, even if you are still wondering why God made you a leader in kids’ ministry! In addition, it contains practical help in leading your team (paid or volunteers) to be effective and have fun as you serve together.

7.       Church + Home By Mark Holmen or Shift By Brian Haynes
Yes, I cheated here by naming two books. Both came up with the kids’ ministry leaders I surveyed and both books are of the same theme.
These books are about equipping parents as the primary faith influencers in their children’s lives. Both books help you know how to leverage connections and rites of passage to partner with parents.

8.       Show Them Jesus By Jack Klumpenhower
Helps volunteers and teachers to identify and communicate the heart of the gospel to each child in each lesson.

9.       Children’s Ministry: An Atlantic Canadian Perspective Editor Jody Linkletter & Nancy Murphy
Practical kids’ ministry help for us right here in Atlantic Canada. Includes chapters on partnering with parents, understanding kids, recruiting volunteers, choosing curriculum, kids worship, camping, milestones for kids and more.

10.   Intergenerational Christian Formation By Christine Lawton Ross and Holly Catterton Allen
A complete framework on how to help your church move towards being more intergenerational, with the whole church together as one family and people of all ages learning and growing together.

Happy reading!
Want to bless a kids’ ministry leader? – Buy them one or two or three of these books and send them to the NEXT conference (More info here).

Keep joining God in your neighbourhoods and inviting kids to do the same!