I started my pastoral ministry as a youth pastor. My first five years as a pastor was in the area of youth ministry. Looking back, it was probably some of the most challenging experiences. At the time, I never thought about including apologetics as a part of the ministry.
I wish I had.
Too often churches assume that teens only want or need pizza and games. I’m all for fun and would never want youth ministry to be about only Scripture memorization. There is a way to keep youth group fun but also provide quality content. This can include apologetics.
Here are five ways that apologetics can be included in youth ministry.
- Find some good apologetics-related curriculum aimed at youth. Curriculum is no silver bullet for either youth or adult ministry, but it can be a part of the overall strategy.
- Share your own experiences with doubt and faith and how apologetics played a role. Authenticity has an impact.
- Provide opportunities for youth to ask anonymous questions about faith and allow the group to discuss them. Don’t just answer their questions, let them work through the concepts.
- Cultivate an atmosphere where all questions are welcome. If youth feel that certain questions are not allowed, this will restrict the growth of faith.
- Invite a speaker to role play an atheist and see how the youth group responds. (Here is an example)
What other ideas can you think of?