The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible
by Jared Kennedy
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How do you explain the gospel to toddlers and preschoolers? Often adults are stumped, but Jared Kennedy’s focus on the promises of God makes the gospel come alive to the littlest hearts. Through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible highlights God’s perfect promises. Every page pops with bright colors, playful illustrations, fun learning opportunities, and, best of all each story points children to Jesus.
Kids know the value of a promise. Through the gospel, our good and all-powerful God keeps his word and fulfills his promises to us better than we could have ever thought or imagined!
In The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, author Jared Kennedy traces God’s perfect promises through fifty-two Old and New Testament stories, retold 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. Children will hear the good news of God’s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts. Brightly colored illustrations highlight the stories and add fun teaching elements of counting, opposites, patterns, and object recognition to keep even the youngest child’s attention. Every story also ends with a question that parents and caregivers can use to further reinforce the message.
Through reading this book one chapter at a time to your children—or letting them read it to you!—even the youngest kids will come to know that God’s promises are especially for them, and that God always keeps his promises.
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. Jared is the author of The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible; two VBS programs, Proof Pirates and Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet; Are You Close to God; and coauthor of Leadership Mosaic.
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
“Colorful! Simple! Beautiful! Jesus-centered! Those are just a few of the words that I would use to describe this new book from Jared Kennedy. The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible is a reliable resource to provide to children’s teachers for use in their classrooms and to parents who need a tool to begin discipling their children at home.”
Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible lives up to its title. It truly is filled with stories that highlight the gospel promise in each portion of the Scriptures. Kennedy brings familiar passages into focus, highlighting God as the promise-making and promise-keeping good father who loves his children. Beautifully illustrated and perfect for a wide variety of ages, this book will definitely prompt questions and conversations about what life might look like as a follower of our wonderful promise-fulfilling God. The gospel is a clear and natural part of each chapter as God’s plan of redemption unfolds through the great stories of the Scripture. Focused on Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise to provide a way back to life with him, The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible is both faithful and fun. I highly recommend it.”
Michael Thigpen, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitics Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“It has always been challenging to find gospel-rich books to share with our kids, especially when they were very little. Here, Jared Kennedy and Trish Mahoney offer an engaging, beautiful, and fun resource for families. The stories manage to be faithful to the Scriptures and clear for young children, and they’re loaded with conversation starters. My only wish is that this book had come sooner!”
Mike Cosper, Founder and Director of Harbor Media
“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
“It is invaluable that a child’s understanding of the story of God’s love for us to be grand and expansive. Not overly simplified in the form of a love note, but rather as an epic story of perfection, sin, redemption, and restoration. If a child comes to this understanding at a young age, it will fundamentally transform how they relate to God and read scripture. Jared’s distillation of these gospel truths is an invaluable resource to parents and pastors alike.”
Sam Luce, Pastor of Families, Redeemer Church, Utica, NY
“Stories are great conveyers of truth, which is why Jesus so often told stories to his followers. His stories were often simple, repeatable, and powerful. Children of all ages won't be able to put this book down because the truths revealed are timeless!”
Steve Wright, Pastor of Discipleship and Church Planting, Family Church, West Palm Beach, FL
“Jared Kennedy has written a beautiful, theologically rich book that everyone will love—kids, parents, and teachers! The illustrations are captivating and stunning, matched only by Jared’s passion for God’s Word and the incredible way he makes it accessible for kids. I love this book and can’t wait to read it with my daughter!”
Melanie Rainer, Director of Content at JellyTelly
“Jared is a master teacher. He sees what each Bible story says about God, and also what God says in each story to a child’s heart. This book is packed with simple and strong truths like, ‘God never forgets his people,’ and, ‘Jesus died instead of us.’ Jared gets to the core of each Bible story without dumbing it down, and then makes it easy to understand and remember. That’s powerful teaching—exactly what kids need!”
Jack Klumpenhower, Author of Show Them Jesus
“The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible is a gift to parents and Bible teachers alike. The stories are written with a gospel crispness and illustrated with vivid colors and pictures that are sure to teach little minds about the beauty of God and his Kingdom. The Lord will use this work to plant many seeds in mini hearts.”
Jamaal Williams, Lead Pastor, Sojourn Community Church – Midtown
“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