It seems to me one of the greatest and (yet dramatically overlooked) evangelistic tool is the brain; especially in this generation. Most of the teens in my group are challenged in their school to conquer Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, and AP Literature, and yet they struggle to give one solid piece of evidence for the validity of Christianity and the Bible. In the information saturated world of today, this is a tragedy. In this era, how can we expect our students to persuade people to Christ without some solid intellectual reasons?
Jesus himself said in Mark 12:30 (NCV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” My experience is youth ministry tends to hit on the heart, soul and strength much more than the mind, and given the challenges our teens face, I wanted to change that.
I knew one of our students had grown tremendously after reading The Case for Faith (by Lee Strobel). After finding a leader guide to this book, I asked this student if he would be willing to teach and lead the others through The Case for Faith Student Edition. He agreed. During the first session he shared with the other students his story and how the book helped his doubts and questions, and then we had the students perform a skit. This skit (part of the Leader’s Guide to The Case for Faith) modeled real life teen scenarios about tough questions that come up regarding the Christian faith. Our students were excited to finally get some answers on how to deal with these situations.
In the sessions that followed we saw them engaged in the discussion and even taking the books home to read more on their own. It was exciting to see their minds growing and learning how to defend their faith. This curriculum (Leader Guide to The Case for Faith) is excellent and outlines each session with an object lesson/activity, time for them to read both God’s word and The Case for Faith in small groups, and discussion topics to connect to their life.
1 Corinthians 3:2 says “The teaching I gave you was like milk, not solid food, because you were not able to take solid food. And even now you are not ready.” Are your students ready for some solid food for their mind? If not, what are you doing to get them there? In sports, academics, and many other areas of their lives, their brains are being challenged to a much higher level than they are in the church. Challenging your students in this area will enable them to share their faith from a more full and educated perspective.
What are you doing to help your students love God with “all their mind”?