UPDATE: The website for The Gospel Project has been launched.

A little over a year ago, I transitioned out of pastoral ministry and took on the role of editor at LifeWay Christian Resources of a new small group curriculum for churches.

Beginning Stages

My first two months at LifeWay (November-December 2010) were primarily focused on helping develop the vision for the new curriculum. In conjunction with Ed Stetzer (general editor), I began mapping out what topics this curriculum might cover. We put together some different options – some focused more on systematic theology, others focused on a variety of approaches, etc.

We also began putting on paper the core values we wanted to keep at the forefront of this curriculum. “Theologically robust” (which we renamed “deep, but not dry”), “Christ-centered,” “Grand-narrative-focused,” and “Mission-driven” are the important elements we want to see in every quarter and (hopefully) every lesson. We took these buzz words and fleshed out how they might apply to a curriculum.

Advisory Council

Then we brought together an advisory council to speak into the project, leaders like D.A. CarsonMatt ChandlerJames MacDonaldJ.D. Greear, Eric MasonJuan SanchezCollin HansenKimberly ThornburyJoe Thorn, Danny Akin, and Jay Noh. We met with members of the council in Dallas and Chicago earlier this year and received helpful feedback and great insight into this curriculum.

The meetings with the advisory council were very helpful. The group helped us refine the vision, make needed adjustments, and craft a three-year cycle that brings together systematic theology within the framework of the Bible’s grand narrative. After both meetings, we went back to the drawing board – affirmed in our general direction yet helpfully challenged in some of the particulars.

The Writing Begins

We went back and forth on a few different names for this new curriculum, finally settling on TGM (Theology, Gospel, Mission), a name that helped us crystallize the three components we wanted to have present in every lesson. Earlier this year, we began gathering writers for the initial quarters. The writers’ meetings have been wonderful. I can’t believe I get to meet and work with such great people!

Some of our writers include: George Robinson (professor of missions and evangelism at Southeastern Seminary who has done extensive work on the evangelistic tool The Story), Jared Wilson (pastor in Vermont, author of LifeWay’s Threads study Abideand Gospel Wakefulness), Juan Sanchez (pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church in Austin, TX), Halim Suh (pastor at Austin Stone Community Church), Jonathan Leeman (editorial director of 9Marks), Geoff Ashley (discipleship pastor at The Village Church in Dallas, TX), etc.

The curriculum launches in Fall of 2012. The second and third installments of the material will take people on a journey through the Bible in 26 weeks. George Guthrie (Union University professor and author of Read the Bible for Life) has been instrumental in helping us think through how best to accomplish this task.

Major Development – “The Gospel Project”

At the same time I was working on editing the adult curriculum, a student team and a kids team were working on similar products for those age groups. A couple weeks ago, Eric Geiger, the new vice president over the Church Resources Division at LifeWay, recommended that we bring these three curriculum options under one umbrella. This change shifted me from being editor of the adult piece to being managing editor of all three lines. My task is now to oversee the gospel-centered content development across all age groups. Ed Stetzer is now general editor of all three lines as well.

These changes also meant we would need to (yet again) change the name, so as to accurately reflect the emphasis for all age groups. We’ve settled on the name “The Gospel Project.” The new name communicates the ongoing nature of this curriculum roll-out. It also communicates that this isn’t just about creating Bible studies. The curriculum itself isn’t the project that’s most important; we are. We are the gospel project. Our prayer is that as small groups of all ages work through these studies, the gospel will work on us. The church is God’s gospel project.

I’d appreciate your prayers for me and for the teams who are working on this new product. We believe “The Gospel Project” has the potential to serve the church in a good way, as it provides a gospel-centered resource for children, students, and adults.

Print Friendly
View Comments

Comments:


14 thoughts on “The Gospel Project”

  1. Keith Collier says:

    Trevin,

    I’m an adult life group leader at Normandale Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Are you looking for churches to pilot these new curriculums?

    Keith Collier

  2. Trevin Wax says:

    Hi Keith,

    We’ve already piloted the material when it was still TGM. We may indeed be doing another piloting at some point in the near future. I’ll keep you posted if that’s the case.

    Thanks for your interest!

  3. Doc B says:

    I stopped using SBC curricular materials years ago because of the shallowness and man-centeredness of it.

    The thought of having some gospel-centered curricula with some theological depth is heartwarming. I hope this becomes available sooner rather than later!

  4. Tim Brister says:

    I’m very excited for you, Trevin. God has equipped you greatly and gifted you to build His church on the solid foundation of the Gospel. I look forward to the fruit of your labors as churches and individuals continually rediscovery the fulsome power and comprehensive nature of the gospel!

  5. Benji Thomas says:

    Our church – FBC Lebanon – may also be interested in a pilot, both at the adult and youth levels. Keep up the good work!

  6. Debbie Cook says:

    I do children’s ministries at Central Baptist Corbin Ky. We would be interested in piloting with K-6th. Love the idea of going thru chronologically So helpful With kids seeing the big picture! It’s all for the Kingdom!

  7. Marty Joplin says:

    I think we’d be VERY interested in piloting this material. To provide feedback, our experience with Threads was that is lacked some of the good substance offered by other good materials. For Example Chase the Goose offered little or none of the actual teaching segments of Mark Batterson – yet his website offered the downloads of these teaching segments?! So we supplemented with material from chasethegoose.com and didn’t hardly tough the Threads content. Also, we can get pretty good stuff from Chip Ingram at Living on the Edge – with kits that last 4-12 weeks for $49-69 complete video teaching segments.
    Now I’d prefer simply discussion starters of 5-15 minutes instead of the entire 30-45 minutes that come in these kits, but – what if you offered something that had both versions a discussion starter for groups that are more interactive, and a teaching segment for groups with less leadership.

  8. Marty Joplin says:

    We’d like to pilot all age groups adult – students – youth and children.

  9. Trevin Wax says:

    Thanks, Marty. We’ll be in touch once the pilot part of the project is available after the first of the year!

  10. Wayne Woods says:

    As a pastor, this new series greatly interests me. Please keep us informed as to the progress.

  11. Jason Bean says:

    In all the blogs and books about the gospel recently I still haven’t seen a lot putting the emphasis on what Jesus actually preached about the gospel. Before we use “it” to transform out lives, shouldn’t we define “it” biblically including all the Jesus said and not just what Paul says. We put all the emphasis on the cross, but the Bible (and Jesus Christ) speak way more about God’s Kingdom than about the wood that was used to crucify Christ. I hope this curriculum will focus more on why God created us and saved us (a relationship him) rather than on what we are being saved from (hell). God didn’t save us to keep us out of Hell, He saved us to come into His kingdom to reunite us into an eternal relationship with Him.

  12. Derek Ross says:

    Trevin,

    In 2009 our Mission in Manila hosted Jimmy Hester, Rick Prall, Bob Bunn and Mike Wakefield.

    I am curious about how TGP will work cross culturally and would like to be a part of what you are doing.

    Derek Ross
    Natl Director
    True Love Waits Philippines

  13. Troy M. Long says:

    If the THE GOSPEL PROJECT is published I will personally write every church in my present association and the churches I have pastored for over 55 years.

    Troy M. Long

  14. Troy M. Long says:

    I am against THE GOSPEL PROJECT.

    Troy M. Long

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

Trevin Wax's Books