According to Bret Robbe, Director of Leadership & Adult Publishing at LifeWay Christian Resources, traditional discipleship in many churches has unfortunately been conducted through a “potpourri approach.” The term, he explained, characterizes the way Sunday school classes often bounce from one curriculum to another, or from one hot topic to the next, without considering how those topics connect or whether learners are receiving a complete biblical education.
“If you’re doing a potpourri approach to God, you cannot promise people they’re going to get even the basic Bible stories,” Robbe said. “Most churches don’t have a strategy when it comes to [Sunday school curriculum], and they cannot guarantee their people are getting the biblicalfoundations they need.”
Robbe explained that LifeSpan is not a new curriculum, but is rather a strategy around which all LifeWay curriculum is based. Children’s curriculum is built upon LifeWay’s Levels of Biblical Learning ministry tool with a theme of Hear-Know-Do;student curriculum is built upon the Known strategy that leads students to deepen their faith through the Know- Own-Known theme; and adult curriculum focuses on creating spiritually balanced Christians using the strategy of Connect-Grow-Serve-Go.
One Dallas-Ft. Worth church, Church At The Cross, has recently returned to using LifeWay curriculum in all age groups and would be classified as a LifeSpan church. CATC introduces prospective members to the strategy of LifeSpan in its new member’s class and explains that every member of a person’s family will receive biblically-based and age-appropriate teaching through the LifeSpan strategy. The church can make a “birth to heaven” promise that there is rhyme and reason in the selection of their curriculum, and it’s giving them a story to tell that’s making a difference in people’s decision to join the church. Parents want to know that there is a strategy, and LifeSpan guarantees that biblical concepts will be taught, built upon, and ultimately lived out as people become fully devoted followers of Christ.