For years Sara and I have dreamt of the day when “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). But you’ve seen the trends: seventy percent of American youth growing up in good churches leave the faith after they leave home. The number of Americans claiming “no religious affiliation” has nearly doubled from 10% to 19% in recent years.
When asked their reasons for leaving the church, the number one reason they give has to do with doubts about whether Christianity is true. This is tragic: there’s no need for such doubts. The foundation is strong. We have excellent reasons to be fully assured that Christianity is true.
But the word isn’t getting out.
God has been preparing us for such a time as this, allowing me to take leadership in nationwide strategies to equip believers with reasons for confidence in Christ. The field of Christian ministry I’m working in is called apologetics, from the Greek word for reasons in 1 Peter 3:15.
Currently I’m leading two initiatives:
The Thinking Christian Connection
The Thinking Christian Connection is a fellowship and equipping network for lay Christians in the Cincinnati/Dayton area who want to make a difference through apologetics.
If it’s true — and it is — that today’s young Christians need a deeper, surer confidence in the faith, these are the people who can help the most. They’re right there in the churches. They know the students, and they know the ministries.
Some — but unfortunately not all — know how to work effectively in ministry alongside other church ministries.
So this group’s three greatest needs, and the network’s top priorities under my leadership, are training in how to be effective in ministry in their churches, fellowship with like-minded believers — those who also care about discipleship of the mind — and overall encouragement and growth in Christ.
We’re currently (July 2017) about a dozen strong, seeking to grow and even to expand into other cities.
Church Apologetics Research Project
It’s hardly news: most churches do little with apologetics, even though it could do so much for most churches! Many people have asked why. I’m taking initiative to find out, through a major team-based five-year research and resource development project.
The Apologetics Leadership Group
While I’m no longer in leadership, having turned my attention to these other initiatives, I was the founding leader of the Apologetics Leadership Group, comprising many of the nation’s top writers, speakers, and educators in the field of Christian apologetics.
Writing and Speaking
Conferences, church seminars, and of course books, blogs and websites: more information at tomgilson.org.
I need your help!
You can help make this happen. In fact, I can’t do this at all unless many people do it together. You don’t need to be a scholar, speaker, or writer. You can participate through prayer and through financial support. Thanks for joining with us to help strengthen youth to stay strong in the faith, equip pastors and teachers to equip their own people, and reach the lost with solid answers to their most challenging questions.