The Gospel Project and Spaghetti

So you’re asking, “What does the Gospel Project have to do with spaghetti?” Well, nothing really, except for August 26th after the morning church service.

Parents and grandparents of Calvary Baptist Church, this is your official invitation to a wonderful spaghetti luncheon prepared by none other than your absolutely fabulous hostess crew. If you have a child or grandchild then we want you to come and relax with us and get to know The Gospel Project. I have been involved in ministry for about 12 years now, and I have never been as excited about a curriculum as I am The Gospel Project.

The Gospel Project for Kids is a Christ-centered Bible study resource that follows a chronological timeline of Bible events—presenting the story of redemption through Jesus like kids have never seen it before! Each week, these stories come to life through video, music, activities, and more.

Parents and grandparents please join us following the morning church service on August 26th in the fellowship hall for a great lunch and preview of The Gospel Project. I believe your kids are going to love this, and you just might too. Please RSVP to the church office by Thursday, August 23rd if you will be able to attend.

I also want to encourage you to invite a family to come with you for this preview. The lunch is free and childcare will be provided.

It all starts September 2nd at 9:15am.

Because of Grace,

Jon

The Gospel Project – Preschool Introduction Videos

One of the things I love about The Gospel Project are the introductory videos and discussion starter videos for each class. Video based curriculums are a dime-a-dozen these days, and most are either too cheesy to show or just don’t make the connection between truth and the illustration used. The Gospel Project has found a great balance to the videos. They are funny and cute for kids, but not cheesy. They also make a great point and discussion actually takes place because of them.

For example, check out this video on creation for the kindergartners:

 

Now kindergartners really don’t have a great grasp of all the issues in this video. They don’t understand the varying worldviews between evolution and creationism. But, what they can begin to understand is that God created everything. In fact, that’s the big picture they will take away from their first lesson – God created everything for His glory.

I showed this video to a friend and they thought it would be way over a child’s head. I must disagree. I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old, both of which watched this video. They laughed and thought talking cupcakes were silly, but it launched a great conversation about how God created us all. WE MUST NEVER SHY AWAY FROM TEACHING DEEP TRUTHS TO A CHILD. Sometimes I think they get it more than us adults do. The Gospel Project does an outstanding job of teaching these truths to preschoolers.

I praise God for The Gospel Project! Tomorrow we’ll preview the introduction video for elementary age children on creation. It is fantastic.

Blessings,

Jon

Introducing the The Gospel Project

Over the next month I will be using my blog to introduce The Gospel Project to the parents at my church. We will begin using the Gospel Project material in Sunday school starting with the Fall quarter that begins on September 2nd. I have been in ministry full time for almost 7 years now, and I have never found a curriculum that I am overly excited about…until now. The Gospel Project is designed for whole church use – kids, youth, and adults – though we will only be utilizing it with our kindergartners through youth classes. Today I want to introduce you to the children’s material.

The Gospel Project for Kids is a Christ-centered Bible study resource that follows a chronological timeline of Bible events—presenting the story of redemption through Jesus like kids have never seen it before! Each week, these stories come to life through video, music, activities, and more. Below is an introductory video for the children.

 

Over the next month I will be sharing a lot about The Gospel Project, and I may just be blowing up your Facebook newsfeed for a while. I am thankful for the Gospel Project on so many levels. I simply cannot express the excitement I have going into the Fall quarter as I look forward to using this material for our kindergartners through youth.

Just to let you in on a little bit of info behind The Gospel Project curriculum, I would like to share with you the list of Christian leaders who were consulted when developing this curriculum. This list may not mean a lot to you if you are not familiar with the names, but trust me when I say that these men and women are some of the brightest and most gifted leaders in our world today.

