I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down to open up his or her book. Today, I’m excited to interview my dear friend Megan Hill about her new children’s book, Meg is Not Alone. Her new book is a wonderful way to teach children the importance of the church in their lives, but also that they are important in the life of the church.
The older my children get (and the farther they move away), the more thankful I am to see them participating and enjoying the fellowship of the church. I know it’s their home away from home, filled with people who love Jesus and share that love with each other. This new book helps parents communicate to young children the priority of the church in a fun and inviting way, in hopes that when they are older they will continue to value the fellowship of other believers in the church.
Meg is Not Alone releases today (and would make a wonderful Christmas gift!), and you can order a copy here!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, especially since you’ve written a kids’ book. Do you read a lot of kids’ books?
I’m a mom of four kids, three teenagers and one 5-year-old, so I’ve been reading kids’ books for many years now. I’ve finally gotten my 5-year-old on a timer before bed—I’ll read as many books as I can in 15 minutes, but then we have to call it quits. (Otherwise, I start falling asleep!) We have some that she requests frequently, but I try to mix it up with fresh titles from the library.
What led you to write Meg Is Not Alone?
For a long time, I had been wanting to write a book about the church for kids. I have a book for adults (A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church) that came out a few years ago, but kids are also such an important part of most congregations. And as we see research coming out that younger generations are generally less inclined to commit to church, it seems especially important to teach our kids when they are young about the value of the church.
I wanted to write a book about the church for kids, but I also wanted to make sure it was an engaging book—a funbook, even. I wanted kids to not only think, “the church is important” but also, “the church thinks I’m important” and “the church is where I want to be.”
One day, I thought of something that had happened to me when I was a little kid. My parents mistakenly left me at church after a Sunday service. Dad thought I was with Mom; Mom thought I was with Dad. When I discovered I was alone, the church members surrounded me, comforted me, took care of my needs, and reconnected me to my parents. I remember that day being the first time I realized the church was there to help me. Previously, I saw the church as being for my parents; afterwards, I understood the church was for me.
With that true story in mind, I wrote Meg’s story.
As we see research coming out that younger generations are generally less inclined to commit to church, it seems especially important to teach our kids when they are young about the value of the church.
What’s the central message you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope kids (and the grown-ups who read to them) will learn that the local church is a place to go for help—no matter how old you are.
How has writing this book affected your own life?
I’ve always had a heart for the kids in the church—I can’t hear them recite a memory verse or sing a song without crying—but writing this book has made me even more aware of our need as a congregation to affirm the value of the kids in our midst and to show them that the church has a place for them.
Is there anything about the book that you think will surprise kids?
All I can say is, keep your eyes out for Arlo.
Here are some endorsements:
“One of the biggest blessings of the church for my children is not just the other kids but the other adults. They get to watch many examples of godliness and aren’t restricted to me and their mom. ‘Kids, look at what Christlike love can look like in her and her, and in him and him.’ This is the story of Megan Hill’s tender and sweet book.”
―Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks; author, Rediscover Church and One Assembly
“Meg Is Not Alone shows how the body of Christ points to our good Father, even when we feel alone. With a captivating narrative that people of all ages will enjoy, this story communicates how we can express comfort and care, just as Christ has done for us. I can’t wait to read this book again and again with my own kiddos!”
―Hunter Beless, Founder, Journeywomen; author, Read It, See It, Say It, Sing It
“We can drag our kids to church kicking and screaming (and sometimes we might have to), but ideally we help them learn to love church and choose to be there. This delightful book is a tool that can help. In a beautifully simple story, Meg Is Not Alone paints a picture of the church as family. In a world of loneliness and fear, the local church is a haven of diverse, supportive, hope-filled community. This book reminds us of that.”
―Brett McCracken, author, The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World and Uncomfortable: The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community
Writing this book has made me even more aware of our need as a congregation to affirm the value of the kids in our midst and to show them that the church has a place for them.
When will Meg Is Not Alone be coming out?
It releases on November 29, 2022.
The book arrived early (if you know anything about book publishing, you know that never happens!) and so it’s available for people to order for Christmas. I’m really excited to think about kids finding Meg under the tree or getting a copy from their Sunday School teacher—and realizing how important they are to the church.
If you had an afternoon to do whatever you’d like, where would we find you?
I’m a huge thrifter and there’s this amazing thrift store, The Blessing Barn, that is about an hour from my house. It’s a thrift store, but it looks like an Anthropologie inside—the woman who designs the displays is so clever. I’ve gotten art, décor, furniture, clothes, all kinds of cool things. And it supports the mercy ministry of a church, so I feel like it’s actually virtuous to shop there. (Wink.)
Megan Hill is the managing editor for The Gospel Coalition. She’s the author of several books for adults, including A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church, and a new book for kids: Meg Is Not Alone. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four children where they belong to West Springfield Covenant Community Church (PCA).