Making Apologetics Part of Youth Ministry’s DNA
By Steve Kozak
Her name was Jennifer. She was the star of the youth group. She was the leader, the role model, the one that both parents and pastor were convinced would be a much-needed light into the dark corners of university life. Naturally, Jennifer was commissioned and sent to the local public university. Everyone was confident that she would no doubt make a difference.
A semester later, the phone call came. “Dad, I am not sure I believe in Jesus anymore.” Without panicking, Jennifer’s dad questioned and probed; searching for the right thing to say to set his perfect daughter back on track. Her biggest reason for turning away from the church and the faith she had known her entire life was courtesy of one professor. She told her dad, “I had a smart professor that said we shouldn’t believe in fairy tales if we are going to make it in the world of academia.” That was all it took. One professor and one semester to erase 18 years of Sunday school, youth group, prayer, etc.
What was missing? Neither Jennifer, her parents, or pastor saw what was coming. While so many of us wait for a problem to occur, then search for the antibiotic, the solution is in the inoculation. The entire Christian community must work together to prepare our students for what they are guaranteed to experience after high school (or even in high school).
It starts with integrating the practice of apologetics into your youth ministry. But how? There are a few key ways that with very little effort you can expose students to other worldviews, arguments, and objections to Christianity in a controlled environment grounded in biblical truth…
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