I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is The Gospel Project, a Christ-centered, chronological Bible study resource for kids, students, and adults.
With the new cycle of The Gospel Project starting in the fall, now age-aligned, I have been thinking about the possibilities of getting every age group on the same page in Bible study.
The Gospel Project team recently published a detailed scope and sequence document that includes the projected dates and Bible passages that will be covered during the 2015-2018 cycle.
This is an excellent resource for pastors who want to develop a wise age-aligned discipleship path for their entire congregation. Here are a few thoughts on the benefits for age-aligned Bible study.
Age Alignment Helps Parents Disciple Their Children
It is easy to make the case that parents have a biblical obligation to train their kids before they leave the home. In fact, it would be easy to make the argument that parents are primarily responsible for the discipleship of their children (Deut. 6:4-9). We’ve all heard the argument from math. There are 168 hours per week. If you take out the time for sleep and school, young people have about 77 hours left, and only 3 of those hours are spent with the church gathered. The majority of the remaining 74 hours are spent with family.
The problem is too many parents do not feel equipped to disciple their children, much less have intentional conversations with them about God’s Word. This is where Bible study age alignment in your church can help. Age alignment positions your parents to have one conversation with the entire family. It also enables parents to pour into their kids from the overflow of what they learn week by week. Simply put, aligning your entire church, from babies to adults, creates a common discussion point so that parents and children can grow in Christ together (Prov. 22:6).
Age Alignment Helps Simplify Your Regular Leadership Training
Throughout church history, the church has been a learning community where the faith is passed on from one person to another (Col. 3:16). Part of the process of passing on the faith is training leaders to teach the Bible well. Some might argue that churches with regular ongoing training grow at substantially higher rates than churches with irregular or no training.
The difficulty is this: What pastor has time to train effectively all the age-level leaders in their church? Unless every age group is aligned. Think about it—imagine if you could train all of your teachers, from preschool to adults, in one time period. For example, as the pastor, you could do an overview of the biblical content in the coming sessions and then have the leaders break into groups and drill into age-level details. As the senior pastor, you can cast vision over an entire year of discipleship. With age alignment, the vision can be consistently threaded throughout the entire church.
Age Alignment Helps Unify the Church Discipleship Plan
Our recent studies indicate that 75% of group leaders wish their pastor would speak into the Bible study material used in their group. I would guess that too often the pastor has little to no clue as to what the adult groups and age-level ministries are studying. Age alignment gives your entire church one focused vision and plan in the discipleship process through group ministry.
This would also allow refocused energy from the leadership. How much energy is being spent on the question “What do we study next?” when many churches need to be focusing on “What can we do to love our neighbors next?” Part of the vision of the church should be to train every age to live on mission with God in everyday life (Ps. 127:3-4).
Simply put, age alignment provides a consistent and thoughtful approach to discipling people of all ages. It will make it easy on the pastor to plan. It will also provide the church with a clear course for discipleship. Age alignment reveals intentionality in what you are doing. There is strategy in your study instead of giving the appearance that each age is doing their own thing perhaps with or without a vision in mind.
If you are interested in previewing The Gospel Project, fill out this form and you can download a Christ-centered study of Genesis 1-4 for kids, students, and adults.
I am also giving away these The Gospel Project timeline maps for kids, students, and adults (a $150.00 value).
- The Gospel Project for Kids Giant Timeline
- The Gospel Project for Students Timeline
- The Gospel Project for Adults Timeline
To enter the contest sign up for the preview before 12:01 a.m. CST, Thursday June 4, and share this on Twitter:
- Download a free Christ-centered sessions on Genesis 1-4 for kids, students, and adults from @Gospel_Project! – http://lfwy.cc/NBJzu
When you have done those two things let me know in the comment section!