Posted on Sep 13, 2012 | by Russ Rankin
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- LifeWay Christian Resources has returned to the printer for a fourth time to keep up with demands for The Gospel Project, as churches across the Southern Baptist Convention and other denominations dig into the inaugural quarter of LifeWay's newest curriculum.
The Gospel Project is a Christ-centered, three-year curriculum looking at the grand narrative of Scripture and how the Gospel transforms lives. The curriculum line is theologically robust, intended to help believers encounter the truth of Scripture through a theological lens, and mission-driven to nudge believers to action, explained Ed Stetzer, general editor of The Gospel Project.
"We named this ongoing study 'The Gospel Project' because every lesson connects to the Good News we discover in Jesus," Stetzer said. "We believe the Gospel is sufficient not only for our initial salvation but also for our maturation in the Lord. As we study the Gospel, we become the project as God continually works on us, transforming us into the image of His Son."
Stetzer said curriculum planners moved forward with an optimistic and prayerfully hopeful estimate for the material, but quickly returned to the printer for additional print-runs during the summer as responses continued to grow. Even as the first-quarter curriculum was launched Sept. 1, LifeWay returned for a fourth print-run.
"It is very likely that half a million people will be engaged in The Gospel Project by the spring," Stetzer said.
In addition to the many SBC churches using the curriculum, The Gospel Project is used by people outside the SBC as well, sometimes with the encouragement and even endorsement of the leaders of other denominations. For example, The Gospel Project received an endorsement from Greg Strand, director of biblical theology and credentialing for the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) denomination, a denomination perhaps best known to many because of its connection to Chuck Swindoll, chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary.
The Gospel Project "curriculum provides a Christ-focused approach to Scripture that takes into account the Bible's storyline and our identity as Christ's ambassadors, on mission to the world," Strand wrote in a letter sent out to EFCA churches. "This reflects the heart of the EFCA -- the Word of God, focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, leading to mission among all people.
"I am excited to recommend these excellent resources for wide use in our denomination and will be using it in my own local church," he said.
Said Stetzer, "It might surprise many Southern Baptists that article 14 of our statement of faith encourages cooperation between denominations when appropriate. We think this is a perfect example -- we write in accordance with our confessional beliefs [the Baptist Faith & Message 2000], but are excited to see leaders and churches from other denominations find the resources profitable for them. It's an honor to have the opportunity as Southern Baptists to serve thousands of churches outside of our denomination."
Russ Rankin is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources. Learn more about The Gospel Project at GospelProject.com
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