I’ve been asked quite a bit about quality Bibles and resources for kids. Until recently, I was always at a loss when it came to devotionals. A couple of weeks ago, though, that changed when I was introduced to Snack Pack: Bite-Sized Moments with God. Snack Pack is a devotional for elementary-aged children with some intentional places for parental involvement. While this book, like all books, has a few shortcomings, my experience with it was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. Going forward, it will be my go-to recommendation for a children’s devotional.
At first glance, the book proves quality. The graphics are engaging, and the page layouts are conducive to kids’ short attention spans. While there is something to be said for stretching a child’s attention span, this devotional doesn’t try to achieve that. Rather, the authors meet kids where they are at and do all they can to help kids get a handle on who God is, what He has done and what He calls humanity to. The pages come sprinkled with personal stories, passages of Scripture, places to write out what certain verses mean and activities to keep both the reader’s hands and mind engaged. There are also intentional sections of application in each devotional.
In terms of structure, the book is laid out much like a systematic theology text, which is great. It is broken down into nine weeks with five devotionals for each week. The first three weeks focus on God’s nature and character. As I read through this section, I found numerous areas where the language surprisingly parallels the language we use in Kids’ Village. There is also a section that focuses on our obligation as created beings to worship, praise, honor and love our Creator. This section alone makes the book worth purchasing.
Weeks four through six focus on how to have a relationship with God and how that relationship is possible. Unfortunately, this section is probably the weakest of the book. There is never an overt, clear gospel presentation, and while the authors were obviously trying to guard against assuring unbelieving kids that they are believers, there are several sections where the reader is addressed as a believer. Sin is also addressed more as an action than a heart condition. While these shortcomings are less than ideal, a little parental involvement will more than remedy them.
The last major section focuses on how to put faith into action. It looks at the need for being involved in biblical community and the call to treat others with love and kindness and ends with some discussion on how and why to share the gospel with friends, neighbors and strangers.
In addition to being theologically sound, Snack Pack features a great parental involvement element. At the end of each week, it includes two quick and easy activities, questions or discussion points for parents and kids to work through together. It also accommodates a group study if you want to use it as backyard Bible study curriculum or do it with your child’s baseball team, dance company or the like. (Leader guides can be found on the book’s website.)