  • Ed Stetzer – General Editor of The Gospel Project, President of LifeWay Research
  • Treven Wax – Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, former missionary and pastor in Romania
  • D.A. Carson – Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill.
  • Matt Chandler – Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas
  • James MacDonald – Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicago, Ill.
  • Daniel Akin – President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.
  • J.D. Greear – Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, N.C.
  • Eric Mason – Lead Pastor, Epiphany Fellowship, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Kimberly Thornbury – Dean of Students, Union University, Jackson, Tenn.
  • Jay Noh – Director of Missional Leadership and Mobilization, Chicago Baptist Association, Chicago, Ill.
  • Joe Thorn – Lead Pastor, Redeemer Fellowship, St. Charles, Ill.
  • Juan Sanchez – Preaching Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
  • Collin Hansen – Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition / Editor-at-Large,Christianity Today, Montvale, N.J.

Lastly, here is a video of Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Dallas, TX, introducing the main idea behind The Gospel Project.

 

Have  a Blessed Day!

Jon

Morning Roudup 3/23

The first thing I do each day is go through my Google Reader. Reader is a great web program from Google that allows you to follow all your blogs and news resources systematically on one sight. Instead of blowing up your Facebook newsfeed, I figured I’d gather them up this morning and share them. So here they are…

Presidential Approval Rating vs Church Approval Rating – What can we do about this? (other than complain) Seriously.  Any ideas?

Without an Invitation, It’s Just a Story – There are lots of criticisms these days on invitations and altar calls, this sheds some good light on them. What do you think?

You are not the first Domino – Good word here for us prideful people.

Chick-fil-a and the Irony of the Tolerance Police – I don’t even have words to express my disappointment in the foolishness of the world and how they have treated the recent Chick-fil-a comments. God help us. Seriously.

All Sons and Daughters – The live sessions from All Sons and Daughters at Relevant Studios are up for your viewing. Great band. Great music. Go listen.

Amazon’s Yesterday Shipping – Excellent

Morning Roundup 3/14

Not a lot going on this morning and a busy day ahead…

Visual Theology – Tim Challies recently started a series called “Visual Theology” in which he takes a particular doctrine and makes it easy to understand through a visual picture. This one on the Trinity is excellent.

The Welcome of Grace – Jared Wilson writes, “I remind myself and my church often that a message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them.” If you haven’t read Jared Wilson’s book, Gospel Wakefulness, you should go get it. It’s one of the best books I have read in a long time. The introduction alone is worth the cost of the book.

The Challenges We Face – Al Mohler writes about what the next generation of ministers will have to get right in order to continue the work of the Gospel.

Yosemite HD

 

This is Discipling – I think this video oversimplifies things a little and may lead one to think that Great Commission is simply to love, liberate, lead, and launch. I’m going to guess this church plans to expand on those through 4 sermons. Perhaps they can squeeze out the mission of the church from those 4 ideas. Either way, I think this video does a great job of stressing the fact that we are often doing too many things that don’t matter while not focusing on what does matter.

 

That’s it for today…Because of Grace,

Jon

Where are all the men?

Last night I went to a VBS clinic at a local church in my area. They have it every year to help prepare churches and the workers at VBS. It’s a great little clinic. I have been to it now for three years and each year I notice something – there are very few men. Now to be fair to men, I understand that many churches have their VBS in the morning which eliminates most men from being able to help.  I would also bet that there is an equal amount of them that have it in the evenings now too. So where are the men? Why are they not helping with things like VBS, Sunday school, and other children’s programs? It’s not just a problem at church either. It’s a problem at home too. The latest research shows that 59% of all children born are now born to fatherless homes. So where have all the men gone? Why aren’t young men present at church? Why aren’t young men investing in their families, or having kids at all? I would suggest a few reasons…

