One of the great features of The Gospel Project for Kids is its chronological plan through the Bible. Kids will study stories from Genesis to Revelation over three years. They will learn how familiar (and not-so-familiar) Bible stories fit together as part of a bigger picture—God’s plan to save people from sin.
Each session contains a Christ Connection, a few brief sentences designed to show how the Bible story points to Jesus. So why is the Christ Connection important? Why not just teach kids the facts about the Bible story and a couple of life applications? Why point them to Jesus?
1. The Christ Connection helps the leader point kids to Jesus. The Christ Connection helps leaders take seemingly disconnected Bible stories and connect them—like the pieces of a puzzle—to see the big picture of the Bible, which is Jesus. Kids can see God’s plan of redemption from Genesis to Revelation.
The Christ Connection also keeps the focus in its proper place. The people mentioned in the Bible have fascinating stories, and many of them set great moral examples. For example, the Book of Daniel contains a great story about a man who had courage. As Christians, should we be courageous like Daniel? Sure. But what happens when we aren’t courageous? What happens when we fail? If the lesson we give kids is “Do this … ” or “Don’t do this …” then what hope is there for the guilty? What hope is there for the failures? Kids need the gospel. Point them to Jesus, who succeeded in every part of life where we fail.
2. The Christ Connection reminds kids that the Bible is not all about us. Though it does contain directives and implications, the primary message of the Bible is not what we can do for God. The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day meticulously studied the Scriptures. They tried hard to obey God’s law. On the outside, they looked righteous.
In John 5:39, Jesus addressed the Jewish leaders. He said, “You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.” Even the most serious students of the Scriptures had missed the point! The Bible isn’t about how to be good enough to get to God. It’s about what God has already done for us—sinners who can never measure up—in Christ through His finished work on the cross. That’s good news.
3. The Christ Connection helps present the Old Testament stories from a Christian perspective. Evaluate your teaching. Is the point you’re making the same point a teacher in a mosque or synagogue would make? Would an unbeliever agree with it?
In his book, Gospel-Centered Teaching, Trevin Wax explains: “Failure to point to Jesus in your lesson means that your message is not distinctively Christian. If you preach the story of Moses and the Passover and do not point forward to our Passover Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, then you are teaching from Exodus much like a rabbi, not like a Christian herald of the gospel.”
As you teach The Gospel Project for Kids, use the Christ Connection with each Bible story to show kids how the Bible connects, and point them to Jesus. We can instruct kids to live good lives and perhaps see change in their behavior. Or we can give them Jesus, the One who has the power to change their hearts.