The Goal of Chronological Bible Study in Student Ministry
We have all heard it said that we live in an unprecedented time where biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high. Such claims are not exaggerated in the least bit, especially when it comes to the younger generations. And for many, this biblical illiteracy extends far beyond the lack of ability to recognize familiar passages in the Bible. For the majority of students, this biblical illiteracy extends even to not being familiar with the general storyline of the Bible, or with being able to recognize some of the basic characters throughout.
On the one hand, it is a sad commentary on our culture (and in our churches) when our students aren’t familiar with the biblical storyline or can’t identify some of the main stories and characters. What’s even more troubling, however, is that apart from even a basic understanding of these individual stories, students are even more removed from where we want them to be in their understanding of the Bible, namely, to see how all of these stories are, in fact, one big story that is pointing to Jesus. Thus, without a working knowledge of the biblical storyline, students will find it extremely difficult in understanding how all of the biblical storyline fits together and centers on the gospel of Christ.
After all, it is the gospel of Christ that we want our students to be exposed to week after week because only the gospel can transform their hearts. We seem to forget this about the gospel at times, thinking that in order to help our students mature in their faith, they must move beyond the gospel to do so. According to this line of thinking, the gospel is what saves you, but is not essential for spiritual growth and maturity. It’s important at the foundational level, but it is meant to simply uphold and give stability to the things that follow. It is the spiritual shallow end of the pool that eventually gives way to the deeper side.
However, according to Paul, the gospel isn’t the shallow end, or even the deep end—it is the pool itself! He says, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand” (1 Corinthians 15:1). In other words, growth for the Christian is never separated from the gospel. The gospel is present at the beginning of our Christian life, but it is also the message God uses to sustain us throughout. It is not only the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, but is also where we find our place and identity as we discover how our story connects with God’s Story of redemption.
In short, the gospel is central to the Christian life, and that’s why it should be central to the lives of your students. When it comes to the Gospel Project for Students, everything we do has been intended to take students deeper into the gospel. It isn’t merely about curving biblical illiteracy with a chronological study of Scripture, but about showing students that the stories we encounter throughout Scripture are not isolated stories scattered throughout the Bible, but are rather, in fact, all connected and are a part of one larger Story—God’s Story. And most importantly, this Story is capable of transforming your life.
Beginning this fall, I encourage you to embark with us as we begin our three-year journey through the storyline of Scripture. Along the way, you and your students will:
- Journey through the Bible in three years
- Discover how all of the stories in the Bible fit together and center on Jesus
- Learn how the gospel transforms the way one thinks, feels, and lives from day to day
- Encounter 99 essential basic doctrines that every student should know
Our Chronological study will not only help to challenge and inspire you and your leaders to love and live out the gospel more deeply, but it will point your students to the only message that has life-transforming power—the gospel!