In a previous post, I had written about a simplistic approach to apologetics. Everything I have learned on how to approach topics has been from great influential minds such as C.S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, and Lee Strobel, among many others.
These authors have an uncanny ability to take complex issues and make them accessible to everyone. But, just because we can break a concept down to a foundational level doesn’t mean we should just stop there.
The church, from what I can tell statistically, isn’t too interested in diving into deep theological issues or learning how to defend their faith, and that’s a problem. We need our leaders to step forward and embrace the tactics of C.S. Lewis that lead to so many people embracing Christianity based on evidence. So rather than saying “they need to do better”, let me give a few points that may help those of you in leadership positions or aspiring to leadership positions.
1. Build Relationships
This may sound common and for some of you, even trite. However, relationships are often neglected in churches as we sometimes look at things from a numbers standpoint instead of a relational one. People can tell when you care about them and taking a genuine interest in where they are at in their Christian life can help you better prepare as you begin to map a curriculum for teaching apologetics.
2. Leaders are Readers
President Harry Truman once said that “not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Real leaders keep up to speed on the latest and greatest in their discipline. I work in the business field so on top of keeping up on all the new business books and so forth, I also have to work my way through the backlog which sometimes involves reading books nearly 80 years old. But they are standards for a reason. Ask yourself, have you read Mere Christianity? If not, that’s the #1 place to start.
3. Maintain Focus and Keep Goals
“Why do you want your church to engage in apologetics?” That’s a good place to start. Write down your rationale for working a new system and try to keep people engaged. Don’t do all of the talking as many times, especially with new material, people feel inadequate. Encouragement is the strongest thing that you can give someone as they embark on new material.
Goals are equally important as they let you know how you’re doing as a leader. Are you killing it? Or getting killed? How would you know? Goals, benchmarks, or whatever you want to call them can really help you get the process moving.
Maybe your first goal is to start a small apologetics group, get three to five people interested in the topic and then have them go on to start their own small groups. Or, maybe your goal is to start a Reasonable Faith chapter in your community. Whatever it is, make sure you are doing it and share it with another leader who can keep you on track and provide assistance when needed.
Looks folks, the church is in desperate need of apologetics and it is our job to help them along. People don’t just stumble into the philosophy of religion section and pick up Plantinga. They have too hard of a time seeing past all of the Osteen, Meyer, and T.D. Jakes books. It’s our job to lead them to a quality understanding of defending their faith; are you up to the challenge?
If you have any questions on executing this or if you have any ideas that have worked for you, please reach out on the contact form or in the comment section.
Grace and Peace