I preached this sermon at The Fellowship on Sunday 10/19/2014, from Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
You will notice that I reference a woman named Carol Boo in the sermon. This past week Mrs. Carol tragically lost her life when a truck crashed into her home. You can find the news story here.
Carol was a committed member of our church. She loved Jesus, and served our church family faithfully for many years. On this particular Sunday, many of Carol’s family members and friends were present for the worship service. Mrs. Boo will be greatly missed by the Fellowship family. We are all thankful for the example of her life, and thankful that she is in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ.
On January 24th, several members of The Gospel Project team will be teaching at the Gospel Centered Teaching Conference at Mountain Park First Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, GA.
- Trevin Wax, the managing editor of The Gospel Project, will teach on “Why We Need to Get Back to the Basics” and “Telling the Story of God’s Mission with an Overflowing Passion”.
- Karen Jones, a content editor for Kids Ministry at LifeWay, will teach on “Giving the Gospel to Kids”. Children need the Gospel! Learn how to point your kids to Christ in every session while keeping the Gospel at the center of your teaching.
- Andy Mclean, the editor for The Gospel Project for Students, will teach a session on “Giving the Gospel to Students”. Andy will provide a brief exploration to the student ministry landscape of our culture, and how a refocusing on the Gospel is the key that leads to the lasting heart change we desperately desire to see within the lives of our students.
- And I will lead a session on “Giving the Gospel to Adults”. I will explore the importance of applying the Bible through a Gospel-centered lens in teaching, and show how the Gospel is not just for our conversion, but is for the ongoing transformation of our heads, hearts, and hands.
For more information on this one day conference, see the registration site.
Jack Klumpenhower is a Bible teacher and a kids ministry curriculum writer with more than thirty years of experience. He has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, clubs, conferences, and Christian schools all over the world.
Klumpenhower recently wrote a book titled “Show Them Jesus“, which challenges the culture of low-stakes, low-expectations teaching and invites teachers to do nothing less than teach and treasure the good news of Jesus in every lesson.
Much of what Klumpenhower says in the book reaches beyond kids ministry and applies to teaching the Bible in general. Consider these questions…
- Would this lesson still work if Jesus had never come and died for our sin?
Without the cross, would the main point and the application I leave with the listener still hold together? Is it valid if there’s no atonement?
- Would this lesson still work if Jesus had never risen from the dead?
If our Savior were a corpse and we too had no expectation of eternal life, would the basic argument I’m making still be good? Could I make a case for the listener to keep listening?
- Would this lesson still work if Jesus were not the reigning King who’ll return to judge the world?
Would the things I’m urging the listener to do still sound sensible and wise? Even without the future hope we have, would this lesson be worthwhile?
If we can answer yes to any of those questions, we need to get back to the drawing board. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).”
Andy Crouch talks about how Christians need a better understanding of scripture in order to engage culture well. This video is from Ministry Grid.
Currently, a significant trend in the U.S. and around the world is a renewed emphasis on starting new churches. More than 4,000 new churches are launched in the U.S. each year alone, each one representing the potential to reach new people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, new churches commonly struggle with limited resources, a lack of trained volunteers and few tools to support their work. Even more, these limitations can often be the most detrimental to churches in their very first years.
But LifeWay is committed to help.
For churches in their first two years of operation, LifeWay has a variety of free offerings to help get a few of the foundational aspects of ministry in place. This includes helps for:
- Bible Study Groups (6 months of digital curriculum for all age groups)
- Church Website: twenty:28 (Free website design and 1 year of hosting)
- Leadership Development (1 year access to Ministry Grid, LifeWay’s new web-based training platform)
- Plus, $500 in free printed LifeWay resources of the church’s choosing
To qualify to receive the free offers above, simply complete the form on this page. Churches who qualify will receive a response from a LifeWay representative with instructions on how to redeem.
As part of The Gospel Project team, I often hear stories of how God is using this Christ-centered curriculum in churches all over the country. I recently worshiped with Eternal Church in South Carolina, where I was told the story of Evan.
Evan’s parents were new in their faith when they started visiting the church. One Sunday after a church service, one of the kids leaders saw Evan with his mom in the hallway—stopped them—and told his mom how well Evan was doing in class.
At that point, Evan turned to his mom and began telling her the story of God’s covenant with Abraham, how his offspring would be as many as the stars, and how his seed would be a blessing to all nations.
The mom, a new believer in Christ Jesus, began to cry. With tears streaming down her face, she said to the kids ministry teacher, “I am beginning to learn all these things. And when we talk at night about the Bible with Evan, he is teaching us the story of redemption.”
Here is the awesome part of the story. While Evan is learning Bible stories, he is also learning the Bible Story, the story of redemption through Jesus Christ. This is what The Gospel Project is all about. Helping people understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, and helping them see that—from Genesis to Revelation—Jesus isn’t just part of the Bible story, He is the point of the story.