The Jesus Category
The Jesus Category
This book is a fun test to see if the reader can figure out which thing is different from the others. Kids come up with their answer — then look under the flap to discover our answer. This book gets kids thinking and is an engaging way to learn some essential truths about who Jesus is.
THE JESUS CATEGORY: THE BACK STORY (by author Jane Van Antwerp)
Sunday we had a book table at very large church. After 4 worship services we had one last family visit our table. The family was heading out the door but their oldest child made a side trip and beeline to the Blue Box Books on display She was a discerning reader and started paging through the books. I looked at the dad holding a toddler and commented sympathetically; "I think she needs a book." He agreed and told her she could pick ONE. After a few minutes she had accumulated a stack of favorites, and was only a third of the way through our books. I smiled at the dad and held up a bag with a complete set of books. "We have a solution for you!" He rolled his eyes at me and reminded her she could pick ONE and to hurry. The book she finally picked was The Jesus Category. I don't know if it was the purple cover, the intriguing illustrations, or the flaps she could lift - but she loved this book.
I do too. The Jesus Category is perhaps the easiest and most engaging children's sermon I have ever written. I wrote it for a sermon Walt Gerber preached in November of 1997. I had a series of posters with 3 objects or people drawn on it and the kids were to point to the one they thought was different from the other two.
I loved that the older kids would always have more contrary or creative answers than the ones I would give; but they could only do that if they were thinking first through what my answer be. Every age group was fully engaged!
Before we ever had the idea of publishing the Blue Box Books, we had published 15 of our best Blue Box children's sermons. One day a headmaster and chaplain for 2 schools in Zimbabwe visited us in Washington state. He wanted to look at our children's messages, since he had to do one every week. When he read The Jesus Category he looked up at me and said in his British accent - "This is the best children's sermon ever, may I have this?" You see, The Jesus Category stealthily adds a little more truth about Jesus Christ in every page. The headmaster thought it could be called "Christology 101".