Now that I have your attention with that title, I need to tell you the truth: you’ll never find the perfect apologetics curriculum. In fact, your search for the perfect case-making curriculum is likely to leave you frustrated and discouraged. Once, while hosting a radio show, I got a call from a listener who lamented the problem he was having in his search for age appropriate apologetics curriculum for young people. While I was happy to point him to our Cold-Case Christianity and Forensic Faith curriculum, I knew that these curriculum packages, as good as they are, wouldn’t be entirely “plug and play”. Let’s face it; if you are leading a small group (of any age) you probably know your group better than anyone else, including me. Every group is different, every setting is different, and every group leader has a different purpose and goal. So here are my tips as you search for a solution to your Christian case-making curriculum quandary:
Be Prepared to Look Beyond Curriculum
Sometimes we make the search harder than it needs to be by limiting our hunt to formalized curriculum. There are many great apologetics books on the market that are already structured in a way that provide a simple outline for small group leaders. I found one university group that is using my book in this fashion. Expand your search from formal curriculum to include appropriate books.
Be Prepared to Modify
Even if you do find a curriculum or book that you like, the odds are that it will require some modification. When I was a youth pastor I often used books and curriculum to help me created the rough outline for a teaching series, but found that I had to make many changes in order for it to be accessible to my students. When you are looking for curriculum, expect to have to work hard to simplify, contextualize, visualize and modify the work. There are probably no plug and play curriculum packages that are perfect for your group: expect to do some work.
Be Prepared to Become Your Own Expert
You will have to become the author of the curriculum you present to your group, and that’s a good thing. When you are tasked with teaching something, you start by learning that something for yourself. This is the nature of teaching and leading small groups. As you become more familiar with the subject matter, you’ll find yourself thinking about better ways to communicate the truths that you are mastering. Be prepared to learn before you try to teach. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
As a youth pastor, I discovered the search for apologetics curriculum resulted in my becoming a better Christian Case Maker. The quest for the perfect lesson plan caused me to read through the available curriculum and appropriate books on the market, simplify, contextualize, visualize and modify the material, and become an expert so I could teach my students. I bet your search for the perfect Christian case-making curriculum will make you a better case maker as well. Please consider starting with our curriculum:
- Provide 8 interactive video sessions to teach you principles of Cold Case Investigations and equip you to use these concepts as you consider the claims of the New Testament gospel authors. These simple principles will give you new insight into the historic evidence for Christianity.
- Provide you with a four step template to evaluate the claims of the gospel writers. The Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (including Facilitator’s Guide) and Participant’s Guide will teach you how to evaluate eyewitnesses to determine if they are reliable. You’ll then be able to employ this template as you examine the claims of the gospel eyewitnesses.
- Provide you with the confidence and encouragement necessary to make an impact on your world. As your evidential certainty grows, so too will your desire to share the truth with others. The Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (including Facilitator’s Guide) and Participant’s Guide will equip you to reach others with the truth.
In the Forensic Faith Curriculum Kit, J. Warner helps participants make the case for making the case as they learn how to defend what they believe. This interactive video curriculum will provide participants with a unique template to help them become effective “Christian Case Makers”. The Forensic Faith Curriculum Kit will help participants:
- understand why they, as Christians, have a duty to defend the truth
- develop a training strategy to master the evidence for Christianity
- learn how to employ the techniques of a detective to discover new insights from God’s Word
- become a better communicators by learning the skills of professional case makers
With real-life detective stories, fascinating strategies, and biblical insights, J. Warner teaches participants the daily cold-case investigative disciplines they can apply in their lives as believers. The Forensic Faith Curriculum Kit is an engaging, fresh look at what it means to be a Christian.
J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.
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