The fun title and light-hearted cover design of Parenting in the Pew disguise both the breadth and substance of its wonderful content. So don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only relevant to you if you have young (school-aged) children. And certainly don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not worth every penny you invest in purchasing copies for yourself, family members, and Christian friends. Every Christian needs to read this book.
The Priority of Worship and Your Responsibility
Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship is about the priority of worship in the life of the church and the need to train children and young people in how to engage in this greatest of all human activities. Think you’ve heard it all when it comes to worship? Tired of reading another book on parenting? This book will surprise you. Castleman’s easy-to-read style, entertaining stories, and practical insights will give you fresh eyes on the value of “church” no matter how old you are or your parental status. If you’re an older adult, the book likely will leave you wishing you could do it all again. But don’t worry, it’s not too late to benefit from this thought-provoking book!
Strong Enough for An Academic, But Made for a Parent
The bulk of her wise suggestions grow out of her simple experience raising two boys and working with innumerable parents in real churches. That means the book is practical and the guidance is doable for any parent. It’s seasoned with enough real humor so the reader is reminded that helping children worship needn’t be daunting, but natural, and even fun. Robbie rejoices when children are allowed to be children. For example…
One time my husband gave a call to missions in the Lord’s words from Isaiah 6:8: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” He paused for effect, and a first-grader called out, “I’ll go if my mom will let me!”
Dr. Castleman has a real heart for real parents training real children in real churches. But, she’s not just speaking as an experienced parent and grandparent. Robbie is smart, studied, and has the credentials to be heard by any audience. Here are just two of my favorite paragraphs…
It takes the church to make disciples. Intentional intergenerational development within a church is hard in our culture because it is countercultural. It’s hard because it is biblical. It’s hard because it’s costly—everyone in the congregation has to die to themselves to be servants to one another under the headship of Christ Jesus…
Intergenerational communities making disciples of all ages are simply worth it. Old people need the fresh laughter and perplexing humor of teenagers. Teenagers need to hear stories of faith and perseverance that number more years than they have lived. Single parents need to be included in unfractured families, and blended families need the inclusion of “aunts” and “uncles” in a fiduciary family that is less complicated than their own. (Pages 132-133.)
The task of “parenting in the pew” is, to put it simply, something every church member should adopt as a sacred responsibility. All of our lives will be enriched, but more importantly, new generations of faithful disciples will be raised to advance the Kingdom of our great King. In Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship, Robbie Castleman has created an invaluable guide and textbook to help us do it!
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.