Teenager, put down the screen

Kids, pre-teens and teenagers spend so much time on screens. I’m not condemning screen time at all, I’m also in front of a screen a lot of the time. Over the past year that scree time has just gone up, especially for kids and teenagers. School went online. I’m assuming that gaming time went up. More time was spend in front of a screen, for a number of activities and reasons. So, here are some resources for pre-teens and teens that will hopefully peak their interest and give their eyes a break from the screens. If we want our teenagers to be equipped and strong Christians then we need to invest time in that. Here are some apologetics books, specifically written for pre-teens and teens, and stories of Christian from the past that they can learn from…

Teenagers ask some tough questions. Tough questions should be encouraged, not silenced. But not every teenager wants to hear the answers from mum and dad. So, why not let them discover the answers for themselves?

The Good Book Company have published a helpful series series of tough questions and what the Bible has to say about them written by Christ Morphew. These are important questions that many adults ask today. It’s a good idea to encourage your teens to ask and think about these questions now. Prepare them as well as you can for a long life of faithfulness.

What Happens When We Die?

Death is not something that we can shield our teenagers from, so best to teach them well on the topic. Death isn’t the nicest of topics to think about, but there are some important questions about what happens next. What happens to the non-Christian friend who dies? Is heaven going to be boring and hell is where the party is at? That’s what many people believe today. In this book Chris Morphew unpacks what the Bible teaches heaven, hell, eternal life, the return of Jesus and more. The book is fast paced, not overly complicated and written with 9-13 year old in mind. This book will be a great way to start conversations with your pre-teens and teens about the reality of life after death and how that should influence our lives now.

Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?

So so many Christian ask this question. In my experience, so many teenagers want to ask this questions, but can too shy or scared to do so. I’m a huge advocate of investing significant time in our theology of suffering. It is better to be prepared for what will come, rather than learn after the suffering has arrived. Morphew tackles some massive topics in this book in such a simple and concise way. For example; where is God when I suffer? Does God actually care? Why doesn’t God help when I ask Him to? Each chapter is written in an accessible way and with illustrations suitable for 9-13 year olds. Morphew tackles this topic really well and I think this would set your pre-teens and teens up well for whatever comes their way. There is no sugar coating, or self-help advice, Morphew gets you into the Bible and gives you hope in the midst of suffering.

How Do We Know That Christianity Is Really True?

Every parent, relative, friend and church leader wants the pre-teens and teens they care for to have and to keep a living faith in Jesus. But it must be their own faith. God has no grandchildren. Every person needs to wrestle with the evidence for Christianity and the impact that should have on their lives. This is a great place for 9-13 year olds to start. Morphew does a great mixture of examining biblical evidence and exploring facts about Jesus and the Bible to give the reader confidence that Christianity is true. This would be a great gift for your teen, or a great book to read with a youth group. Most teenager ask this questions, as do most adults. Therefore, it is better to invest the time and help them see the truth now rather than later.

Thomas Clarkson; The Giant With One Idea by Emily Maurits

Many people today have heard of William Wilberforce and his efforts to abolish the slave trade. Here’s the story of Thomas Clarkson, a friend of Wilberforce’s and fellow voce calling for the abolishment of the slave trade. In this book Maurits walks through the life of Clarkson and unpacks his efforts to abolish the slave trade. Personally, I didn’t know much about Clarkson. So even though this book wasn’t written with me in mind, I certainly enjoyed it and learned a lot. Maurits talks about the ups and downs, the joys and the opposition to Clarkson’s work. This is an exciting read that will help 9-14 year olds see the impact a person’s faith can have on their lives, the causes they fight for and the work they do.

Christian Heroes & Christian Heroines by Catherine Mackenzie

These two books can be very helpful for your pre-teens and teens. Each book gives a list of men and women who served the Lord and did wonderful things in His name. Each chapter is only a few pages long and outlines some of the big events in the lives of that individual. The book of Christian heroes is all men and the book of Christian heroines is all women.

Here are a list of just a few of the people in these two books to give you a bit of a flavour;

  • Augustine
  • Perpetual of Carthage
  • John Knox
  • Katherine Luther
  • George Müller
  • Elizabeth Welch
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Corrie ten Boom

Here’s a quote form the introduction of Christian Heroines;

“As you read the real-life stories of these amazing people, you will realise that they are indeed just like you. There are young teenagers, mothers, wives and single women. There are rich and poor, educated and uneducated. They are all heroines, but they all have flaws – just like us. They are just ordinary girls and women who were given the gift of faith – faith in the one true God. They’re not bright and shiny heroines with no problems in their lives. You’re not going to find these Christian women on a glitzy magazine cover, always smiling, never a hair out of place. These women are real.”

Here’s a quote form the introduction of Christian Heroes;

“As you read the real-life stories of these amazing people you will realise that they were young men keen for adventure, as well as quiet studious types. Some were physically strong, but some were sick and poorly. Some longed for adventure, others enjoyed a library and a big cup of tea. They were all heroes in their own way, but they all had flaws – just like us. They were ordinary people who were given the gift of faith – faith in the one true God.”

I think that these books will be helpful. My question is though whether they needed to be two separate books. One being marketed for boys and one for girls. I think that it’s important for boys and girls to learn about the amazing acts of ordinary people for God of both sexes. But thinking back to my teenage years, I probably wouldn’t have read a book that’s pink (Christians Heroines is pink). I see what the publisher are doing, but I wonder if it would have been better to combine the two books rather than have two books, one for boys and one for girls.

These books would also be great for preachers to have to build up the illustration bank 🙂

*** I received these books from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the books, my views are my own. ***

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