The Critical Need for Integrating Apologetics into Youth Ministry – This talk by Dan Britton will examine the data surrounding the youth exodus from faith, the reasons for this exodus and how church leadership and youth ministers can counteract this trend by integrating apologetics into their curriculum for little to no cost. This talk will also present the concept of a mentoring apologist to those interested in bringing apologetics into their church.
It was a divine appointment. The staff were told that they must wait until the students had eaten before they went through the serving line. So, today about 20 minutes after the start of lunch I went into the dining hall to get lunch. I sat across the table from a young man attending Summit who had just completed his first year at the university.
Summit advertises (loosely) that they make world leaders. When you see where their graduates serve, it becomes clear this is not an empty claim. The student I enjoyed spending an hour with at lunch is clearly one of these world leaders in the making.
Gunner shared an account of a required class at his university called “First Year Experience.” It was a required course (more about that later) which sought to help students navigate their way through their first year of college. Gunner was not so kind when he said it was nothing more than indoctrination. The first warning sign came with a questionnaire the students were required to fill out which was reminiscent of the scene in God’s Not Dead, where the professor encourages (requires?) the students to fill out a blank piece of paper with the words “God is dead.” This questionnaire asked the students various worldview questions and Gunner dutifully filled it out with his answers as someone coming from a Christian worldview. Sadly, he found out that several questions regarding sexuality and other similar topics did not allow for “no” answers and his grade was reduced accordingly. When he challenged the professor, she told him he could pick up his grade later.
It got worse. Next on the schedule was how to reduce stress in a college environment. This was done by inviting a guru to come in and teach transcendental meditation while chanting a few names of the various Hindu gods. Gunner was outgunned (pun intended) again when he asked when they would have a Christian come in to speak. No plans to bring in a Christian. No plans to bring in anyone else, for that matter.
It got worse. But in the interest of time, let me share what this young man did. While most of us may have been inclined to suck it up and move on, this was not an option for Gunner. Another professor, his English professor, had a writing assignment where the student could write on the topic of his or her choice. With his professor’s encouragement and permission, Gunner wrote on why the “First Year Experience” class should 1.) Be modified to become less biased toward one particular worldview and 2.) No longer be a required course for underclassmen. His professor told him if he did a good job on the paper, she would present it to the board. When his paper was returned, he received a grade of 105%.
It got better. Because of Gunner’s boldness and tenacity, upon the presentation of his paper to the university’s governing board, the content of the course was changed and it was no longer a required course. May every one of us have the conviction and boldness to change the world like Gunner. Amen.