I still remember the first apologetics small group I ever led. I was pumped at finally being able to share with other Christians at my church why Christianity was true and rational.
I chose my curriculum carefully after some research and what I settled on was an offering from the apologist who got me started, Ravi Zacharias. I chose RZIM's Foundations of Apologetics DVD course which was quite an investment for a single guy. This had me so excited. We were going to hear lectures and take notes from some of the greatest apologists in the world. People like John Lennox, Alistair McGrath, Stuart McAllister, Amy Orr Ewing and Ravi himself!
I had previewed the DVDs and soaked up every minute of it. And then came the first night.... and the second... and the third... and.... the class was bored. Turns out that listening to 55 min lectures by Oxford professors was just not speaking to my group.
What I learned from that experience was that what an apologetics nerd like me finds enjoyable doesn't necessarily excite the average Joe.
Many times, we as apologists tend to forget that God has gifted us with the ability to teach and lead in apologetics. As such, we are more apt to enjoy reading Ireneaus' Against Heresies or GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy. But Bob, one of our class members, is doing all he can to understand the self refuting statements we talked about the previous night.
In leading, we need to be mindful of our audience. If you have a group full of academically minded people, then something like my aforementioned study may be perfect. If you have a cross section of average folks, perhaps using The Case for Christ may be more realistic as they can relate to Lee Strobel's story of researching the truth of Christianity for himself.
In our zeal to bring apologetics teaching to our local church, we have to remember that not everyone will be as enthusiastic as we are and that this is very unfamiliar territory for most. So whether we are using a prepared course or are formulating our own curriculum, we need to make sure it has a broad appeal so that everyone will have the ability to learn something.
I recently started a new group at my home church. We are using Frank Turek's I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist and it was a hit. Everyone loves Frank.