I have been watching with anticipation the development of the Gospel Project Sunday School curriculum being developed by the folks over at LifeWay. While I had a personal interest in the material, upon coming to Hermitage I did not want to interject myself in changing much in way of the Sunday School during my first year. I wanted to let my associate pastor have leadership in that area. You could not imagine my excitement this summer when Mark returned from spending a week at Ridgecrest and asked permission to transition our church to the Gospel Project. We took our time, meaning that we did not start in September, but waited until the second quarter to begin. This week we started the Gospel Project as a church.
As a teacher myself, I wanted to share some of my thoughts after the first week. Our lesson was entitled, “The God Who Speaks.” It included two devotional readings that we were to do before group time. These two devotions worked well toward “priming the pump” and getting us ready for the heart of the lesson.
The lesson revolved around three major points:
- The God Who Speaks Has Authority (Gen. 1:1-3)
- The God Who Speaks Is Merciful to Reveal Himself to Us (Ex. 3:2-6)
- The God Who Speaks Gives Us Tasks (Gen. 1:27-30)
My guys really zeroed in on a couple of different points. First, they recognized the implication that if God has spoken to us and revealed Himself to us, then His Word is authoritative to our lives and we are going to have to reorganize our lives around Him. The second point that stood out was on p. 14 –
“Notice the progression again: God created (authority). Then He blessed (mercy). Finally, He gave tasks. . . Too many times, we get the order backwards. We begin with the tasks of the Christian life and seek to receive God’s blessing as a result of our obedience. . . When we begin with the task rather than the blessing, we cut ourselves off from the very power that is necessary to fulfill the tasks God has given us.”
When we went over this point, as a teacher I could see the light bulbs starting to go off all around the room.
I asked Amy how her class went. She talked about this same concept tied right into the 7 week ladies Bible study she just finished called “Duty or Delight.” The introduction of general revelation related back to a discussion her class had several months ago on Romans 1.
When we came home from church and were sitting around the dinner table I asked my girls what they learned in Sunday School. This week I already knew the answer to the question. Eden, our kindergartener is usually right back with the answer and can give the main idea. Joey and Jamie Hendrix do an amazing job with that age group. Caroline is in a preschool class and while she always has fun, she has never really answered the question. Until this week. She actually beat Eden to the punch, “We learned about Adam and Eve, that God created the world, and that He loves Me!” Over the next three years the children are going to take an adventure through the entire Bible.
I’m looking forward to how our family can grow together through Sunday School now in a way that we never have before. Watch out this could be the beginning of something big.
Have you started studying for next week?