Great ideas often germinate for years before they fully bloom. Rob Jackson began improvising Billy Bear stories when his daughter Abigail was a toddler, creating the character as a discipleship tool.
As Abigail grew Jackson wrote devotional moments to continue teaching her to love and follow Jesus. At 22, Abigail is a committed Christ follower.
This year Jackson’s devotional messages written for his daughter were published as “Moments with God,” which Jackson hopes will help other parents in discipling their own children and provide a source of funding for missions.
“I wanted to instill theology in a way that’s fun but communicates truth,” said Jackson, associate professor of Christian studies at University of Mobile (UM) and chairman of the board of trustees for The Alabama Baptist.
“Discipleship materials usually start with teens but the Christian home needs to retake the cradle so children will develop an early passion for Jesus Christ.”
Long before Jackson thought of publishing a devotional he shared the lessons with members at Central Baptist Church, Decatur, where he served as pastor until July 2018. It was a hit with parents who found the lessons helpful in training their children.
“They said, ‘We need something like this,’” said Jackson.
“Moments With God” is a 42-day, parent-led study that introduces the Bible and concepts about God. The book wraps up with a chapter on explaining the way of salvation and leading a child to Christ.
Evangelism is central to Jackson’s life personally and professionally.
At UM, Jackson teaches the youngest Millennials and the oldest of Generation Z (the oldest Z being born in 1996). But his book — and his vision for a series on discipleship — is targeted at the youngest of Generation Z. He believes his involvement in a variety of ministries and organizations could produce solid partnerships in making his vision to disciple Generation Z and their parents a reality.
“Generation Z is the most unevangelized group,” said Jackson. “I want to create materials that train parents to disciple their young children in spiritual disciplines like giving, fasting and prayer. As families teach their children parents will learn to model the truths of Scripture.”
No profit motive
For Jackson no profit motive exists in publishing “Moments with God.” The publisher will retain a small amount to compensate for its services but any additional income will go to missions.
“I prayed that God would increase what I can give to further God’s kingdom,” said Jackson. “I think this simple book that I wrote with my daughter in mind is an answer to that prayer.”
To order “Moments with God” visit www.livingwordpublishing.org/product/moments-with-god.