  1. Going to church doesn’t feel like a very manly thing to do. Going to sing songs and discuss what’s going on in your life just doesn’t appeal to most men. However, I can’t even think of a more manly calling than to “lay down your life…die to yourself…take up your cross.” Every man loves the scene from Braveheart when William Wallace cries out, “FREEDOM.” Yet what is confusing to me is that the very thing men love in movies like Braveheart is the very thing they aren’t willing to do. Maybe they just don’t have it in them. Maybe they aren’t “man enough” for church.
  2. Men seem to like the more “important” roles in church. You know…like being the head of a committee or teaching a grown up class or something along those lines. Going to teach a bunch of wild and crazy kids just isn’t something men flock to. However, I would say that there isn’t a more important role than investing in the children of the church. Believe it or not, children need strong male figures in their life. Men, let’s invest more in our kids. That means we often have to make a sacrifice (there’s a manly word) and make it a point to do so.
  3. Mixed up priorities. Hunting, golf, and video games don’t count as priorities (unless you’re taking your children with you…except for the video games). I’m not against hunting, golf, video games, or any other activity, but let’s not make them such a high priority. I see men working 60 plus hours per week, then getting up and going hunting or hitting the golf course for half the day on Saturday…by Sunday they just have nothing left to give. I see young men in their 20’s and 30’s more excited about the new release of a video game than they are anything else. It’s crazy. Since when do men (boys who can shave) get so excited about video games? I agree with what Mark Driscoll said once, “video games aren’t sinful, they’re just stupid.” Men, I encourage you to get your priorities straight and start investing in your families, your church, and your community.
  4. Men want their freedom. Having kids and making commitments outside of work and play-time just isn’t on the radar. My friend Steven Gillum recently mentioned how we want our options. I think this is true. Men want to be able to do this or do that. Investing at home and church just doesn’t quite make the cut for them.

I know many men who work really hard and work a lot of hours because they want to provide a good life for their family. I am thankful for that, but a good, safe life is not a good end to work toward in and of itself. Your employer will quickly forget you once you leave. You are replaceable at work but not at home.

Men, let’s up the ante. That may mean you need to make a change. It may mean you need to get a new job that doesn’t have you working long hours and never at home. It means put the video games down and do something that matters. It means laying down your life and sacrificing what you want for what really matters. I recently read Joe Thorn’s book Note to Self. In his book he calls men to sacrifice for their families. He speaks of how almost all men would certainly take a bullet or step in front of a moving vehicle for their family, yet at the same time they have a hard time relinquishing the remote control. What’s wrong with that picture?

My church is full of Godly older men whom I love and look up to. They are great examples of men that have invested in their families and our church. I wonder how many men like them my kids will have to look up to when they are my age.

Because of Grace,

Jon

Morning Roundup 3/13

Hunger Games Review – Here’s a great review of the Hunger Games books that are all the rage these days. “The immense popularity of these books is not only wide but deep; there’s obviously more to their appeal than a heart-pounding plot.  Might it be that, even after decades of self-esteem training, young readers know on a subconscious level that they’re not that good?  Do they only admire Katniss’s strength and determination, or do they also identify with her struggle?”

Five Things a Pastor Should Never Say – Hopefully these are some things I will avoid in the future of my ministry. Anyone said any of these?

Kindle – My kindle is one of my favorite gadgets. It makes reading easy, especially if one of the kids ever happens to be napping on me. As much as I like it though, I hope real books don’t go away. There’s just something about having a real book, with real paper, a front and back cover…oh, and the smell, too. Book do smell great if you didn’t know that already. Ok, so here’s a few good Kindle deals up today – Women and Stress is currently FREE, Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury is only $2.99, and I Love Mormons: A New Way to Share Christ with Latter Day Saints is also currently FREE. I haven’t read the last one, or the previous two for that matter. Holy Subversion by Trevin Wax is still at $2.69. No, I don’t constantly scan the pages of Amazon for free or cheap books, just follow Gospel eBooks, they do it for you.

Screwtape on Stage – If you are a fan of the Screwtape Letters from C.S. Lewis then you won’t want to miss this. Unfortunately, most people probably will – myself included. Either way, it looks absolutely fascinating.

Tim Hawkins on “Things you don’t say to your wife.”

 

Because of Grace,

Jon

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