So you are a pastor who has caught a vision for apologetics. But how do you do that? Will people be overwhelmed? How do you bring up apologetics in a non-academic setting? Here are five suggestions to get things going in your congregation.
1. Don’t mention apologetics. The word ‘apologetics’ scares a lot of people. There is no reason that you can’t do apologetics without dropping the term. The name itself is not important.
2. Use apologetics in your preaching. For many Christians, their main biblical interaction is in the sermon. There are two ways for you to preach apologetically. You can preach a series from a book that has a lot of apologetic content. My pastor is preaching from 1 Timothy and I can’t believe how much apologetics comes up in this book. You can also preach on apologetic subjects, such as the problem of suffering and natural revelation.
3. Introduce apologetics in counselling. I understand that much of pastoral counselling is about letting the person talk about their problems and for the pastor offering the ministry of presence. At the same time, you can gently offer the apologetics tools that may not mean much at first but will help farther down the road as they struggle with the big issues. In addition, do not get freaked out when people express their doubts. People need the freedom to doubt.
4. Offer Sunday school lessons and Bible studies on apologetic topics. Again, don’t call it apologetics. Call it discipleship or a Bible class. People may not be interested in apologetics but they are likely interested in many of the topics covered by apologetics.
5. Make your interest in apologetics known. You may become known as the resident apologist. People interested in or worried about certain topics will come to you because of what you have shared.
You may think that it is too much for you to be a pastor and an apologist but they are not really two things. Pastors are not pastors and leaders, they are pastors that lead. In the same way, it is not about being a pastor and an apologist, but rather a pastor who does apologetics.