We all have a story to tell. We learn about one another by sharing these stories. As deeper relationships develop, we want to learn all we can about the story of the one who means so much to us. God has a story too, and it’s found in the Bible. It’s how God reveals Himself to us. God has given us His story so that we can understand Him and know Him. If we want to know God, we will plunge ourselves into His story. If we want our children to know God fully and intimately, we will lead and walk with them as they engage in His Word.
For Jeremy and Shannon Smith, consistent time in the Word as a family is a central part of teaching their three children the relevance of God’s story to their lives.
“We have a daily family devotional time where we go through a Bible story, devotional book, or currently a RightNow Media study,” Jeremy says. “We go over each boy’s Scripture memory verse or verses nightly after the devotional time. We then have prayer regarding what we’ve studied, what the mission focus is at church, and any other current events in our family, community, or even Thai soccer players (if that is on their minds). We try to point them back to Scripture when they are worried or afraid — or in their relationships with each other.”
As a faith family, we seek to equip and support one another as we grow in knowledge of God’s Word, never more so than in our Preschool Ministry.
Jeremy and Shannon describe their family’s experience and involvement in the ministry: “Being involved weekly in the Preschool Ministry, following the curriculum through the Bible, and memorizing Scripture on a regular basis all have helped form a foundation of biblical knowledge for our children to build on as they grow.
“We have certainly learned several of their Scripture memory verses. When you go over a verse nightly for a month or more at a time, it tends to become ingrained in your memory as well. Our boys will typically have learned each other’s verses in addition to their own (preschool and children’s) by the time a new Scripture focus is given. They all really learn the Bible stories and at times have surprising insight.”
The transition from preschool to first grade is often a time of learning more physical and spiritual independence for children. It’s a significant milestone, and at Brook Hills, one that is celebrated by a special event we call the Preschool Bible Presentation.
“Micah went through the Bible presentation (it had not yet begun when Noah was in preschool),” Jeremy says, “and God-willing, Isaac will next year. We think it gave him a nice book-end to his preschool experience. He felt like he was a “big kid” after the ceremony getting to move up to the 3rd floor.”
As part of the ceremony, parents present their children with their very own Bible. Micah left on a mission with God’s story on his heart.
Jeremy explains, “Micah was enthusiastic about taking his Bible to school to the First Priority program there. He was eager to share about the truth of the Bible with his friends and classmates.”
“Currently we are studying 1 Peter,” Shannon adds, “and the boys are learning where our hope comes from. For Noah, he is learning that earth is not our permanent home, so keeping his eyes on his future home, Heaven, gives him hope to share with others. Heaven is a place that is perfect, and it’s a place for those who believe and follow Him.
“Micah is learning how his life can be a witness to his faith in Jesus. His friends can see God when they see changes in his life by the way he treats others. By showing God’s love to them, it will give them hope that God loves them and wants to work in their lives too.”
We all have a story to tell. Let’s encourage one another — from the youngest to the oldest — to lead our children in sharing their hope in the great Storyteller.
Jeremy and Shannon Smith have been married for 16 years and are parents to Noah (11), Micah (8), and Isaac (5). They have been members of Brook Hills since 2002 and have served in the Preschool Ministry for going on 10 years.