Talk to Your Pastor About Apologetics
This challenge is aimed at laypeople but if you are a pastor, the principles are the same for talking to the leadership in the church.
One of the frustrations I hear from people involved in apologetics is that their church does not seem interested in apologetics. You may have seen the importance of apologetics but others seem rather cold toward it. Either they ignore it or they oppose it. What is a person to do?
It is appropriate to talk to your pastor about apologetics but you have to do it carefully. You might be all fired up over the latest apologetics conference or book but your pastor has likely been absent from such apologetic energy.
The first thing to understand is that you do not have to use the word “apologetics.” Some people have negative connotations toward apologetics and they may write it off based on one bad experience. You can talk to your pastor about the reliability of the New Testament or evidence for the resurrection of Jesus without mentioning apologetics.
You must also realize that pastors are busy and they are bombarded with opinions of what the key ministry should be to grow the church. Why should they give time to apologetics when others are fighting for women’s ministry or the youth group? You have some selling to do.
It helps to have evidence of why apologetics is important. Find and share stories of how apologetics helped a person to become a Christian or how it strengthened the faith of a Christian struggling with doubt. Show the pastor that apologetics has value.
Demonstrate how apologetics fits with the church’s vision or mission statement. If you can connect the dots of how this is consistent with the church’s goals, you will be much more successful.
Don’t tell the pastor what they should do. You can lend books (just one, not a whole stack) but don’t give the pastor another job. Communicate what you are willing to do, and even better what a group of committed people within the congregation are willing to do.
Finally, propose a small event at the beginning. Your first suggestion should not be to host a major apologetics conference. Offer a Saturday morning talk or a four week small group study.
My challenge to you is for you to talk to your pastor about apologetics. Speak according to what you know of the pastor and their interests. Share your passions but do not overwhelm your pastor with too much information.
Recommended Resources: How to Get Apologetics Into Your Church edited by Brian Auten, “A Pastor’s Perspective” from How to Get Apologetics Into Your Church 2 edited by Brian Auten and 5 Reasons the Church Should Care About Apologetics from ChristianWeek
Find other posts in this series here.