Author: Jared Kennedy
Illustrator: Trish Mahoney
In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible , Jared Kennedy traces the perfect promises of God through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, retelling them in simple and compelling ways with toddlers and preschoolers in mind. Each gospel-centered story highlights God’s tale of redemption through Jesus and the unexpected and surprising ways that God’s grace and mercy are revealed throughout the Bible.
“While there are a number of preschool and children’s story Bibles from a gospel-centered perspective, there has been very little written in recent years for toddlers,” says Kennedy. “My prayer is that our youngest children will come to know that God has spoken his promises for them, that he keeps his promises, and that the way he keeps them is both surprising and life changing.”
Each of the fifty-two stories is accompanied by brightly colored illustrations by Trish Mahoney that both highlight the story and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep even the youngest child’s attention. The stories also end with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the message. Parents are encouraged to read the story one chapter at a time to their children—or have their children read it to them!—and by choosing to read one story per week, families can create a one-year Bible curriculum.
Kennedy, who leads the children’s ministry creative team as Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church – Midtown in Louisville, Kentucky, designed The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible to hold even a toddler’s attention, so they can come to know God’s promises are especially for them, and God always keeps his promises.
About the author:
Jared Kennedy, MDiv, ThM, is the husband to Megan and the father of three girls— Rachael, Lucy, and Elisabeth. He serves as Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church–Midtown in Louisville, KY and as children’s ministry strategist for Sojourn Network. He blogs regularly at gospelcenteredfamily.com.
About the illustrator:
Trish Mahoney is a graphic designer and illustrator in Seattle where she runs The Mahoney Studio with her husband, Patrick, also a designer and illustrator. They have two children—both budding artists, too. Trish’s first children’s book was God Made All of Me.
“This simple, beautifully illustrated story Bible is perfect for helping the youngest members of God’s family trace the gospel thread through the rich tapestry of Scripture. It will be the first story Bible I buy for all my grandchildren.” ~Iain Duguid, Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary; author
“Jared Kennedy has created a spectacular resource to help us teach the Bible to our youngest children. Though the language is simple enough for toddlers, the gospel truth it carries can and will transform lives. The illustrations compliment the story, creating a colorful journey for children as they discover the promises of God and how they are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. I will be placing a copy of this book in all our children’s ministry classrooms and recommending that every family in our church with small children add it to their bookshelf.” ~Marty Machowski, Pastor; author of The Ology, The Gospel Story Bible, and other books and curriculum for the church and family
“With colorful, attention-grabbing illustrations and simple, heart-grabbing stories, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible is a must for you and your littles.” ~Jessica Thompson, speaker; podcaster; author of Everyday Grace
“As a teacher of Biblical Interpretation, I frequently lament the hermeneutical thoughtlessness found in many children’s materials. The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, however, is a different story. It is characterized by both faithfulness to the intent of the inspired biblical authors and attention to the unifying themes of Scripture that find their ultimate fulfillment in Christ. The book is also beautifully illustrated. I wish this story Bible had been available when my children were younger. I am pleased to commend it with enthusiasm.” ~Robert L. Plummer, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Once I started reading The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible, I could hardly stop. Jared Kennedy retells favorite Bible stories with a freshness and clarity that toddlers and preschoolers (and their parents) will love. Open this book with your little one, and watch eyes light up, fingers point, and smiles start to spread. Every page pops with bright colors and playful illustrations. Best of all, each of the fifty-two short chapters will point your child to Jesus. And that’s good news—for young and old alike.” ~Champ Thornton, Author of The Radical Book for Kids
“Parents, if you want a beginner’s bible study that’s clear, beautifully-illustrated, on-level and brimming with gospel-promises, look no further. Just spend one minute flipping through The Beginners Gospel Story Bible and you will be convinced that Jared Kennedy is a pastor who knows how to convey Bible truths in a memorable manner. Sure to capture little minds with big promises!” ~Dave Harvey, President of Sojourn Network; founder of AmICalled.com; author of When Sinners Say I Do and Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls
“God’s promises are at the heart of the gospel, and those promises reveal his heart while deepening our faith, sustaining our hope, and enabling us to know and experience his love. The Gospel Story Bible illustrates, clarifies, and applies God’s promises made and kept. Jared’s pastoral heart and his passion for reaching kids with the gospel is seen on every page. Use this book to train children, adults, and even ministry leaders to see the beautiful story of God in ways that stir the imagination and engage the heart, while grounding the reader in the faithful and enduring love of God.” ~Robert K. Cheong, Pastor of Care, Sojourn Community Church