Growing Up Christian is a book I wish I could have written. I wasn’t a “church kid” growing up. But, I have spent the past ten years around “church kids.” For those of you who don’t know, a church kid is someone who has grown up in the church. According to Graustein, “they come from Christian homes, have Christian parents, and have attended church their entire lives. They live in a Christian culture surrounded by Christians at home, church, and often school.” Karl Gruastein addresses the unique issues “church kids” face better than anyone I’ve come across.
Graustein understands both the privileges and dangers of growing up in the church. He begins by addressing the dangers of false assurance, taking God’s grace for granted, and wanting to be like everyone else. He issues a strong call for teenagers to be sure of their own faith and not just coast along with their parents. Graustein then spends five chapters helping teenagers to build a biblical worldview of humility, conviction and thankfulness based in a love for the Scriptures and God. He finishes with three chapters on Christian living that focus on battling sin, growing spiritually and using your talents. Throughout it all, he keeps the gospel directly in view.
Graustein does an excellent job of encouraging teenagers to evaluate themselves in the light of Gods’ Word and then act on what they see. He also includes helpful discussion and reflection questions. His two page chart comparing what the world says to what God says regarding a number of areas is a great help (pp. 72-73)
I highly recommend this book. Every teenager in the church would greatly benefit from carefully reading and considering what this book has to say. This book will also help those who work with Christian teens to refocus on the particular issues they face. I believe that if more “church kids,” their parents and pastors heeded the lessons of this book we wouldn’t see as many people abandoning their faith when they get out of High School.
You can order the book here: Growing Up Christian