4 Myths About Teaching Apologetics in Youth Ministry
By Benjer McVeigh
Do you teach teenagers apologetics in your youth ministry?
One of my passions as a follower of Jesus is apologetics. Simply defined, apologetics is the method and practice of defending the truth of Christianity. When you engage in a discussion with someone about why you believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is, you’re “doing” apologetics.
But it seems to me that apologetics isn’t exactly a big thing in youth ministry.
I rarely see youth ministry curriculum that focuses on helping teenagers know why they can believe what we’re teaching them. Whenever I attend a youth ministry conference, I scour the seminar schedule for a session on apologetics. Very rarely do I find what I’m looking for.
But I believe apologetics is something we should be very intentional about teaching to teenagers. Teenagers have great questions about their faith. But unfortunately, not many youth ministries include apologetics in their regular teaching rotation.
Why? Here are some myths I think contribute to the problem:
Myth 1: I’m not smart enough to teach apologetics.
Books on apologetics are intimidating, even before you open them up to start reading. The latest comprehensive tome on apologetics, Doug Groothuis’ Christian Apologetics, weighs in at an impressive (and heavy) 750 pages. Teaching apologetics may take a bit more work. But you don’t have to be an expert to teach apologetics. You only have to be willing to learn. (In addition, there are some great resources out there that let you learn right along with your students.)
Myth 2: Teenagers don’t care about or aren’t ready for apologetics.
Next time you’ve got a small group of teenagers together, simply ask a question such as, “How can we really know that God exists?” and you’ll likely be peppered with several follow-up questions. Teenagers discuss spiritual matters with their friends far more than we realize…
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