The Spiritual Readiness Project is doing broad-based research into what motivates people to be equipped for confidence, discovering barriers, best practices, and more Of course we’ll turn our findings into usable training and resources for all to share.
We have four research-experienced social scientists on our team, planning to study the following over the next two to five years:
- Apologists’ motivation. Survey research with persons already studying and using apologetics, to determine what factors caused them to be interested in it. Published February 1, 2019.
- Pastors’ interest and involvement. Interview, focus group, and survey research to discover barriers and possibilities affecting pastors’ motivation to support apologetics being taught in their churches.
- Apologists’ practices. Interviews and survey research with apologists whose churches have welcome their ministry, seeking common factors that may lead to churches’ motivations regarding apologetics ministry — including their relationships with other leaders, their experience in apologetics, the church structures through which they carry out their ministry, etc. This part of the research may also include standard emotional intelligence assessments with apologists who want to take part in it.
- Pastors’ best practices. Among pastors whose churches have thriving apologetics ministries, what factors serve to support that? This question goes beyond the pastors’ own interests, and extends to the makeup of the congregation, the structure under which apologetics is endorsed and taught, the wider community in which the church is situated. (Research methods to be determined.)
- Lay persons’ interest factors. What motivates lay persons to learn? What catches their attention? What methods and resources equip them most effectively? (Research methods to be determined.)
- Theological issues. Meanwhile, throughout the life of the project, we intend to produce papers from a theological perspective: research into the ecclesiology, missiology, and pneumatology of apologetics ministry in the Church.
- Aggregating other research. We’ll publish links, review, etc. for any other readiness-related research we find along the way.
We’re also carefully studying other relevant research (such as Barna’s 2019 Faith Leadership in a Divided Culture, for example) to integrate with ours.
The timing for each project depends on funding, among other things. The scope and sequence may change if unexpected opportunities arise or unplanned obstacles appear.