Tips for Teaching This Week’s Session of The Gospel Project for Adults
Every week for Volume 4: From Captivity to the Wilderness, Ken Braddy, Lifeway’s director of Sunday School, will 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, your group will be studying Unit 3, Session 5, A Family Preserved, which focuses on the story of Joseph and how God uses adversity and even the evil actions of people to bring about good.
So here are your three things to know, read, and do as you prepare for this week’s session:
Something to know
One of the most difficult things in Joseph’s story is how quickly and genuinely he forgives his brothers. It is, quite frankly, shocking. Most of us would be inclined to at least make them work for forgiveness—to do something to earn it, or at least let them sweat a bit. But in his encounters with his brothers, Joseph is moved to forgive—he can’t not. In fact, he goes so far as to say that what they did, while being evil, God intended for good; their evil was the means by which God preserved their entire family during the horrible famine that overtook a wide stretch of the world at the time. So I would invest some additional time exploring this reality in greater detail by reading all the commentary for point 2 both the Bible study section on page 144, as well as the commentary and illustrations on page 150 of your leader guide. It will give you a greater understanding of this Holy Spirit motivated willingness to forgive that we see in Joseph’s actions, as well as challenge you to consider your own willingness to do likewise.
Something to read
For something to read, we’ve included a link to an article by Kim Riddlebarger in the Additional Resources called Joseph’s Faith in Death. This article is an excellent devotional read exploring the promise that was Joseph’s final request before his death—that when his family eventually left Egypt for their homeland once again, that they would bring his bones with them. This was a tremendous act of faith; in fact, it’s the very thing that Scripture ultimately commends him for in Hebrews 11. I especially love the concluding paragraph, which reads:
When the author of Hebrews looks back on the life of Joseph, he does not mention Joseph’s wisdom or managerial skills, Joseph’s rise to power, or his brush with death. He does not mention Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams. But he does mention Joseph’s desire to be buried in the Land of Promise. This is the sure sign that Joseph believed God’s promise to give his people the land of Canaan. And this makes Joseph a man of faith.
Something to do
Finally, the essential doctrine for this session, God’s Plan and Human Actions, connects closely to the doctrine that is the focus of the next session, God’s Providence. The way God acts in the world is ordinarily through the actions of human beings—which is to say that God works providentially through the decisions we make. Something for you to do this week is to start tying these two together. It doesn’t have to be much more than what I’ve said here. But however you choose to do so, tease that connection as something that will be fleshed out in greater detail next week.