Anyone who has ever taught Sunday School, Adult Bible Fellowship, a small group, a VBS class, or in any other setting has experienced the frustration of a lesson that fails for lack of depth, flagging interest, or stagnant inward focus. Trevin Wax’s new book, Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All the Scripture (B&H, 2013) is a very welcome help for teachers who want to infuse their groups with the life that the gospel brings to everything. Wax applies the power of the gospel to three problem areas of a teaching experience—inwardly focused groups, biblically illiterate groups, and shallow discussion within groups. He walks a teacher through the process of beginning with biblical content, connecting a passage to the story of the gospel, applying it, and redirecting to God’s mission in the world. This is a book every teacher will find helpful and encouraging. Wax concludes with this challenge:
What your group celebrates corporately is just as important as what your group affirms doctrinally. Celebrate the gospel, and cross-cultural ministry will bubble up in surprising ways. Celebrate your church’s personal preferences, and your group will become an insular group of likeminded individuals. Celebrate your own gifts as a leader, and your group will be centered on you as the hero rather than Jesus.
Every Christian teacher should keep the focus on the gospel so we can see the good fruit of God’s power in our teaching.