In The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith student editions, Lee Strobel unfolds the compelling evidence that turned him from an atheist to a Christian. This leader’s guide gives youth leaders and volunteers everything they need to take their youth group or Sunday school class through both books. Five riveting sessions per book (ten sessions total) will equip teens with persuasive reasons for their faith in Christ.
Here’s what groups can expect: Session 1 dramatically illustrates the importance of knowing the facts about Christianity. Sessions 2, 3 and 4 consider the important objections people raise to Christianity, and respond with an in-depth look at the evidence for belief in Jesus and the Christian faith. Session 5 takes groups from learning to application as they draw on what they’ve learned in an actual evangelistic scenario. Leaders will also find a skit suitable for publicizing The Case for Christ sessions in church to both teens and parents.
These powerful studies will boost the faith of teens, and their confidence to share it, to a whole new level.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Jane Vogel, a writer who has been involved in youth ministry for twenty years, wrote The Case for Christ - Student Edition and The Case for Faith - Student Edition with Lee Strobel. She lives with her husband, Steve, and their two children in Winfield, Illinois.
Read an Excerpt
THE CASE FOR Christ
By Jane Vogel
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2013 Zondervan
All rights reserved.
Looking for Answers
Before the session:
If you are assigning reading before each session, have students read the introduction and chapter 1 ("What's Wrong with Me?") before this session. The session will also work without any advance reading on the students' part.
In this session, students will
participate in a bond-building activity;
attempt to provide evidence that Jesus is God, that the Bible can be trusted, and that Jesus rose from the dead;
assess their confidence in God and in their ability to answer tough questions about God;
receive the challenge to investigate the evidence for the case for Christ.
1. Opener: Line Up
Form groups of about eight. (It's okay to have only one group.) Put a strip of masking tape on the floor near each group and instruct the groups to line up, single-file, on their tape lines. Then give instructions like these: Imagine that the line you are standing on is a construction beam 12 stories up in the air. If you step off the line, you step off the beam. When I give the signal, you must rearrange yourselves so that you are lined up alphabetically by first name without stepping off the beam. Go.
Watch the groups to make sure they don't step on the floor beside the line. When all the groups are done, give them instructions for a second round: From this point on, you may not talk. You are still on the beam, still 12 stories up. But now you must line up by birthday without talking and without stepping off the beam. Go.
When all the groups are done, debrief with questions like these:
What made this activity challenging?
How well did you work together? What did you do to help each other?
What problems did you have in working together?
If you had really been 12 stories up, how much confidence would you have had?
2. Sharing: Confidence Questions
Have students form groups of three. Give instructions like these: I will give you a sentence to finish. Take turns talking and listening until everyone in your small group has a chance to finish the sentence. When I say stop, listen for the next sentence to complete. If someone didn't get to finish the sentence before, let that person talk first next time.
When I was eight, one of the people I had the most confidence in was ...
When I was in sixth grade, the ability or quality I felt the most confident about was ...
The first time I remember thinking about God as someone to put my confidence in was ...
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my confidence about explaining what I believe as a ...
3. Role Plays: Facing the Challenge
Have students form pairs (it's okay to have one trio). Give each pair a Bible. Tell them to choose one person to be the "asker" in a role play and the other to be the "answerer." Explain that you'll provide the initial question, which the "answerer" should answer. The "asker" can ask follow-up and clarification questions until you call time.
Make sure students understand the instructions, and then ask: I've heard some people say that Jesus is God, but others say that Jesus never claimed to be God at all—people said that about him later. Which is right? If Jesus said he was God, show me or tell me where.
After 30 seconds or a minute, have partners change roles. Invite the new "answerer" to add to what the first "answerer" already said (if anything).
Continue asking questions and giving each partner a chance to answer, using as many of the following questions or statements as you can:
I agree with you that Jesus was a great moral teacher. But why should I believe he was God?
Even if Jesus did say he was God, why should I believe him? He could just be lying.
Suppose Jesus did claim to be God, and suppose he really believed it. Mental hospitals are full of people who think they're Winston Churchill or Gandhi or someone they're not. What's to say that Jesus wasn't crazy?
I know that Christians talk about miracles, but that's unscientific. I've heard that when Jesus seemed to be doing miracles he was actually hypnotizing people to think they'd seen a miracle. Doesn't that seem a lot more likely than a miracle?
I was talking to a Jewish friend about Jesus and prophecies about the Messiah. My friend said Jesus did a bunch of things from the prophecies to fool people into thinking he was the Messiah. Is that true?
Even if Jesus did fulfill Old Testament prophecies, it was probably just a coincidence.
Why do you believe the Bible?
What makes you think the people who wrote the Bible didn't just make it up?
I've heard that at first the stories about Jesus weren't written down. By the time they were, they had grown into legends. That's why the Bible claims Jesus did miracles and rose from the dead.
How can you believe the Bible when it's full of contradictions? For instance, Matthew and Luke both say that Jesus healed a Roman commander's servant. But Matthew says the commander asked Jesus to do it and Luke says the commander sent others to ask. How do you explain that?
I know enough about the Bible to know that the original manuscripts are lost. All we have are copies of copies of copies. And at first all those copies were made by hand. That's how a lot of mistakes got into the Bible.
Why even bother about the Bible? What does it have to do with me?
If Jesus really lived, I would expect that someone besides the Bible writers would have written about him. Did anyone?
Is there any archaeological evidence that the Bible is true? If so, what?
What makes the Bible any more trustworthy than the Book of Mormon?
Is there any evidence today that Jesus is real?
Why do you think Jesus came back to life after he died?
I've heard that Jesus didn't really die on the cross. He fainted and looked dead, but after lying in the cool air of the tomb he revived and left. That's why they couldn't find a body there.
I've also heard that the disciples stole Jesus' body. That makes a lot of sense to me. Do you have any reason I shouldn't believe it?
All those stories about people seeing Jesus alive after he died are just legends that grew over time.
If people really did believe they saw Jesus, I bet they were hallucinating.
Maybe when people thought they saw Jesus alive after his death, it was just wishful thinking. They wanted to believe it so badly, they did.
What difference does it make to people today anyway, whether Jesus came back from the dead 2,000 years ago?
4. Debriefing: Starting the Investigation
Gather students together and debrief the role–play experience with questions like these:
How confident did you feel about responding to the questions and statements in these role plays?
Have you ever been in a similar situation? If so, tell us about it.
Which of the questions do you most wish you had the answers to?
If your students don't already have them, hand out copies of The Case for Christ Student Edition and invite students to look them over while you introduce the author, Lee Strobel, by reading aloud the Introduction on pages 7 and 8. Ask students whether they identify with or know anyone like Lee or his friend Ersin. Invite students to accept Lee's challenge to explore the evidence in The Case for Christ so that they can answer their own questions and those of their friends.
Looking Ahead ...
If you are assigning reading outside of class, have students read chapter 5 of The Case for Christ Student Edition before the next session.
Excerpted from THE CASE FOR Christ by Jane Vogel. Copyright © 2013 Zondervan. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Read This First! 7
Session 1 Looking for Answers 9
Session 2 Can You Trust Christ's Biographies? 17
Session 3 Is There a Case for Christ Outside the Bible? 21
Session 4 Who Is This Jesus? 25
Session 5 Can a Dead Man Come Back to Life? 31
Session 6 Ready! 37
The Case for Christ Reproducible Student Sheets 41
Two Short Scripts 51