Guide magazine managing editor Laura Sámano has compiled 28 true stories, one for each of the Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs, and written Bible study questions for each belief in the new book What We Believe for Guide Readers.
Taken from the weekly magazine for readers ages 10–14, the stories in the book are of Adventist pioneers and contemporary protagonists and introduce kids to each of the church’s fundamental beliefs. Sámano, who said she’s excited about the coming release of the book, pointed out that “no Adventist publisher has ever produced a book for this age group with the kid-friendly approach of storytelling and study questions.”
Christ’s Method of Teaching
Jesus spent a lot of His time on earth teaching through the use of stories called parables. “Stories remain the most powerful means of transmitting information,” Guide editor Lori Futcher said. “Barriers crumble as the reader or listener begins to relate with the character and become receptive to the message the story is meant to teach. And when a story is memorable, that lesson may impact the reader for a lifetime. That is exactly what we pray this book will do.”
As the Guide editors point out, some readers in the 10-14 age range haven’t yet acquired the skill of understanding abstract concepts. Storytelling makes abstract concepts easier to understand. The selected stories show how real people learned to understand or put into practice the particular belief.
Simplified Beliefs and Trivia for Small Group or Individual Study
“Digging in the Word,” the Bible study portion of the book, can be used within a small group or by individuals. “Not everyone learns in isolation; some want to talk about what we learn. This book allows for that sort of interaction,” Sámano said.
A comprehensive statement of beliefs is included at the back of the book. Still, to help readers remember each belief, former Guide editor Randy Fishell wrote two-sentence versions of them with simple, kid-friendly wording. They are included at the beginning of each chapter.
A Time to Teach
“I believe that the Lord is coming soon,” Sámano affirmed. “If we expect to raise kids who love and know their Savior, it’s time to teach them by showing them what a Bible-based life looks like.”
This is best done when they are young, said Carl McRoy, North American Division Publishing Ministries director. “Although Jesus can transform our crooked ways when we get older, life is more enjoyable, and we are more useful, when we’re nurtured in His ways while we’re young. As Fredrick Douglass said, ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’”
“It’s time to teach kids what we believe so that as they grow older, they don’t depart from God’s ways,” Sámano said.