When The Gospel Project curriculum launched last year, I started receiving emails from pastors asking for something to help their small group leaders or Sunday School teachers understand why it’s important to be gospel-centered in our teaching. Here was a common refrain I heard from church leaders:
I encourage everyone to be “gospel-centered” and to connect the dots of the Bible or to ground application in the gospel, but I’m not sure everyone knows exactly what I mean when I tell them to do this.
In response to these requests, I decided to write something brief and accessible for the people who do the work, every week, of opening God’s Word and directing conversation about what God is saying to us. The result is a little book called Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All the Scripture.
My goal is to give small group leaders a grid or framework that helps them see the big picture of what they are trying to accomplish. By recommending they ask just three questions of every lesson, I hope leaders will begin to instinctively notice when Christ is missing from their Bible study.
Let’s face it. As teachers, it’s easy to get wrapped up in some of the details of the Bible stories, the history, or the background. Or to get focused on immediate application for our lives, so that we’re skimming the Bible looking for practical tidbits rather than putting ourselves within this great Story that unfolds in the pages of Scripture.
But information alone doesn’t change us. Application alone doesn’t change us. Only Jesus changes us. That’s why the information we present needs to be connected to Christ. And the application we give needs to be grounded in Christ’s work for us too.
Some people think they are centered on the gospel because they have an evangelistic presentation at the end of their sermon or small group session. That’s a great thing, but we want to make sure that everything we present is done so in light of Christ’s finished work for us.
The gospel isn’t the dessert at the end of the meal. It’s the salt that gives distinctive flavor to the meat and potatoes. Trying to read the Bible without Christ at the center is like trying to read a book in the dark. We read everything in light of Jesus.
Prayer is key in this. Unless we sense our desperation for the Spirit to move in the hearts of our people, we will not pray and we will be ineffective.Get the book here.