If you are wondering what to read for Advent, or what to give your children in their Christmas stocking, we recommend a beautiful new book by Katy Morgan. The Promise and the Light is a retelling of the nativity story. It’s written for children aged 8-12, but it’s pretty good for adults too! From the very first page Katy pulls us right into the story, introducing us to Mary, Joseph and Zechariah as they experience the events of the first Christmas – not as cardboard characters but as real, living people with their own thoughts, feelings and voices.
The story is told in 25 short chapters, ideal for reading during the 25 days of Advent. It’s been very well received:
- “Fed up with school nativities and sentimental Christmas cards? Then The Promise and the Light is for you. It’s a fantastic retelling of the Christmas story from the perspective of those who witnessed it first-hand. It’s historically informed and beautifully reimagined. The result is an engrossing tale through which the message of Jesus shines.” – Tim Chester
- “If you’re looking for a family read-aloud this Christmas, or for a book for your kids to read for themselves, this book captures the wonder of Christmas while retaining the power of the biblical narrative” – Courtney Reissig
- “Fire your imagination with a story full of wonder, amazement, confusion and shocks” – Ed Drew
Katy Morgan is an Editor at The Good Book Company, which is dedicated to helping Christians and local churches grow. She holds a master’s degree in classical Greek literature, and previously worked in a ministry role as part of a school chaplaincy.
The Promise and the Light can be ordered direct from the Good Book Company here. Or listen to Katy talking about the book in a ‘Faith in Kids’ podcast here. “It’s not preaching about Christmas,” Katy says; “it’s immersing yourself in Christmas.” The whole podcast is great – and Katy comes on about 7 minutes in.
Roger Morgan writes:
For many years Alison and I led the ministry at Holy Trinity Leicester. Our congregation had people of all ages, but more young than old, including many children. It still does. Since then we have served as consultants and visiting speakers for churches all over the country. We soon noticed that most churches, certainly most Anglican churches, have far more older members than young ones. This is obviously alarming; and it’s now generally recognised that unless something is done most Anglican churches will sooner or later close their doors.
This unhappy picture is confirmed in a recent General Synod report by Jimmy Dale & David Male. They show that out of every 650 children under 16 in the UK, only one is to be found in an Anglican church on a Sunday. Things are getting steadily worse; numbers of children have declined by 20% in the last 5 years alone. However, Jimmy and David also report that nearly 5% of Anglican churches still have 25 or more children on Sundays. With my old statistician’s hat on this means they have what I call a critical mass – and it means that, for these churches at least, decline is not inevitable.
This takes me back to the research project which I began in 2012, when I set out to identify churches which are growing not older but younger, hoping to learn from them what their secret is. I found such churches in cities, towns and villages. The result was a book which I called Growing Younger – it attempts to set out a number of clear steps by which any church can turn things around if they want to, and if they have the necessary courage, faith and determination.
We remain passionate about the need to reach and disciple the next generation – not just here but also through our ministry in Africa with the Rooted in Jesus Junior programme. If we do not reach our children, it is hard to see how our faith will be made available to future generations.
If you have a story to tell which might help others, if your church leadership group would value a conversation about your own children’s work, or if you feel you would like to get involved with Rooted in Jesus Junior, we would be glad to hear from you! Otherwise, we would value your prayers as we seek to play our part in the national desire to turn things round.
To find out more visit our Ministry to Families page.
To find out more about Rooted in Jesus Junior visit the Rooted in Jesus website here.
To contact us click here.