Friday, February 1, 2013

Synchronized Sunday school or Bible study resources for all ages . . . Answers Bible Curriculum + The Gospel Project

Two newly published and highly recommended resources for Sunday School or Bible study are Answers Bible Curriculum and The Gospel Project.

Both are 3-year study programs that unify an entire church by teaching the story line of the Bible (the grand narrative of Scripture)--from Genesis to Revelation--in an age appropriate manner. So all age groups are studying the same material but in a way that is at their intellectual and emotional maturity level.

Answers Bible Curriculum
Answers Bible Curriculum was created by the apologetics (Christianity-defending) ministry Answers in Genesis (est. 1994).

With the Australian Ken Ham as co-founder and president, AIG holds to Young Earth creationism and a literal interpretation of the Old Testament book of Genesis. Therefore, and as the AIG Statement of Faith asserts, "Scripture teaches a recent origin for man and the whole creation, spanning approximately 4,000 years from creation to Christ" (i.e., the earth is approximately 6,000 years old). And, "The days in Genesis do not correspond to geologic ages, but are six [6] consecutive twenty-four [24] hour days of creation."

Located in Kentucky but on the Kentucky/Ohio border (just west of the Cincinnati airport), the state-of-the-art, $27 million Creation Museum (est. 2007) is part of AIG.

Here is a summary of AIG's Answers Bible Curriculum, a curriculum that is in its first year of use at the church I am currently serving and teaching Sunday school at, First Baptist Church of Marysville, Washington:
Answers Bible Curriculum is a full-featured, chronological, 3-year Sunday school program. (12 quarters with 13 weeks per quarter. But could be 4-year curriculum if a church breaks for the summer.)
Its 156 lessons--35-75 minutes each--are synchronized across 7 age groups: Pre-K & Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Junior High, High School and Adults.
Each group covers Genesis through Revelation and learns the same material—but at different levels of depth—empowering exciting and easy discussion for the entire family. The first 2 years cover the Old Testament, and the third year surveys the New Testament.
In response to the startling findings of numerous studies, Answers Bible Curriculum is designed to stem the tide of skepticism toward God’s Word that begins in grade school. That skepticism turns to disbelief, and causes over two-thirds of young people to abandon church by the time they graduate.
No other Sunday school program so thoroughly equips believers to defend the truth of the Bible! And because all ages cover the same basic material at the same time, parents can easily discuss it with their children—and add insights from their own learning. Fun and easy-to-use, this curriculum lays the foundation for life!
The purpose of Answers Bible Curriculum is (1) to present the gospel, beginning in Genesis, to all generations; (2) to train believers to know, obey, and defend God’s Word; and (3) to encourage believers to become conformed to the image of Christ.
This cutting-edge new curriculum was written with the following principles integrated throughout the lessons:
+ We can trust all of God’s Word beginning in Genesis
+ The Bible presents true history
+ God’s plan of redemption is woven throughout Scripture
+ God’s attributes are displayed throughout the Bible
+ We must carefully and accurately interpret the Bible
+ We must be ready to give an answer for what we believe
+ We are to live in light of what the Bible teaches

The Gospel Project

Concerning the equally instructive and multi-generational Gospel Project, it was created by LifeWay Christian Resources (est. 1891), the publishing and retail arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Here is how LifeWay describes the content of the 3-year curriculum:

The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story, the story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. And it’s our story, too.
The Gospel Project is a Bible study resource that invites Adults, Students, and Kids of all ages to dive deeply into God’s story of redemption through Jesus Christ. In every lesson, participants are immersed in the gospel and learn how when the gospel works on them, they become a part of the story, too, the very hands and feet in God’s gospel project.
Led by General Editor Ed Stetzer and Managing Editor Trevin Wax, The Gospel Project is designed to unify an entire church under a single Christ-centered curriculum. Separate study plans for adults, students, and kids ensure the proper focus and depth for each age group.
Churches cannot go wrong using either of these two fine Bible study resources, either for Sunday school or small group studies.

Again, both 3-year, synchronized study programs are highly recommended as they lead students of all ages back to Bible basics--and therefore to the truth and excitement of the Gospel ("good news") presented therein.