What Resources Every Church Leader Should Engage to Prevent Losing Their Young People to Atheism
by Matt Rawlings
Young people are fleeing the church faster than Nickelback fans to a sale on Ed Hardy shirts and Axe Body Spray. As I argued yesterday, the answer, as far as the church is concerned, is to preach deeper messages and to train all Christians in becoming capable lay theologians and apologists. But how?
I recommend every Christian leader undergo some form of formal training in defending the faith. I earned a certificate in apologetics from BIOLA, hope to attend Frank Turek’s CrossExamined Instructor Academy this August and will begin an M.A. in apologetics from Houston Baptist University this fall. I would tweak BIOLA’s distance program a bit but I still recommend it and I have heard nothing but great things about CrossExamined and HBU. I hope you will check them all out.
But for those of you who are self-learners, let me beg you to add the following to your church library and to read them carefully and repeatedly in order to marshall them in training your congregation especially those in your children’s and youth ministry. Now, open up a tab at Amazon or CBD, blow the dust off your credit card and let’s get crackin’.
For your children’s ministry the following books are a MUST:
First, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago (Zonderkids 2007). Children’s curriculum is typically moralistic. They teach silly things like, “We need to be like David and face our Goliaths.” Jesus was clear that all Scripture points to Him (John 5:39-40) and when He made that statement the only Scripture Jews knew was the Old Testament. Thus, every jot and tittle of the Hebrew Bible points to Jesus and the Gospel. Sally Lloyd-Jones has written a marvelous children’s Bible that underscores the Gospel at every point. It is a wonderful tool to teach children the Biblical narrative and the grace of the Gospel, which is what they really need.
Next, William Lane Craig has written a number of great Apologetic and Theological Resources for Your Children. Melissa Cain-Travis and illustrator Christopher Voss have now written two excellent apologetic books for kids. My son, who is 10-years old, loves them! These two are also necessary. I heartily recommend that your children’s ministry work through The Jesus Storybook Bible and then hit these series and then, if necessary, repeat it all again. They are that good!
Be sure to check out various conferences to help train young people…
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