Building a Movement of Fully Equipped Followers of Christ
For years my wife, 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 Apologetics Leadership Alliance
In July 2014, at the headquarters of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, I led a small group of leaders from across the country, exploring ways we could be more effective in equipping believers for real confidence, through apologetics. That led to a much larger meeting in San Diego the following November. Many of the country’s top writers, speakers, and scholars in the field of apologetics were there. We’re meeting twice a year now to support one another’s ministry in refreshingly new, united ways, and especially to discover what we can do together that we could never do separately.
The Center for Strategic Apologetics
The Center for Strategic Apologetics is a new and growing web-based center for the study of strategy for apologetics. Here’s a better way to put it, though. There are dozens and dozens of questions people ask about Christianity. Atheists and skeptics raise dozens of challenges against the truth of our faith. Every one of those questions has a good answer, an answer that ought to satisfy a reasonable, inquiring mind. That’s the result of great work done by top thinkers in apologetics.
But there’s one apologetics-related question that hasn’t been answered: Now that we have all these other answers, how are we going to help change the world?
The same question comes in other forms: How can we equip believers to be confident about Christianity? How can we best support pastors in their teaching ministries? How can we help parents teach their children that Christianity is more than just mom and dad’s religion? How can we share the gospel more effectively with skeptics? How can we help believers share the gospel more effectively?
The Center for Strategic Apologetics (strategicapologetics.org) is just getting off the ground. The framework is in place. I’m developing partnerships with other leaders to get it properly launched. We expect to see it going public by the middle of February with useful topics on Christianity’s most serious challenge, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and other related gender issues. (The website will remain private until it’s ready to launch.)
We need your help!
You can help make this happen. In fact, we 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.