Five years ago, I went to Nashville for the first time. I was asked to live blog a webcast for this new curriculum Trevin Wax, who I’d connected with via email, Twitter and a couple of conferences, was responsible for. Something called The Gospel Project.
I was a little nervous coming in. After all, I was just some dude from Canada with an internet website.1 A weblog, if you will. Plus, my wife was super-pregnant at that point and our son was due any day. As we prayed and discussed, Emily was convinced I should go even if it meant there was a chance she could go into labor while I was away. So, I took the risk. I got on the plane and later that day stepped into the building for the first time.
I furiously took notes as Matt Chandler, JD Greear, and Ed Stetzer each preached a 15 minute message each around the core values of the curriculum, the central components of gospel, theology, and mission. As soon as everything was done, I got on a plane with a backpack, some books and a couple of GooGoo Clusters,2 fully convinced that this curriculum could be a game-changer for churches, especially in kids ministry. (I also was pleased to see that my son had not yet made his grand entrance into the world when I got home, so that was nice, too.)
I had no idea that, five years later, I would be working as part of The Gospel Project team. Instead, I went back to my normal life. I served in my church. I worked at my job. I lived the dad life. And I told pastor friends about The Gospel Project. When our church was looking for new kids ministry curriculum, I encouraged looking at The Gospel Project (and it eventually one out). Later, I taught the kids in our church using it for three years, while also continuing to tell pastors about the curriculum. And then, eventually, that lead to an opportunity to join the team.
But here’s the thing: I was advocating for the material long before it was my job. I do it as my job because I still believe it’s a game-changer for churches, not just in kids ministry, but across all ages. And if it weren’t my job, I’d still be doing it. Why? Because I genuinely believe that there is nothing that changes lives like the gospel. It shapes how and what we think and say and do and love. It transforms every part of us, moment by moment. I’ve seen that in my own life. I’ve seen it in my family’s. I’ve seen it in friends. And I’ve seen it in entire church communities.
Every time I see it, I’m always amazed. No matter how many conversations I have, it never gets old. Nothing changes lives like the gospel. I really believe that. I pray you do, as well.