New Editor of The Gospel Project for Students!

A.McLean picI’m excited to announce a new addition to The Gospel Project team – Andy McLean.

Andy comes to LifeWay from St. Augustine, Florida. He has a passion for students and student pastors. I look forward to seeing how The Gospel Project for Students is enhanced by his work.

Trevin Wax: Andy, tell us a little about how God has led you to this new role.

Andy McLean: I’m originally from Mobile, AL., having attended University of Mobile for undergraduate studies. It was during my early college years that I began to have a desire for the work of the ministry. So I began looking for different opportunities to serve in whatever capacity I could, whether that was being a youth intern at a church, or working on staff at summer church camps during my college summers.

Upon graduating from UM, I relocated to Wake Forest, NC. to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. I really enjoyed my time at SEBTS as I worked on my MDiv and ThM degrees. The highlight, of course, of my seminary career was when I meet my wife, Sarah McLean, who also studied at SEBTS.

In regards to preparing for ministry, I feel as if seminary was a place where I was able to sift through the areas of my giftedness a bit more by being involved in local church ministry. Through my church in Raleigh, I was able to participate in additional internships, serve as the college leader, and work with the children’s ministry on occasion. I was also able to work in curriculum development, being a part of producing Sunday School material and discipleship resources for student ministry, as well as continuing to work in camp ministry for part of that time.

Trevin Wax: Where did you go after seminary?

Andy McLean: I have been on faculty at a private Christian school in the Atlanta area, having taught courses on Christian Theology, Philosophy, Old Testament Literature, World Religions, and Latin to middle and high school students. I’ve also served on staff at a church as a youth and family minister in Florida, and I’m currently finishing a modular MA program at Biola in science and religion.

Trevin Wax: What will your new role at LifeWay be?

Andy McLean: I’m coming in as the content editor for The Gospel Project: Students, which, among other things, involves working with an incredibly talented team of individuals overseeing and giving shape to the material at the student level. Part of that will involve continuing to make the material age appropriate without detracting or compromising the content or integrity of it in any way.

Trevin Wax: What do you like about The Gospel Project?

Andy McLean: At the student level, which is what I primarily work with, The Gospel Project is unique in its starting point – theology. That’s different from some of our other pieces that are more expositional or thematically driven.

In addition to the starting point, I’m really grateful for its incorporation of systematic and biblical theology, its emphasis upon metanarrative and story, and the simple fact that it exists from the adult level down to kids, thus providing opportunities for family worship and discipleship.

It is a great tool and resource for the youth leader seeking to disciple students and teach them the whole council of God. I’m humbled to play a part in the process in making this resource available to churches.

Trevin Wax: Tell us a little about your family and your hobbies.

Andy McLean: My wife, Sarah, and I have one son, Isaac, who is currently 19 months old. We love to travel and do things outdoors, whether that involves camping, hiking, kayaking, going to the beach/mountains, or visiting National Parks. We love to read and write. We enjoy watching movies, especially ones that have a theme of adventure or relate the classic tale of good vs. evil. And right now we are really enjoying getting acclimated to the Nashville area, looking forward to settling in into our new home.


  1. Angie says

    Hi there! I am looking at using your awesome curriculum next year with 6th graders. I am worried about the student curriculum being over their heads but I would love to know if other groups have used it with that age. Also, I would be using it and adapting it for use in a Christian school so any feedback would be appreciated! I love this! Thank you so much!!!

  2. amclean says

    Hi Angie,

    It is great to hear that you are considering The Gospel Project: Students for your group of middle schoolers! I do think that the student material is suitable for that age group, especially since the student material will now be having an interactive teaching resource that goes along with each lesson (beginning Spring 2013). The way the material is now designed, along with the interactive resource, will give teachers maximum flexibility in designing the best method of instruction for their group.

    As far as being used as a school curriculum, or supplementing school curriculum, I think that would be a great idea and something that could easily be done. The content, discussion questions, interactive elements, etc., would easily transfer over to the classroom environment, providing the teacher a lot of time to develop and enhance the lesson plan for his or her students. Also, having been a former teacher myself, I would have really liked to have had the devotionals that are available in the Personal Study Guide for my students.

    • Shannon Bond says

      Never mind. I found the answer to my question. Our youth are way behind. When I looked in the spring books, I found the lesson. Thanks!

    • amclean says

      The Easter lesson this year will be in the printed Spring edition (session five), which teaches on The Resurrection and Exaltation of King Jesus.

  3. Terri Krauth says

    I have been teaching middleschoolers using the Gospel Project since September. Although the content isn’t over their heads, the wording sure is. I find myself spending most of the class paraphrasing. Usually we turn to the page in their student book with pictures and the main points, and take turns reading and discussing. The blank stares from their faces alert me to the fact they cannot possibly think of how this hits their heart until they process what it means, and many times give up, saying, “I don’t understand what that means.” For example, in session 5 of the winter 12-13 student book, there is a box that says, “Our sins are an affront (immediately they ask – what is affront?) to a God who is anything but (wording is trite, old school and confusing to 12 year olds because they don’t talk this way. ‘Anything but’ makes them think too hard) inconsequential (what’s inconsequential? Double negatives just waste brain time thinking of what is being asked). Can’t it just say something simpler, like our sins offend God and there must be consequences? Once I said it that way to my 11-14 year olds they understood.
    Please consider writing the middleschool curriculum with basic and simple words. I don’t mean dumb it down, because these kids are able to understand the theology truths presented, but when written by intelligent seminary professors they need to be reminded we are talking to children, not college graduates who are working on their MDiv. Remember, the kids who will be in my class next fall will have just finished the Elementary age curriculum the week before! A better writing style needs to be considered very seriously to help these adolescents transition smoothly from 5th to 6th grade. Thank you!

    • amclean says

      Hi Terri,

      It’s great to hear that you are using the material with middle-schoolers, and that the content is something they are getting. As we move forward with the curriculum, we will be more selective and age-appropriate with our word choice at the student level. As you mentioned, we will not be “dumbing it down” by any means or taking away from the content – after all, one of our objectives is to teach big Gospel truths to young hearts. We will simply be doing that of a wordsmith, and provide, when needed, definitions of certain terms that are necessary for building a theology. In addition, we will be providing interactive teaching elements for teachers to incorporate into the lesson if so desired – these will be a free downloadable resource beginning in the spring edition.

      I appreciate your suggestions and the examples you provided, and I look forward to helping make the material better suited for younger students.

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