What Is the Church
Mandy Groce, Bill Bell, & Tessa Janes
Christian Focus, 2010
My family has been part of a church plant for the past two years, and during that time we have used three different locations for Sunday worship. The first time we switched buildings my daughter was a tad confused – she kept talking about going to a new church. Trying to explain the difference didn’t help much.
Children’s literature to the rescue! What Is the Church helped us explain that church has nothing to do with a building and everything to do with an identity. In other words, it isn’t a place but rather a group of people. This lovely little book explains the concept very well by speaking of the church as people called to be a family, missionaries, servants, learners, and worshipers. Each of those five callings gets its own 2-page spread and a short rhyme to help readers understand what they mean. What Is the Church is, more or less, Ecclesiology 101 for preschoolers.
Tessa Janes’ whimsical illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the text and left me wondering yet again why more theological kidlit isn’t similarly well done. And brace yourselves: for the first time perhaps ever, I actually appreciated the discussion questions and activity suggestions at the end! (I particularly liked the idea of creating a church family tree.) At under $5 there’s no reason why not to add this title to your home library – or better yet, buy two and donate one to your church library.