How to Start an Apologetics Ministry in Your Church
by Clay Jones
Over the years I’ve talked with many people who have successfully started apologetics ministries in their churches and others who tried but failed. What follows are some suggestions on how to do it (these suggestions apply to other types of ministry too).
First, find a church that you enjoy and whose doctrine you agree with and whose leaders will agree with your doctrine. What I mean by this is that you need to make sure there is specific agreement on just about everything (no one is going to agree with anyone 100%). This is important because if you disagree with the pastor on any but the smallest of points (and then you’d better do it humbly), sooner or later that is going to come out and can cause a rift in the church and you are going to be the one who needs to go. Whatever you disagree with should be so small that you won’t feel the need to teach against the pastor.
Second, after you have found a church, humbly introduce yourself to the pastor but don’t tell him on your first meeting that you want to start a ministry. That’s like asking a person to marry you on the first date–it’s creepy. Any pastor worth his salt will want to confirm you’re not a critical curmudgeon before you get the classroom keys.
Third, hang out for a while. Get to know some people so that the church leadership will see you’re an okay person. This hanging out thing is muy importanté! The leaders need to see you are wise and not a wiseguy.
Fourth, don’t begin your relationship with the pastor by confronting him unless it is extremely serious (and if it is extremely serious, be prepared to look for another church). Several years ago Craig and I had lunch with a frustrated fellow who said that the pastor of his church refused to let him start an apologetic ministry…
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