What’s It Like For You? Local Apologists, Share Your Story!

We’re intensely interested in supporting and encouraging local apologists — people in churches everywhere who enjoy learning and teaching about reasons for confidence in Christianity.

We know you have a story to tell. We’d love to hear it, here in the comments below.

A lot of local apologists feel isolated in their churches. Some even feel like outsiders. Is that true for you? Or do you have a stronger local network of apologetics-interested friends?

What’s working best for you? Does social media make a difference? Do you get opportunities to use your apologetics in local church ministry, or in evangelism or other outreach?

What would you like to see different in the Church with respect to apologetics?

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Besides the formal survey research we’re doing, which we strongly ask you to take part in, we also want to gather stories on what it’s like for you. Please be one of the first to comment here!

This page will remain here as a valuable continuing record of what it’s like for local apologists like you and like the members of the Project team.

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3 thoughts on “What’s It Like For You? Local Apologists, Share Your Story!

  1. I’ve been interested in and actively studying apologetics since my junior year of high school. Other than sharing my interest with a few friends here and there, I’ve never really had much chance to do anything with it. Two factors underlie this: I’m terribly bashful, and I feel underqualified to speak authoritatively about it since I have no formal apologetics training.

    Recently however our pastor decided to do a Wednesday night series on world religions and cults. He asked three of us (a new convert, a deacon, and myself) along with himself to take turns researching and presenting two of eight major religions. Though our audiences were small, that was my first real chance to do anything with my decades-long studying.

    Apart from this and teaching a small adult Sunday School class on the same topic, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in my community for learning apologetics or even basic Christian doctrine. Our pastor and a couple friends and my wife will listen. I have a lifelong preacher friend who lives a couple hours away who will listen, as well as some interaction with a local Ratio Christi director who is also struggling for support. Our area is either so out of church that they don’t care to hear about religion or are so ingrained in church that they think all you need is faith (and that knowledge may hinder that).

    I’m not at liberty to travel much to conferences due to being in an area hours from anywhere and a heavy work schedule. So while I try to grow where I’m planted, I’m actively pursuing some formal training like Reasons Institute and other online courses to at least keep myself engaged even if I can’t make a huge difference in my community yet.

  2. In the fall of 2017, I wrote an email to the (relatively new) senior pastor of my church. I referenced research which showed that many young people raised in church were abandoning the faith because they were not getting good answers from their churches to worldview-based questions. My question for him was, Can we open up space in our church for these kinds of conversations? For background, I gave him a copy of an article on worldview that I’d written. http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo41/whirled-views.php

    After some lengthy conversations which I thought were going to end up going nowhere, to my surprise he suggested the two of us lead a Sunday morning class together on the subject. That led to a 10-week class this past spring. I taught six and he taught four, and all of them were well-attended.

    Now it has expanded into youth education. Our church confirms youth near the end of their eighth-grade year after nearly two years of confirmation class. This year, the regular confirmation class schedule is being supplemented with eight monthly sessions that include parents (and are also drawing in some wider church members simply because they’re interested in the content). These sessions address larger worldview topics and are pretty much an outgrowth of that spring class. So far we’ve held two, and the attendance has been pretty good. Feedback has been fairly good as well.

    If you’d like to hear more about the content we’re covering and how it’s being presented, let me know. I’ve had a big hand so far in shaping it and presenting it. All of this is very new (in some ways, radically so) for my tradition-bound LCMS church, and in my personal observations, I think it’s stimulating thought among a lot of people.

    Terrell Clemmons
    Indianapolis, IN

  3. I came to Christ through apologetics in the mid-1970s. I read voraciously on it as a student. Then I went into music ministry with Campus Crusade (Cru), followed by HR leadership and organizational consulting. I came back to studying and writing on apologetics when I launched my Thinking Christian blog years ago. That expanded into tremendous opportunities, most of which you can find on the team page.

    The crazy thing is, though, I couldn’t take part in most of those opportunities without leaving town. Driving long distances. Flying to conferences. At home, I’ve felt isolated, as if I were an odd duck around church.

    I wondered if I was the only one, so I started asking people at conferences if they felt similarly. Almost everyone who’s not currently studying or teaching at seminary says yes. There are a lot of us lonely apologists out there. And a lot of us would love to be more fruitfully engaged in real ministry in our churches and communities.

    That’s what I’ve learned, and that’s part of the reason for this Spiritual Readiness Project. There are more reasons behind it, of course: My love for the Church (and for churches), and the storm that’s gathering upon us. We’ve got a lot to do, and through this project, our team hopes to help us all.

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