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Italy: Reaching the church at all levels

The Italian Theological Academy (ITA) in Messina faces the daunting challenge of penetrating a culture that has toiled for millennia under the heavy yoke of the Roman Catholic Church. Its teachers and graduates battle generations of tradition – even among Italians who are not particularly “religious.”

And when they bring the truth to those whose ties to the Catholic Church are strong, ITA teachers and graduates must confront the specter of false doctrine.

Even in the face of those challenges, however, God’s Word prevails. It alone has the power to break the bonds of sin – to shatter spiritual blindness and wipe away the stain of false teaching.

It is for that reason that the ITA leadership is so committed to putting the Word of God into the hands of His people. It is why the focus of their ministry (like all of TMAI’s training centers) is helping people understand Scripture by training pastors and lay leaders to teach it accurately.

ITA’s commitment to arm God’s people with a sound understanding of the Bible doesn’t stop at training church leaders. Recently, the training center began exploring the possibility of publishing a Sunday School curriculum that would help churches begin to instill God’s Word in the hearts of the children God has entrusted to their care.

Gen of Grace-thumb-325x320That curriculum, called Generations of Grace (GOG) represents a strategic opportunity for ITA to pursue its mission. According to ITA’s leadership, churches throughout Italy have very little in terms of curricula for children. And when such material exists, it tends to be shallow.

If ITA can provide churches in Italy with a biblically sound Sunday School curriculum, it would go a long way toward helping those churches build a strong foundation of strong doctrine.

“Indirectly, if we can offer a children’s Sunday school curriculum that is sound and doctrinally robust to Italian churches, we can influence the future of this country toward biblical change,” said ITA director Johnny Gravino. “In addition, we’d be reaching the Sunday school teachers even though they do not attend ITA classes.”

The cost to translate and publish 800 copies of the GOG curriculum is approximately $8,000, and the leadership at ITA is looking for partners in this important endeavor.

If you would like to help churches in Italy present the promises of God’s Word to the future generation in that country, you can do that by supporting ITA’s efforts. ◄

Originally published in the October 2013 TMAI Worldview.