Do you have any idea what your church pays for literature?

Do you ever wonder what happens to all that literature at the end of the year? Hint: look in your dumpster.

Wouldn’t it be great if that money could be poured into resources that people actually keep?

Now it can.

Introducing: Ken Hemphill’s non-disposable curriculum series.

Ken Hemphill has a new series of literature he is calling non-disposable curriculum. He has five books released so far:

  • Old Testament Survey, Ken Hemphill
  • Core Convictions (Doctrinal study, but don’t tell anyone.) Ken Hemphill
  • Connected in Community, Ken Hemphill

Several more are in the works:

  • New Testament Survey, Kie Bowman
  • Lord Teach Us to Pray: Developing Intimate Communication with God, Steve Gaines
  • James, Johnny Hunt

The books are small—about the size of the Prayer of Jabez book—around 100 pages. The full retail is $4.99 per book, but there are discounts up to 30% or more if purchased in quantities.

The dream is that over time people will build up a library of books they keep and use as a reference.

The books come with an audio commentary prepared by the author. Teachers can download these to their IPOD or churches can burn to a CD to listen to in the car.

There is a growing library of additional resources. The Splash course on evangelism currently has 30 available downloads. (Note: Splash is a slightly different concept, not technically part of this series. I share this example because it has the most well-developed list of available resources.) Teaching outlines, posters, sermons, PowerPoints. . . all available to support the series for free. (I am also writing some supplements. See below.)

The books are written by communicators, not commentators. (As you might guess, many of these churches will be using this material as well.)

  • Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, TN. (This is the pulpit Adrian Rogers used to fill.)
  • Johnny Hunt, pastor of Woodstock Baptist, north of Atlanta, GA
  • Kie Bowman, pastor of Hyde Park Baptist, Austin, TX.
  • Ken Hemphill, past president of Southwestern Seminary and editor of the series. (He also is writing several of the volumes.)

What do I mean by communicators versus commentators? A lot of curriculum reads like a commentary. Here is an excerpt from a commentary on John 3.16:

Such a view does not mean with existentialist interpreters that there is no future judgment in John. There is very definitely a futuristic perspective in John, particularly in 5:24–29, which expands the breadth of the message concerning the present sense of life and death. The authentic believer thus begins to deal immediately with future realities such as the threat of ultimate death and condemnation. Therefore the believer does not need to fear the death threat (5:24) because the believer’s expectation is a resurrection to life (5:29). But the unbeliever, who in the present time is under condemnation (3:17), has in the future only the prospect of a resurrection to condemnation (5:29). — Borchert, G. L. (1996). Vol. 25A: John 1–11. The New American Commentary (185). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


What do I mean by a communicator? Here is Max Lucado on the same verse:

As boldly as the center beam of the cross proclaims God’s holiness, the crossbeam declares his love. And, oh, how wide his love reaches.

Aren’t you glad the verse does not read:

“For God so loved the rich . . . ”?
Or, “For God so loved the famous . . . ”?
Or, “For God so loved the thin . . . ”?
It doesn’t. Nor does it state, “For God so loved the Europeans or Africans . . . ” “the sober or successful . . . ” “the young or the old . . . ”

No, when we read John 3:16, we simply (and happily) read, “For God so loved the world.”

How wide is God’s love? Wide enough for the whole world. —

He Chose the Nails / Lucado, M. (2006). Grace for the moment® volume ii: More inspirational thoughts for each day of the year. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

This series aims to read more like the Lucado. It is written by communicators, not commentators.

This series is open-source. As churches use the material, they can add to it. Suppose a teacher puts together a great PowerPoint or finds a compelling video—Ken Hemphill’s dream is that these would be made available as well. Over time this series will get better and better because of teachers like you.

I have written some Good Questions Have Groups Talking to the book on the Old Testament. I plan to do more.

If you are looking for some literature that. . .

  • You can keep instead of throw away
  • Is economical
  • Is written by world-class communicators
  • Is being used by some of the leading churches in America
  • Is open-source: you can add to the resources

You might take a look at Ken Hemphill’s new non-disposable curriculum.