Apologetics and the 80/20 Rule

by Tyson Bradley

There is a theory about organizations, workplaces, and churches which is called the Pareto Principle or, more simply, the 80/20 rule. The theory is that there is either 80% of the people doing 20% of the work, or there is 20% of the people doing 80% of the work.

Does this rule apply to apologetics & evangelism in the church today?

Apologetics/Evangelism & Christendom
I was first introduced to the concept of “apologetics” in 2010 when I volunteered with the first Apologetics Canada Conference. I wasn’t aware that there was such thing as making a case for the Christian faith which was rooted in logic & reason. I had evangelized before, but I had not sought to give a thorough and thoughtful response to some of the tough questions that non-Christians have and the ones that Christians struggle with.

What transpired was a deeper journey into apologetics and many hours spent learning (and continuing to learn) a defence for the Christian faith. Was I the only one in this predicament? Had everyone at church secretly known about the study of apologetics all along and I was somehow left out? I think not. I think my story is similar to what happens to many Christians today when they discover that apologetics even exists.

It’s true that there are those who have been devoted to the study of apologetics for many years; however, I do not think that this was mainstream thinking among churches.

Many churches in Western society come from a tradition of simply presenting the Gospel through Scripture (which I am all for!); however, this method was particularly relevant for modernity and saw great success in the form of evangelistic crusades and street evangelism. This is the concept of simply preaching a one-way conversation at someone and hoping they make a choice to believe the message presented in the same way over and over.

What about in post-modern times? Is this still the most effective way to do evangelism? I would argue that there are stumbling blocks in peoples minds which prevent them from…


Apologetics and the 80/20 Rule