“Let the children come to me…” says Jesus (Mark 10:14). Where are today’s children? Just look around you on the bus or the train – they’re on their phones of course! Same as the adults. You too probably – are you reading this on your phone?

Today we live in a world of screens – apps, messaging, calling, watching clips, checking the bank account, Instagram, Wordle, YouTube. So, where is the gospel in this screen-mad world? We can download the prayer for the day (Google has over 2,000 million results when you put in prayer for today”) but as Paul says in Romans 10:14, how can they hear without a preacher?” How can we engage the digital generation? For they are like sheep without a shepherd” as our Lord himself said when he fed the 5,000 (Mark 6:34).

John the Baptist came to bear witness so that through him all might believe” (John 1:7). Now it’s our turn to bear witness. Are you able to help open up the good news to all those screens?

A few years back The Story Keepers animated series was on network television at 10:15 am on Sunday morning – feeding 1.4 million viewers with gospel stories, week after week – for eight years in all. Now, we have brought these video stories together to produce Come With Marcus: a New International Reader’s Version gospel of Mark with scannable images which play accompanying video clips on smartphones. These small books can not only be read and studied but also enable the video to come up on our screens.


This not only presents the gospel on their phones in an exciting and stimulating way, but also provides children with their own hard copy of Mark’s gospel. So it’s always readable – even when the Wi-Fi goes down.

We’ve designed this book for every child that we can reach: in school, in church and in outreach; the gospel changes lives as we all well know. So let each of us bring Mark’s gospel to today’s children – using today’s medium.

St Columba, a church in Northamptonshire, gave away 120 copies of Come With Marcus to Year Two children in their local school on Ascension Day. Six months later, they held a follow-up party in the school room and were blown away to have 55 families come along! St Peter and St Paul’s, a church in Somerset, gave out 30 copies on Ascension Day, and had 12 of those families join the church/​visit the church the following December.

If you are looking to grow your young families, this is a proven pathway, and if running parties is not your speciality, do check out our handbook to help you which is free to download.

So – how can we go about getting these super child-friendly gospels out there?

  1. Take your phone out, scan a picture from Come With Marcus and press the start’ button. Turn your phone to landscape – and watch their faces as suddenly they get it – it’s like you have done something magical! Nothing beats the showing.
  2. Again and again it’s wonderful how supportive other Christians are to help with the funding once they catch the vision. If the cost is £2 per child a friend with a £10 note can introduce Jesus to 5 children. So – don’t hesitate to ask!
  3. Who in your church goes into the local school? Show them a parable on your phone. Come With Marcus works on smart boards too. Ask them how many children they will be seeing and whether you can help.
  4. Share Come With Marcus with church children and their friends too. What a great way to reach out to those children who don’t come to church or know Jesus.
  5. Hold a party! The kingdom of God is like a king who gave a great party” says Jesus (Matthew 22:1). Full of joy and laughter – and this is what our party format seeks to emulate. The running of the party is shared around among four people (and not the same people every time), and if families are invited through the generations – children, parents and grandparents – the different activities will be engaging and entertaining for them all, never mind the cups of tea, glasses of juice, and parable-themed food!
  6. Once you have parents across your threshold you can start a WhatsApp group, and invite families to other gatherings, Messy church, Christingles or whatever your church loves to offer.

Always remember, we don’t do this work alone. Jesus himself says wherever two or three are gathered together in my name I am there with you.” (Matt 18:20). Step out in faith – this is wonderful work that you do.

The Story Keepers is on YouTube – watch it here. Check out the Come With Marcus book: come​with​mar​cus​.com Usually these are £2.50 per copy but for Evangelical Alliance members we are offering them at £2 per copy.