Chapter OneSESSION 1
Looking for Answers
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
Activity Materials needed Approximate time
1. Opener: Line Up. Students masking tape 5 to 10 minutes
will work together
in small groups to meet
challenges, then begin to
think about their level of
2. Sharing: Confidence none 15 to 20 minutes
Questions. In small
groups, students will tell
about experiences and
explore their confidence in
God and in their ability to
answer tough questions
3. Role Plays: Facing the Bibles 20 to 25 minutes
Challenge. Students will
be challenged to provide
evidence that Jesus is God,
that the Bible can be
trusted, and that Jesus
rose from the dead.
4. Debriefing: Starting the one copy of The Case 5 to 10 minutes
Investigation. Students will for Christ-Student
assess their confidence in Edition for each
responding to tough questions student
about Jesus and receive
Lee Strobel's 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 twelve 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
without stepping off the beam so that you are lined up alphabetically
by first name. 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 twelve 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
What problems did you have working together?
If you had really been up twelve stories, 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
When I was eight years old, 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 one to ten, 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.
This activity is more than just
a fun way for students to interact.
Working together to solve a
shared problem can be the first
step in building community for
a group where not everyone has
been together before or
strengthening community in a
group that has already built
Make sure students understand the instructions, 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 thirty 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
If Jesus really lived, I would expect that someone besides the
Bible authors would have written about him. Did anyone?
Is there any archaeological evidence that the Bible is true? If
What makes the Bible any more trustworthy than the Book of
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
When people thought they saw Jesus alive after his death, maybe
it was just wishful thinking. They wanted so badly to believe it,
they convinced themselves that he was alive.
What difference does it make to people today whether or not
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
How confident did you feel about responding to the questions
and statements in the 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?
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 if they
can 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 they can answer their own questions and those of their
Looking Ahead .
If you are assigning reading outside of class, have students read
chapters 2, 3, and 4 of The Case for Christ-Student Edition before
the next session.
If your group already has a particular way they like to pray
together, work it into the session wherever it fits best. Otherwise,
try one of the following ideas for group prayer:
Pass the prayer request: Recruit two volunteers to
write down prayer requests and praises on separate
pieces of paper as students share them. Then hand out
the papers and go around the circle letting each person
pray for the request or praise on his or her paper.
This ensures that every request is included, and it
makes praying easier for students who might stumble
over what to say without the prompt of the paper.
Partner prayer: Have students form pairs and pray
for one another. They may choose to share requests
stemming from the session (perhaps a question that
troubles them, praise for a new insight, or prayer for a
friend with whom they want to share Christ) or share
more general requests.
Prayer for seeking friends: If your group is made up
of Christians, you may wish to focus your prayer for
seeking or unbelieving friends. If students can't identify
such people in their lives, pray that God will open
their eyes to those who need to hear about Christ.