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« Daily Readings - John 2:1-11 | Main | Biblical ethics demands good hermeneutics »
Friday
Jan202017

The Gospel Project: Pros and Cons

Update on 2017-01-23: I am really happy to say that someone from The Gospel Project reached out to me with this issue, and has given me the right direction to what I need. I'm really thankful for such excellent service.

This fall, I returned to teaching teens. Along with my husband and another couple, we are using The Gospel Project Curriculum. We love the content. There is a lot of guidance, it's Christ-centred, and it is a chronological study, which we like. Last fall, each of us was able to download our copies of the teacher guide to our desktops and access it on our other devices via Google Drive. It was really convenient. We enjoyed the ease of ordering online and receving digital copies. It keeps costs down, too.

When I ordered our next installment, Winter 2017, there was a slight change. Instead of each of us receiving a copy of the leader guide that we could download to our desktop, the only option in digital format was an e-book. It was also not an e-book that could be read with a Kindle. It required its own reader. We were given two choices of a reader, the Lifeway Reader and another through a site called My WORDsearch. We opted for the latter, because the customer service rep suggested it.

I will admit to being a little disappointed with this. Another app, another login, another password. I like Google Drive; I already have it on my phone, and the other teachers could use an iPad to access their copies. Now, we must all access our copies on another format. One of the other teachers said he does not like when publishers try to control how you interact with their product. I agreed.

I did check into getting the paper copy rather than the digital. For the leader guide, which is a great price ($6.94 US), the shipping was $47.00. Yes, you read correctly. Almost eight time as much as the product. Needless to say, that was not a real option. I guess being Canadian is a detriment when you interact with Lifeway. It's a shame when teaching kids the Bible is dependent upon companies who are required to make money. But that is a reality.

So while we love The Gospel Project content, we're a little disgruntled this winter. I don't know what will happen in the spring. What this has emphasized to me and the associate pastor who teaches along with us, churches need people to write their own curriculum so that we don't have to rely on publishers. That would be my dream job. Until then, we press on.

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Reader Comments (2)

Grrrrr. . .

I've been thinking a lot about how there is a greater normalization of e-books, and how mission organizations and the Church can utilize existing distribution systems (Kobo, Amazon, iBooks, etc.) to get good materials in the hands of people worldwide.

And, this?! This is just the opposite! Mandating the use of proprietary apps? Not making it easy to get outside of the U.S.? Definitely not helping. . .

January 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTulipGirl

Hey Kim,

My name is Andy McLean and I'm the editor for The Gospel Project for Students. I ran across your post this weekend and thought I would follow up.

Let me begin by apologizing that the purchasing experience hasn't been better. We do have a variety of digital products to suit the needs of our digital users, the epub only being one. It seems as if you purchased our Fall digital bundle, containing the leader guide, personal study guide, and other additional resources in PDF format. We produce this digital bundle for each quarter, including Winter 17 of which you were inquiring. You can find that bundle here:

http://www.lifeway.com/Product/the-gospel-project-for-students-volume-6-exile-and-return-personal-study-guide-leader-guide-winter-2017-M00050797

And in case you are interested in the Spring 17 bundle:

http://www.lifeway.com/Product/the-gospel-project-for-students-the-rescue-begins-volume-7-personal-study-guide-leader-guide-spring-2017-M00050857

I hope this helps, especially given the reality of shipping costs to Canada. Hopefully this provides a real alternative to the print material, so that you and your group can continue the journey with us through the storyline of Scripture.

Feel free to connect with me directly at andy.mclean@lifeway.com if you have any additional questions. Thanks again for the post!

January 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndy McLean

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