Two years ago, the wonderful team at The Good Book Company took a chance on me and my desire to share with little hearts about God’s very good idea. The fruit of this work and partnership has surpassed all my prayers and hopes for what God might do. The video below captures the heart of the book as women of different ethnicities read in English, Spanish, and Korean.
You can head to https://www.thegoodbook.com/idea-translations/ to learn more and maybe grab a copy in the various languages. Thank you to all who have read this story! Overwhelmed with gratitude!
I just learned that my kids’ book, God’s Very Good Idea, is only $5.00 at Lifeway.com right now. That’s more than half-off!
Tonight, I will have the joy of reading God’s Very Good Idea to a group of about 500 kids and parents. I’m overjoyed by the opportunity to serve in this way. I had no idea that this book would go to so many places I’ll never be and encourage the hearts of parents and children alike. Only God can do that! Only He can use something that seems so small and insignificant for the good of His people and His glory.
Thanks to all of you who have already purchased it. If you think it would be a good gift or if you haven’t grabbed it yet, I hope you will enjoy this discount! You can purchase it online here: https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/god-s-very-good-idea-P006171967
Often American-focused discussion about ethnic differences gets narrowed to just Black or African Americans and White Americans. It is fairly understandable, given US history, that we’d focus so much attention on black and white relations. My hope for God’s Very Good Idea, however, is that it would encourage all people made in the image of God to celebrate the differences in each other. God’s word says that we will be rejoicing with every tribe, tongue, and nation for eternity. That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you where you can find God’s Very Good Idea around the world. (Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Click on the link below the country to find God’s Very Good Idea)
SKS Books ( Coming soon. The Singapore retailer has not yet listed the book on their site even though they’ve ordered it.)
And of course here in the US
and anywhere Christian books can be purchased (independent Christian stores)
If you know anyone in these locations around the world, please spread the word!
The majority of the time, open letters are meant as a critique. This is not that. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even come close. Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect in greater ways on the labors of those who are working in children’s ministry: church, camps, and beyond. I have always served in children’s ministry, though much less over the past three years than ever before, but it’s been a part of my ministry work since becoming a Christian. It wasn’t until writing and releasing God’s Very Good Idea, however, that the weight of what you do week after week fully hit me.
I’ve never met a children’s ministry worker who wasn’t aware of the privilege of his/her job. Now this doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, but most of the people I’ve interacted with are eager and excited to share the Word with the little hearts and minds entrusted to their care. You, friend, are not a glorified babysitter. The work you do has significant impact on the kingdom. It is no small thing. Each lesson, coloring page, prayer huddle, and diaper change is helping children learn either about Jesus or about the effect of the Spirit in one’s life that would cause them to serve others above themselves.
As someone who has ministered to mostly adults, especially over the last few years, there can be times when we see the effects of our ministry immediately. This is not always the case, mind you, but often after I’ve given a talk or written an article, I get to speak with and hear from people immediately, read a comment or twitter response, or glance through a Facebook encouragement. While this doesn’t always happen, but it occurs often enough to spur me on to the next step of faith in writing or speaking.
You and I don’t often see these immediate evidences of God’s grace. I remember meeting with my editor, Carl Laferton, and he said to me, “You won’t get to see the effect of God’s Very Good Idea until the new creation. It will be brilliant.” I’m paraphrasing my British friend here, but in short, he was kindly reminding me that my little book could have eternal significance that I simply won’t and can’t fully know until we’re in Heaven. My faith was built! Similarly, many of the kids you work with may not be able to fully articulate how your teaching is affecting their heart. They may move to another church or they may even become a prodigal…but then return because of the faithfulness of God and how he used you in their past. You may never know. But you should know that your work in not in vain. We plant seeds, God waters and makes them grow. He promises to finish the good work he begins in little hearts and he will surely do it.
A Gift to Parents
And, finally, what a gift to parents you are. You do not replace the impact or influence of parents, nor would you desire to. But you do help us parents continue to plant the seeds, and you help us to engage in further conversations. And perhaps for some children you really are the only place where they hear and see the gospel being proclaimed. In a world where families can have a look of perfection, we often don’t know what’s lingering behind closed doors. Your words and actions could be God-ordained balm to the soul of that young image bearer.
So, thank you! Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and love of children. Keep going. Your work is a gift of God’s grace to the Church.
(SPECIAL NOTE: The book giveaway is closed. If you are interested…You can grab a copy of God’s Very Good Idea from: Amazon, The Good Book Company, CBD.com, Barnes and Noble and anywhere Christian books can be purchased)
If I could give God’s Very Good Idea away to everyone I know, I would. I want to…and this post is a reflection of that desire. So, if you are a children’s ministry worker or if you’d like to “nominate” a children’s ministry worker, please simply tag them in Instagram or on Facebook or make a comment here. I will choose five winners to each receive three copies of God’s Very Good Idea to use for their ministry.
Can’t wait to give these away!
A special thank you to The Good Book Company for this awesome giveaway! Thank you also to Carl Laferton, my editor, who graciously said YES to this project!
Photo by Megan and Michael Harrington
Last Wednesday evening was a night I’ll never forget and I’m excited to share with you about it.
The evening started with worship and then I had the opportunity to read God’s Very Good Idea to a swarm of attentive, inquisitive, wiggly kids ranging in age from 2 months to 12 years old. The parents and attendees listened in as I read, and then everyone had a chance to learn about Barefoot Republic, a ministry to kids in the Nashville area.
The night continued with an insightful and helpful panel discussion and included Ray Ortlund, Isaac Adams, Catherine Parks, and myself. In our conversation, we tackled topics ranging from learning to have deeper empathy to history. It was an honest, heartfelt, and oh so hopeful discussion.
I’d do an evening like this over and over again if the Lord allowed. It was a real joy.
You can watch the whole night here:
Duplicating the Evening
Since the evening last week, I was asked to duplicate the event the night before a women’s retreat that I’ll be speaking at in central Missouri this spring. I’m honored to do this and thought that you might be interested in learning more about how to duplicate a night like this at your church.
First, all of the details of the event can be found at godsverygoodidea.com. While the flow of the evening was simple, the time would not at all have been possible without the great staff and volunteers of the church.
The night included:
- Worship (two songs)
- A reading of God’s Very Good Idea
- A panel discussion
If you’d like to find out more about how I might visit your church for a God’s Very Good Idea event or if it’s something you’d like to do on your own in your church and you’d be interested in purchasing bulk copies of God’s Very Good Idea, please contact me via my contact page here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/contact/
Special Thank You to:
The Good Book Company, who sponsored the event and are the awesome publishers of God’s Very Good Idea. I’m forever grateful for and to you. Thank you specifically to Brad Byrd who organized the event, handled so many of the details and came out to make sure everything ran smoothly. You are a gift!
Barefoot Republic: Thank you for your presence at the event and for helping us learn more about your wonderful ministry to kids of all backgrounds.
The Panelists and Worship Leaders: Isaac Adams, Catherine Parks, and Taylor Agan. Thank you for making the night so special, for sharing your gifts with us, and for your wisdom and insight. You are a humble bunch for which I am grateful.
Ray Ortlund and Immanuel Nashville: Ray, you are incredibly kind and generous. That would be enough, but you are also a gospel ninja and you love (love!!) people so well. It shines through your every word and action. Thank you! And Immanuel Nashville—wow, just wow! Thank you for organizing volunteers, staffing, hosting, and blessing all who came. I’m overwhelmed by your generosity!!
Megan and Michael Harrington for capturing the evening and using your gift of photography to bless me and others!
Enjoy these pictures from the night: