Apologetics in Children’s Ministry: An Introduction

“Always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”
–1 Peter 3:15

Recently, we interviewed Ken Ham and he talked about the need for apologetics to be taught in the Sunday School room and in the church in general. We, here at Ministry to Children, want to aid in that. Therefore, we are going to begin a new section of teachings or articles. These are not lesson plans, but they can be aids to your lesson plans. Our prayer is that you will be able to use these in your lesson preparation and teaching time. We would like to begin this new section with an introduction to apologetics.

What is apologetics?

Good question!  I can tell you that it is not where you go around apologizing for being a Christian.  What I can tell you is that apologetics is derived from the Greek apologia which means “defense.” This word is used in the original Greek text in Acts 24:10 and 25:8 and 1 Peter 3:15.

The use of Apologetics

I would like to tell you upfront that the use of apologetics and extra-biblical research and findings should not be used to attempt to argue someone into faith in Christ Jesus. Rather, they can (and should) supplement one’s faith and provide answers to legitimate questions and concerns regarding the Christian faith and its historicity. No, only the Holy Spirit can guide someone to faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What kind of information will be provided?

What we will be providing for you here at Ministry to Children are some resources and factual information to use when you are teaching. This information can vary from what we call manuscript evidence (comparing ancient writings of the Bible to each other and to other books throughout history), it can be archaeological evidence (this is something very tangible for the children), or it can be scientific information “discovered” by man and supported by the Bible. Finally, much of what we will offer will dabble in philosophical arguments. Do not fear! These will not be difficult and will help your children to critically analyze the Bible. After all, the Bible has withstood criticism and skepticism for over 2,000 years. We will begin with evidence for the authority of the Bible. We will be using the acronym M.A.P.S.


Comments

  1. Win Noren says

    Were these posts every made to the site? I cannot find them and this is exactly what I want to be teaching to my class.

  2. michelle mcgivern says

    Very good and valuable resource. I’m so glad to have found this website. Its so refreshing because sadly there is so much liberal material out there which i believe just serves to innoculate children against the gospel because it suggests to them that they are already a christian by default just by attending sunday school/church.

    every blessing in Christ

  3. says

    Julie,

    I am working on a four part series to share some information about an apologetic for the Bible. Currently, however, I am in the middle of a move and my resources are all packed. The first post is ready to go, the final three are not.

    We do plan on establishing a section on the site dedicated to apologetics to be used to supplement your lessons and studies.

  4. Juli Kaase says

    I would love to incorporate this into our Sunday School curriculum. When will the information be available? Would be great to use this topic for a Summer Sunday School program. Will there be a special section on this website with the information?

  5. Gina says

    I am so very excited to see this on your website. I just read an article on this very subject in Practical Homeschooling. It is my turn to do children’s church tomorrow and I will be applying the lesson on the Holy Spirit. Just wish I could find a whole lesson on the Holy Spirit.

  6. uskiwi says

    That is exactally what we are trying to do this term!! Thanks so much…looking forward to your info!

  7. Brenda Oltz says

    Yes! this will be such a help to us!Looking forward to seeing the ideas you have!

  8. says

    Terry,

    You are exactly right…just look at the results of the research study below. We are losing our young people in droves because we haven’t taught them why Christianity is true. Also, I highly encourage you to watch the videos at the links below entitled, “If Parents Only Knew” and “In Intellectural Neutral”. They show how incredibly important apologetics is to Christianity. We must get parents engaged in this and I am so glad to see this ministry doing this.

    If Parents Only Knew
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4786450026182471150&hl=en#
    If Parents Only Knew Q&A
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-764385572011594810&hl=en#

    In Intellectual Neutral: A Challenge to Christians to Intellectual Engagement
    http://www.rfmedia.org/RF_audio_video/Other_clips/JFBC/index.php

    2005 study on youth entitled, “National Study of Youth and Religion,” thousands of non-religious teenagers were interviewed who said they were raised to be religious but had become “non-religious.” The teenagers were asked, “Why did you fall away from the faith in which you were raised?” They were given no set answers to pick from; it was simply an open-ended question. The most common answer (32%) was intellectual skepticism. Their answers included, “Some stuff was too far-fetched for me to believe in,” “I think scientifically there is no proof,” and “There were too many questions that can’t be answered. The data is clear—many kids leave the Christian faith because they have too many unanswered questions.
    http://www.youthandreligion.org/news/2005-0523.html

  9. says

    Henry, I think what you said, “I wonder if we are answering questions people aren’t asking any more” is exactly what has gone wrong with many churches today. I am not calling you out–I am saying this is an epidemic assumption in most of our best churches today. We simply assume that the questions have been answered and they no longer need to be answered. This is why I am concerned about this as I have seen children in my ministry asking questions I didn’t think to ask until I was in my teens.

    You would be surprised what kind of questions come from the mouths of children when you cultivate an atmosphere that allows for questions. Even more surprising are the questions from the parents!!!

  10. says

    I’ll be interested to read this series. To be honest, I’m somewhat skeptical when it comes to a traditional approach to apologetics. I wonder if we are answering questions people aren’t asking any more. Regardless, though, looking forward to further discussion.

  11. Brant Taylor says

    Terry,

    This is encouraging news! I can’t wait to see the ideas generated by you and your team.

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