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LifeWay's Gospel Project to provide in-depth curriculum
Posted on Jan 18, 2012 | by Jon D. Wilke

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- For the first time in more than a decade, LifeWay Christian Resources is releasing a new ongoing Bible study series for children, students and adults under one theme.

The Gospel Project is an in-depth and Gospel-centered Bible study designed to help participants examine the deeper theological and missional concepts in the text. It is slated for preorder in June and features a three-year study plan with 13-week units. Each unit uses an age-appropriate voice, depth and course of study.

For example, The Gospel Project for Kids follows a chronological timeline of Bible events, while The Gospel Project for Students focuses on biblical theology, apologetics, missions and the overall story of Scripture.

"This is more than curriculum," said Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project. "The goal is to provide a theologically driven study that points people to Jesus.

"It's easy to come to Scripture looking for just new information or immediate application. We can even have Bible knowledge and not be focused on Christ," Wax said.

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, serves as general editor for The Gospel Project.

"Going 'deep' means different things to different people. Some of what passes for 'deep' is merely information, Bible trivia and minutia," Stetzer said. "Others pit 'deep' and 'relevant' against one another. Yet, more church leaders realize today that unless you dig deep and help people know and live out the Scriptures, you are not relevant.

"Much Bible study material is created under the assumption that to be relevant to the new believer or unchurched visitor, the leader needs to stay on the surface," he added. "Some even say, 'Dig deep and you lose people.' We think leaders must make the profound truths of Scripture accessible to everyone."

Frank Page, the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee president, said he's "excited about LifeWay's new in-depth Bible study," adding that it "will help our people understand how Jesus ties the entire Bible together."

"Resources that lead adults, students and even kids through theological and missional concepts can only strengthen Southern Baptists' effectiveness in reaching the world for Christ," Page said.

Stetzer and Wax brought together a team of church leaders and scholars from across the country who offered counsel regarding the development and direction of the curriculum.

The Gospel Project's advisory council included D.A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill.; Matt Chandler, The Village, Dallas; James MacDonald, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago; Daniel Akin, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; J.D. Greear, The Summit Church, Raleigh, N.C.; Eric Mason, Epiphany Fellowship, Philadelphia; Kimberly Thornbury, Union University, Jackson, Tenn.; Jay Noh, Illinois Baptist State Association, Chicago; Joe Thorn, Redeemer Fellowship, St. Charles, Ill.; Juan Sanchez, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas; and Collin Hansen, The Gospel Coalition, N.J.

"We brought this advisory council together to speak into this project at the outset," Stetzer said. "We received direction regarding the topics we would cover, the approach we would take -- Christ-centered, mission-driven, shaped around the narrative of God's redemptive plan -- and the level of accessibility we should strive for.

"It's important to hear from people in a variety of contexts who are serving the local church, and the advisory council helped us think through important high-level issues at the outset of the curriculum's development," Stetzer said.

Said Chandler, a member of the advisory council, "One of the things I love about The Gospel Project is that it is going to shine a light on so many of these great [Bible] stories that we know and show ultimately how they are leading us to worship God more for what He has done for us in Jesus Christ and what God accomplished in the Gospel for us."

Samples of the new LifeWay Bible study are available at GospelProject.com. Future resources for The Gospel Project also will be available in multiple formats, including e-reader and mobile app formats.
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Jon Wilke is media relations manager for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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