Do We Need to Defend Our Faith?
The Point: God can use you to show others the truth.
Get Into the Study
Use this current event to introduce Session 1.
People love watching TED Talks. Experts from around the world gather to speak about ideas they’ve spent years researching and innovating. Then, these speakers share their expertise with passion, creativity, and intensity. Audiences watch TED Talks with bated breath, waiting for the next big idea to come along—to learn about something entirely new. But the best part of the TED Talks, most often, is the speaker’s passion about their research. Fitting a life’s worth of research into a 20-minute speech forces the speaker to present with intentionality, cutting out any superfluous or unnecessary information to get to the heart of the idea.
As Christians, we have the opportunity to share with people the greatest, most life-changing idea they’ll ever hear! And yet often, our passion in discussing salvation and the goodness of God is clouded by our fear of being judged or of not speaking with enough authority. God tells us in His Word that He will give us the words to say—that He will go before us! That truth should give us all the confidence we need to speak passionately about the gospel.
Follow with optional Question 1: “What topic could you give a 20-minute ‘TED Talk’ on right now?”
Get Into the Study (Option)
Show a humorous video clip of an argumentative friend or of a pushy salesperson to contrast the winsome way we hope Christians will share their faith with others. Click on this link for a sample video.
Use this illustration in the Jude 20-23 portion of today’s session.
In November 2019, a biopic about Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, was released. The film focuses on a real-life friendship that formed when Esquire journalist Tom Junod spent months with Rogers, and was shocked by the transformation he felt in his own life (Junod’s Esquire article ends with Rogers leading Junod in prayer in his office). This is the second major film about Mr. Fred Rogers that’s been released in the last five years. Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced and starred in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for 31 seasons—spending the majority of his adult life teaching children kindness and self-worth, and encouraged them to express their feelings in safe, healthy ways.
In a recent interview about the film, Hanks says, “Fred Rogers was a minister…He had a calling, he had a flock, and it was the one kid that was sitting on the other side of the TV screen from him.” Fred Rogers had a way of representing the gospel on television with his kindness, and living out his faith each day. It’s been noted that Rogers spent his mornings reading Scripture and praying for all who had asked him for prayer. Rogers’ work impacted generations of children. And today, in a world that is becoming increasingly pessimistic and unbelieving, there is something about his story and his life that still speaks. We can all learn a few lessons from Fred Rogers about living a life that shows mercy, while standing firm and growing in our faith.
Follow up with Question #3.
Study the Bible (Option)
Bring a flexible tube that can be bent, tied into knots, and big enough to be stuffed with paper.
Say: Sometimes fear keeps us from standing up and sharing God’s truth with others. Our stomachs become tied up in knots. (Tie the tube in a knot to demonstrate.) Tell the students you have found a way to help them overcome their fear. Playt the “Evangelism Linebacker” video. (NOTE: The video is almost four minutes long, so stop when point is made.)
This option is from Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, page 10.
- Who in your family do people say you most resemble in either actions or looks?
- Who’s the GOAT (Greatest of all time) in your favorite sport or hobby?
- What’s something you admire a close friend or family member for being really good at?
- How should we understand the word “contend” in verse 3?
- What’s your typical reaction when you hear distortions or inaccuracies about Jesus?
- How might people respond when we speak out about our faith?
- What opportunities do we have to show mercy both inside and outside the church?
- How can we build ourselves up in the faith so we can better contend with others?
- Who do you know that often exhibits mercy?
- When have you been in danger of “stumbling”?
- What are some of the ways God has protected your mind and heart?
- How do the words of praise in verse 25 give you confidence as you contend for the faith?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Answers to Tough Questions, Session 1.