The Church is a core foundation to the Christian faith, established through Jesus Christ Himself. As seen in the book of Acts, the Church is constantly growing, or it should be. This growth is in areas of discipleship, evangelism, and community, among others. But so often I see churches that are simply happy about where they are. They don’t feel the need to expand their resources or God’s Kingdom. This is wrong.
Evangelism should be one of the foundations of the church. Without the faithful evangelism of Jesus’ disciples, there would be no Christians today. I have already previously wrote about the importance of knowing your testimony and how to share it (click here), so I won’t go over that today. Instead, we are going to focus on apologetics and why it should be lead by the church.
Does It Really Matter?
Caleb and I have both talked previously about apologetics on a personal scale, but what about in the church? It may be something you’ve never thought of. I’d dare say that this may be the case because churches don’t think about it either. This doesn’t change the fact that every believer should be able to give concrete reasons as to why they believe what they believe.
Why aren’t we empowering the young minds in our churches on how to take a stance for their faith? Yes, we need them to know that evangelism is more than apologetics, but shouldn’t they be taught at least the basics? Are we, the church, deciding to let little Johnny go to school or in the world without a solid evidential knowledge of the Christian faith? The church should empower and equip each other, as each member needs to encourage the other. I am thankful for a man in our church, Bill O’Brien, who lead the way for this cause.
“I was feeling lead by the Lord to teach this class about apologetics and how to defend your faith in a public place. There were too many students I saw who had no idea of the evidence of their faith, or how to defend it. I was amazed that there was nothing the church was doing about it. So I knew the Lord was leading me to start something.”Bill O’Brien (paraphrased)
Mr. O’Brien taught a class every Wednesday night for middle schoolers. I vividly remember this as the time when I got serious about my faith. The content was by no means easy either. We watched the Lennox & Dawkins debate, then would practice with each other. I learned how to respectfully make a case for my faith, and do it with real, factual evidence. Now I can have respectful, fruitful discussions with classmates and friends about why I believe Christianity is scientifically true.
Listen up Churches
The years that a student is involved in a church’s student ministry is precious. These are times that must be used to their full potential. The cool thing is that there may be teens in the youth group that are struggling in their faith at a public school (which I totally support, I’ve been in a public school my entire life). However, the church has the opportunity to walk through it with them.. together. This is a rare time in life where hardship is directly endured with close Christian brothers and sisters.
It is during this period that teens should be taught how to defend their faith. They should be given the right tools and resources to study themselves, and also give to others. Next, you teach them how to disciple. You teach them how to tell others what you have taught them. Soon, 1 turns into 2, 2 into 4, 4 into 8, and so on. The impact of one young adult who is confident that their faith is 100% true, and can defend it, is an asset to the Kingdom of God.
Do Something…. Now
Mr. O’Brien’s example of taking initiative on a prevalent issue in the church is one we should all follow. In order for your church to address the dire need for apologetics training in your community, the church members must make it a priority. Stop putting students in positions they aren’t trained for, then you’re only asking for trouble.
The US Military trains, prepares, and sends soldiers out every year. It’s like clock-work. But the first step is training. No soldier is sent out to battle without the proper training and equipment. If this is our posture with a wordly army, how much greater should our concern be in preparing God’s eternal army?