Jesus Loves Nerds: Curriculum to Share Jesus with… | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
June 2024

Jesus Loves Nerds: Curriculum to Share Jesus with Geeks and Gamers

By Nathan Webb

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “It’s easy to find an inclusive and accessible Bible study curriculum specifically designed around pop culture being actively released on a weekly schedule.”

No? We didn’t think so either. Weekly curriculum can be tough to decide on, and it’s nice to have a variety of resources and tools to pull from. Discipleship Ministries has a free tool to help leaders determine if the curriculum they’re exploring matches a United Methodist approach to theology and learning. Click here to learn more.

Young People’s Ministries also continues to publish excellent weekly lesson scripts. Those lessons are built for about an hour of activity and discussion and don’t get into pop culture or current events all that often. They follow the lectionary and are “evergreen.”

Checkpoint Church, the eclectic digital community where I (Nathan!) am delighted to serve as pastor, developed a weekly pop culture curriculum that we hope you will check out.

In 2024, Checkpoint Church launched a Substack-based blog called Jesus Loves Nerds. Every week, Checkpoint produces a snappy and well-edited “Nerdy Sermon” on trending anime, video games, movies, and television shows. Then, on the blog, an accompanying curriculum, designed to be used by church leaders and volunteers seeking to connect with their nerdier community, is also released.

Checkpoint intentionally designed this curriculum to be accessible for leaders of any background. In every curriculum post on the site, you’ll find:

  • An opening and closing prayer
  • Preparation/Guided/Closing questions
  • A link to a video to watch together (or send in advance)
  • A short transcript summary of the video
  • An interactive activity
  • A spiritual exercise
  • Resource Notes/Thoughts from the Nerd Pastor
  • A brief dictionary of unfamiliar terms
  • A list of theological themes

Checkpoint is a church plant seeking experimental ways to sustain, so this is a way to receive curriculum and also support a burgeoning new community in the United Methodist Church.

You'll be given a few options when subscribing to Checkpoint’s Substack feed. You can subscribe for free and receive access to all existing free posts, with one new free post released each month. Or you can choose to pay monthly or yearly for subscription access to a new curriculum every week, released with a sermon. There is also the option to become a Founding Member, which allows for a higher level of support for the curriculum beyond the asking price. If you’re the leader of a conference or large body, contact Nathan at to discuss additional payment options for members of your charge. This tiered payment model is one experiment that Checkpoint is exploring as a part of sustaining our church plant, which has been supported by our annual conference.

Rev. Shannon LeMaster-Smith, the Youth and Children’s Ministry Strategist for the Western North Carolina Conference (UMC), says, “This curriculum is easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to hand off to volunteers. Nathan offers solid theology you can trust, and the format is flexible and engaging.”

One of our practitioners, Ryan from Tennessee, has this to say about Jesus Loves Nerds: “The world needs Jesus. And I love supporting ministries reaching the world in innovative ways.”

As Checkpoint Church moves forward, their vision is clear: to continue expanding this ministry, reaching more hearts, and showcasing the relevance of Jesus' love in every corner of the nerd universe.

So, you are invited to join this extraordinary journey. Dive into the world of "Jesus Loves Nerds," where faith and fandom intersect in beautiful, unexpected ways. Together, let's explore how the timeless message of Jesus' love can speak volumes in the language of pop culture. Subscribe today, share with a friend, or simply start a conversation. Every step you take is a leap toward a future where everyone can proudly proclaim that Jesus loves nerds, and in God’s eyes, we're all beloved geeks.