Thursday, September 06, 2012

Challenge: Start a Church Apologetics Group

Challenge: Start a Church Apologetics Group
By Brian Auten

I want to write this blog post to challenge you. Don't continue reading if you prefer not to be challenged.

What You've Been Doing
If you're reading this post, I've got a suspicion about what you've been up to. So I'm writing this blog post for a specific audience in mind. Here's the audience:

First, you've been studying apologetics in some way. You're interested in defending the faith probably more than others because you've found your way here, willing to be challenged on a blog post about getting apologetics in your church.

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Second, if you're like many others who have 'found apologetics' or gotten into this area of study, you're passionate about it. This passion has made you ask yourself a question like, "why aren't others interested in apologetics?" or, "how can I get apologetics into my church?" So you're looking for strategies or tips on how to equip others in this area—or at least get others interested.

Third, you're aware of this blog series: How to Get Apologetics in Your Church. In case you aren't aware, this is series 2 of 2. Series one index can be found here, and series two index can be found here. If you've been reading these posts, you've been getting some ideas.

But have you taken any action? If the answer is not a solid yes, then keep reading.

What You Could Be Doing
I'm going to give away the goal of this post right now, before I actually get to my closing "challenge." My goal is to put a spark under you and ask you to think about whether or not you're willing to take action. If you haven't taken action in some way, then I'd like to suggest that there are some very simple things that you could be doing:

First, you could be making a plan based on what you know. Don't let the unknowns prevent you from moving forward with the things that you do know. If you need ideas, you've got series one and two at your disposal—perhaps the best resource for starting a church apologetics group on the web at this time. So why not just make a plan?

Second, you could be presenting this plan to your church leadership. When I started Reasonable Faith Belfast I didn't have all the knowledge or answers. I just had a real desire and prompting that I should "take the challenge" and do something. To not do something felt quite wrong. As a matter of fact, looking back on things now, I'm so glad I just decided to start. Taking the step to communicate my plan/idea to my church leadership was one of the crucial first steps to get things off the ground. So why not present your plan?

Third, you could actually be taking the first step. You could be the person who reads through all these "how to get apologetics in your church" posts and did nothing. Or, you could be one of the people who reads them and actually takes the information and runs with it. Why not just take the first step?

What I'm Challenging You To Do
Here's my challenge: Start a church apologetics group. Yes—you. And here are a few short bits of advice.

First, just do it. If you are the sort of person who knows more apologetics "stuff" than others and you really have a passion for this and you study it all the time... then do something with it. Get out there—out of the books—and start some sort of something: a book study, an apologetics movie night, a once-a-month apologetics talk, a youth seminar, a dialogue, a coffee shop talk, a small group topic, a DVD series, a read-along, an event... or just take your group to an apologetics conference. Just do something.

Second, adapt along the way. Things won't be perfect. The journey will require course corrections. Don't worry about that now. Just adapt along the way. Resources you need will appear as you look for them, God will give you insight and wisdom as you seek Him, and you'll get feedback from others. Take action and adjust when things need adjusting.

Third, get some coaching and advice from others. If you have specific questions you can email Apologetics315. Additionally, I can point you to groups and people who can provide support if you need it. Support from those who have been down the road already can be invaluable when you are starting out.

Finally, let us all know if you're going to accept this challenge. Leave a comment below—you've got support from others as you step out to get apologetics in your church.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian,

Thanks for the challenge. Challenge accepted. In my current church setting we will be hosting the annual Evangelical Philosophical Society conference this November. I'm really excited about that event. My hope is that event will be used by God it get the church staff and congregation excited about actually starting an apologetics group. Timing is sometimes just as important as taking action. In the mean time I'm finishing up my BIOLA training and then plan on doing Greg Koukl's Ambassador training. I would love to start with Greg's material in an apologetics group in our church.
One of the pastors on staff has a bachelor's in philosophy so I know that he would support it. Come November I'm gonna start pushing hard to get something going.


Jason said...

This blog post is so timely! A friend and I are in the process of starting an apologetic group at our local church. I've been wanting to do this for some time now and I believe it's finally coming together. We are also in the process of forming it into a Resonable Faith Chapter here in the Chicago West Suburbs. We just set up a FaceBook entity last night and we are planning to kick off with the TrueU course on Oct. 4th. at Lemont Calvary Church.

Your website is truely a blessing! Keep it up!


Parth said...


I've started an apologetics group about 2-3 months ago. It's going great, but the nly problem is - no ones coming. Only my friends' are coming, and i Need some waysto reach out to other people.

Can youwrite a post on how to market your apologetics group? Thanks!

- Prth

Will Coe said...

One Idea for Prth...
Advertise a talk/presentation on a controversial subject. Maybe Science vs. Faith, or What the Bible says about Homosexuality. The idea is to pick a topic that believers and non-belivers would like to know more about.
Put an add in the local paper, call other churches, ask your friends to invite others, and post it on meet Lastly go find an existing small group and invite them to come...
Good Luck and keep at it!!!

Damon Whitsell said...

The Easiest Way For You And Your Church To Always Be Ready To Defend The Faith by Damon Whitsell

SNIPIT "The following was submitted to my second favorite apologetics ministry Apologetics315, it is about my most favorite apologetics site,
how I started an apologetics program at my church and will be featured here along with many other fabulous testimonies and resources to help you get apologetics into your church."

The Janitor said...


Have your church advertise the class in your bulletin. Maybe don't advertise it as an "Apologetics group" since not everyone knows what apologetics is. The word can look unfamiliar and intimidating to those who've never heard it before. In giving a group description, give a challenge. Like "Ever wondered why God allows so much suffering?" Or "If someone told you the Bible is a man-made book that's been changed countless times through the centuries, how would you respond?"

MaryLou said...

My dream is to start an apologetics group specifically aimed at women who, traditionally, avoid the field altogether. I'm thinking it may be a tough sell so I appreciate the marketing tactics suggested here.

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