We know teenagers wrestle with questions such as:
Was Jesus even a real person?
Did Jesus really claim he was God?
How is Jesus different than other “wise” teachers?
Why did people follow Jesus?
Is Jesus actually important to the Christian faith?
In this edition of Next, Why Jesus?, we’ll help your students process these questions.
A note from the writing team about Why Jesus?–
Right up front, we have to say that this topic is really big and difficult to rightly handle. We hope to see our students grasp the importance of Jesus within the larger story of God’s extravagant love for us. God in the flesh, Jesus, comes to earth to reveal himself further to humanity is a story that at once gives us goosebumps and brings us to a place of repentant gratitude. “For God so loved the world” echoes throughout time and space as a calling into this amazing relationship with that same God and the freedom of a life in Christ.
Keep in mind that the teachings tend toward an oversimplification of many of the issues that Christian apologists do cover with more depth. We cannot possibly touch on every aspect of why Jesus is so important to the Christian faith, but what we can do we have done. We are greatly influence by the likes of N.T. Wright, Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel and others. You may also notice that we have left out Jesus as the propitiation for sin in this lesson, mostly because we feel that this is a topic unto itself and could not possibly be handled within the framework of the other burning questions our students have concerning Jesus. The main issues addressed by us are the exclusive claims of Jesus, the historicity of Jesus, the importance of the resurrection, and the incarnation of Christ.
We strongly recommend that you create a box where students can write down and submit questions as you go along. It’s very likely they will be addressed at some point in the series, but this way you will know where your students are at in the process and you can tailor the lessons to them.
We are sure you can add to this list. We also know that there are no pat answers to any of these questions that will satisfy students long term. The most effective way to answer them is to allow students to experience the truth for themselves through a number of means. We strongly recommend that the curriculum prompts that include scripture, prayer, and discussion be utilized, but all that is up to you.
One of our foundational beliefs is that the Holy Spirit does the work of convincing. We encourage you and your team to lean into that belief as well. Our job is not to argue anyone into the Kingdom or to berate another’s beliefs, but to present better questions, the testimony of people, and the scriptures.
This packet includes:
Student Leadership Meeting
Four Topical Lessons with Small Group Questions
Long gone are the days of shallow and pat answers that have been common in our teaching. Students today live in a complex world and our teaching must rise to the occasion and help guide them through the maze of culture’s complexities. Brock Morgan, along with this dream team of authors and thinkers, have put together what we believe is NEXT in youth ministry teaching and engagement. Through, in a more holistic manner, addressing the topics that are key in a student’s burgeoning faith we have crafted a series that will direct investigation and appeal to the heart. Connected to The Amazing Next Conference, this series is meant to empower students and to help them have a sustainable faith that lasts; a faith that is thoughtful and engaged in what God is doing in the world.
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