Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Adults
Every week, Aaron Armstrong and other adult ministry leaders offer guidance to help leaders prepare to lead and teach each session of The Gospel Project for Adults.
This week’s training notes:
This week, we are beginning our brand new scope and sequence for The Gospel Project for Adults, with volume 1: From Creation to Chaos. And the very first session is called, appropriately enough, “In the Beginning.”
This week, we’re not only introducing a new cycle, but we’re also kicking off a brand new format on the show, giving you three things that you need to know, read, and do as you prepare to lead your group through this session. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so let’s let started with this week’s something to know.
Something to know
This new cycle kicks off with a brand-new format for the Daily Discipleship Guide and the Leader Guide. Both resources feature more purposeful content than ever before, and have a couple of really important new features:
First, the Daily Discipleship Guide is designed to be your group members’ primary engagement with the study. Five daily devotions lead off every session, encouraging your groups to invest in the Word ahead of time. However, it’s important for you to remember that your group can use these either as a lead-in or as a response to the group discussion.
Along with this, your groups might notice that there’s no printed Bible text in the Daily Discipleship Guide. We have intentionally done this because we want your group members to study the Bible with their own Bibles. We have more information about this on our website in the resource library.
The Group discussion includes several different questions to address the learning styles present in your group. Remember: you don’t have to ask every question, only the ones that best serve your specific emphasis as you teach. If you want to align a d-group or small group with the curriculum, focus on the “My response” section. This addresses how what we’ve studied transforms heads, hearts, and actions in light of the gospel.
On the leaders’ side, I want to encourage you to check out the new feature in the Leader Guide, which is the Extras section. This section includes illustrations, activities, and additional commentary that can be useful to you in both your prep and group time. This section effectively replaces the Interactive Teaching Tips resource provided with previous versions of the curriculum.
Every session also encourages watching the freely accessible essential doctrine video in your group time. You can also share it with your group after your class. These are available in the resource library at gospelproject.com and in the additional resources.
We have also put together some videos that dive deeper into the Daily Discipleship Guide and Leader Guide. Check those out on gospelproject.com.
Something to read
Normally I would try to limit each of these categories to one item. However, we’re kicking off a new cycle this week, so there’s a fair bit to cover.
First, we want to help you and your groups not only study the Bible, but to know how to study the Bible. This is why we want you to see how the gospel story is revealed throughout all Scripture. It’s also why we want you to know the mechanics of good Bible study. So check out an article in the Daily Discipleship Guide and online about the seven arrows of Bible reading. This Bible study method helps people read and understand the Bible in a group setting by asking some basic questions.
We have used the seven arrows in our student ministry curriculum for years, and we’re excited to have here as well. After all, we can’t make assumptions about what people in our groups know, whether they are new or more established believers. Many people who have gone to church for years do not really know how to study the Bible at all. The same, of course, is true of newer believers. We can’t assume that they know something just because we do. So be sure to read through the article about the seven arrows and look for ways to point out the usefulness of this tool to your group members. And if you’re also part of a smaller discipleship group, take use these questions for yourself as you prepare.
We have added a new feature to the leader guide that I think you’re going to find helpful, especially if you’re less familiar with technical and theological terms. These are terms that we can’t not use, even if they’re not part of our normal speech. But if we leave them undefined, people can assume that they’re just gibberish or Christianese. They are seen as internal language that doesn’t really mean anything to anyone else. So we’re including definitions of some of the terms and phrases you’ll see in the session. On page 12 of your leader guide, for example, we’re including a definition of the sovereignty of God, which explains that God being sovereign means:
He reigns as the rightful ruler and king over all creation. No one or thing can dethrone Him or take His place because He created them all—He is the only God.
God’s sovereignty is something we see clearly in the creation account, as God literally makes everything. But it is also the foundation of our worship. We worship Him because He is, literally, the king of the universe. He made it all. It belongs to Him.
Something to do
There is a video on gospelproject.com called How to Get the Most Out of Every Session. This is something we’ve put together to to help leaders—especially those with a little less experience—navigate how to lead through a Bible study session. We provide a lot of content in every session, often more than you might actually need. And there’s a reason for that. We want you to have everything you need to be able to lead and teach effectively, which means no one is expecting you to get through every single element of every single point. Instead, you’re going to want to choose what elements to focus on in your group based on your knowledge of your group members.
This has been a lot of ground to cover, I know, but there’s a reason for this: all of us on the team want you to be as effective a leader as possible. That’s not just why we include all the material we do, but why we make this leader training available. So I hope you find it helpful, and know that our team is praying for you as you prepare to point your group to Jesus.