6 Hallmarks That Shape The Gospel Project for Kids

This post was written by Aaron Wilson, a guest to INCM and writer for our Partner, Lifeway Christian Resources. This is a paid promotion by Lifeway Kids.

Enter any address in your phone’s GPS, and you’ll be greeted with several route options. Each path will take you to the same destination, but your journey will look different based on your specific needs and preferences. Do you want to know the quickest path, or would you rather take the scenic tour? Are you keen on avoiding certain hazards, or do you have additional destination points you want to hit along the way? 

This GPS analogy can be helpful when thinking about Bible curriculum lines and how they complement each other based on the different needs of local churches. While each curriculum line takes kids to the same destination—that is, the glory of God revealed in Scripture—the path it takes will vary depending on how the material is structured to serve the church. 

In 2009, the Lifeway Kids team was looking to the future. They knew the desired destination but were determining the best route to take. They researched what churches were looking for, asked for feedback, and moved forward with the goal of equipping kids, preschool, and pre-teen ministries with curriculum and Bible Study materials that would address the needs of the church. An extensive research project was conducted, and from it The Gospel Project was born. 

It consisted of a vision for a new line of Sunday School, Bible study, and small group curriculum materials. Something with easy preparation and an obvious application and connection to foundational biblical content. Something to show kids the big picture of the Bible, the whole story, a chronological study. Something that would help kids make sense of their lives by discovering the beauty of a Christ-focused look at Scripture’s redemptive arc for humanity and the world. Something that told God’s amazing story, one of good news. The route to an excellent gospel-centered curriculum had been formed! 

So, what discipleship pathway does The Gospel Project for Kids offer? Here are six distinctives the curriculum builds upon to help lead children to the Savior.

Christ-centered — On the road to Emmaus, the resurrected Jesus appeared to two disciples. Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). This is the goal of The Gospel Project for Kids—to show children how every story in Scripture points to Jesus. The curriculum doesn’t artificially force Christ into each session. Rather, it teaches kids how to read the Scriptures, which, in Jesus’ own words, “testify about me” (John 5:39). 

Chronological — The Bible is a collection of true stories that tell one big story about Christ. As such, stories unfold over time, build anticipation, and take twists and turns along the way. By revealing God’s redemptive plan to kids chronologically, children discover how the gospel narrative is woven throughout the pages of Scripture from the first “in-the-beginning” of Genesis to the last “amen” of Revelation. 

Heart transforming — Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” This passage serves as a stark warning against outward behavior modification that isn’t driven by heart change. The Gospel Project for Kids always has the hearts of kids in mind, pointing them to the Savior who makes dead hearts come alive and transforms people into His image.

Theologically rich — For better or worse, everyone has a view about God and the meaning of life. This makes everyone a theologian—including our children. The Gospel Project for Kids strives to help kids grow as little theologians as they learn to think rightly about their world and the Lord who reigns over it. One way it does this is through introducing The Big Picture Question and Answers for Kids—theological concepts in Q&A format that relate to six overarching categories: God, people, Jesus, the Bible, the church, and Christian life. While the stories and concepts in The Gospel Project for Kids are always age-appropriate, the curriculum doesn’t shy away from the hard stories of Scripture or water down truths God sovereignly chose to include in His Word. Equipping kids with a rich doctrinal foundation at a young age provides them with a ready defense against lies the world is more than ready to throw at them. 

Age aligned — Kids ministry finds its sweet spot when home discipleship gains synergy within the local church. Because The Gospel Project is age aligned for babies, preschoolers, kids, students, and adults, each member of a family can be on the same page when discussing at home what they’re learning at church. Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs parents to talk to their children about God’s Word when they sit, walk, lie down, and get up. This command becomes easier when everyone in the home is rallying around the same section of Scripture. 

Missionally minded — There is no age requirement for living on mission. In fact, kids can be some of the best witnesses for Christ as they are great at sharing their beliefs without the social reservations that can easily trip up adults. The gospel is the good news that travels from person to person and generation to generation. For this reason, The Gospel Project for Kids approaches each session with a missional mindset, asking, “How can kids treasure God’s truth in practical ways that invite others into the joy of Christ’s kingdom?” These six hallmarks of The Gospel Project for Kids drive the approach of each week’s session. As you evaluate your kids’ discipleship journey, what distinctives are important as you pave the way for your kids to meet and follow Jesus Christ?


About Aaron

Aaron Wilson is a long-time writer for Lifeway Christian Resources and serves as team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. Aaron and his wife, Jennifer, have served together in children’s ministry for most of their married life and are involved members at Redeemer Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. They have teenage boy/girl twins.

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