It is important for pastors to prepare their congregations for apologetic encounters. It may be difficult to get people to an apologetics small group or Sunday school class, but a pastor can still make an impact through sermons. Here are five ways to preach apologetically.
1. Preach from 1 Peter 3:15. There is enough material in this passage for more than one sermon, a pastor could easily get a series out of it. The benefit of this passage is that even if one does not want to be involved in apologetics, 1 Peter3:15 makes it clear that it is important for everyone.
2. Preach from Paul’s apologetic encounters. Paul had numerous apologetic encounters, the most famous of which is his visit to Athens in Acts 17. You do not have to mention apologetics, just take them through the text.
3. Preach from books like 1 & 2 Timothy. My pastor is taking us through these books and it is amazing how much Paul talks about true and false teaching. It is incredibly relevant to our time in history. It demonstrates to congregations that Christianity is much more than just loving people (of course it is about loving, but loving includes truth).
4. Preach on passages that speak to our essential doctrines, things like the deity of Christ and the resurrection. These are the doctrines that are most under attack and by taking people through the important passages, they will be better equipped to respond to critics.
5. Preach on apologetic-related topics. The things that people are concerned about (even though they don’t know it is apologetics) are things like suffering, evil, hiddenness of God, etc. They will want their pastor to preach on these things.
Not every Sunday has to be apologetics Sunday but it would be good to set apart a number of Sundays a year that deal with apologetics, with the intention of equipping the congregation to be stronger in the faith.