It’s finally time to roll this out! This is the most exciting thing I’ve seen in a while for congregational or family Bible study.
“That We May Have HOPE,” authored by Caleb and Rebekah Colley and illustrated by Julia Tesh, is a tried and true method of synchronizing your congregation’s Bible study with your own family Bible times at home. I know your congregation could benefit from this year-long study. But I am most excited about the knowledge and faith it can put in the hearts of the children in your little family at home.
But it’s both. It’s for churches and families! In fact, it’s even a great year-long homeschool curriculum for all preschool and elementary ages.
It’s a book!…that will carry you through 52 character studies of the Scriptures. At the end of the year your family will be able to tell the stories of major Bible heroes and villains and how to emulate the positive and eliminate the negative spiritual characteristics of each person. This material is sound, practical and convicting. If you’re using the book at home, there’s a flexible schedule for incorporating the material into your Bible time on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In a year, your children will know the stories of 52 important Bible characters and four important facts to remember about each of them. The book is spiral bound, sturdy, and chock-full of the Word. Caleb Colley authored the study book.
But it’s also a memorization flash card system that will allow even the youngest of Bible learners to know the accounts of these 52 characters. The cards come on a binder ring that makes them easy for kids of all ages to carry. This also facilitates easily flipping though the characters at Bible time each night. The cards are both sturdy and beautiful. These memorization cards are authored by Rebekah Colley and illustrated by Julia Tesh.
Finally, it’s also a timeline. This is my favorite part. Each of the 52 Bible characters is placed on a sturdy hang-able timeline (that also lays flat on your table or desk), so that your children can easily see exactly where these heroes and villains fit into the Bible’s chronology and how their lives coincide with well-known Biblical events. Assembled by Rebekah and illustrated by Julia, this tool will help your children see the “big picture” of how each person fits into the story of redemption that is the centerpiece and purpose of divine revelation.
You can complete the study using the book only. But using all three resources together is something that I cannot wait to do at our house. (I’m thinking, we may have a black cape that we wear when we’re studying a villain and a white one when we’re studying the heroes.) I just think our grandchildren will be able to conceptualize these accounts more deeply as they use the tools of story-telling, memorization and chronological placement all at once. I can’t wait!
Here’s what Caleb says about how the idea is used in the local church:
“Here is how I have administered the Bible learning initiative: On the first Sunday of every year, I announce to the congregation the theme of the new year’s study. On one occasion I introduced the Bible Characters Study with a sermon on the value of studying Bible characters. Material is distributed to the congregation.
Then, I periodically preach on topics related to the particular week’s study. For example, on the week when the congregation was studying “Cain,” I preached about Cain and Abel. At the end of the year, every family or member has reviewed a 52 week study of Bible characters and has a handbook. I anticipate publishing other studies we have done, including a chronological study of the life of Christ, a study of the biblical doctrine of prayer, etc. I have found that many members of the church welcome the structure of the study and appreciate having the completed book at the end of the year. While this book is just a springboard to one’s own pursuit of Biblical knowledge (2 Peter 1:5-9; 3:18), nonetheless, it is a tool to prompt and deepen that pursuit.”
I hope there are elders who decide to feed the flock using this material. These churches will be blessed. But, even if you are just using it in your own home, exclusively, the growing faith in your home will be well worth your family’s efforts. Nothing is more important than planting the Word in tender hearts!