Dear Pastor, College, Student and Middle School Ministry Leaders,
You might be wondering why I have a page addressing ministry leaders. Please let me share my heart over a concern I believe all church leaders and thinkers should be having.
Why are we doing this?
Allow me to share three areas how we can assist you that relate to what is happening in our culture. They can be summed this way: Discipleship, Discernment, and Defection. Why do we exist, let me share three facets of what this is about and how we can serve you.
First, we are here to help you in the task of equipping your church to be effective in sharing the gospel and reach our post Christian culture.
The Bible instructs the pastor to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Having served as a pastor and have a heart for pastors, I understand the biblical job description for pastors and teachers is described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:12, “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. . .” Let’s walk through a couple of questions:
Question: How are you equipping your people evangelistically, and apologetically to engage and reach this post Christian culture for Jesus? Scripture is pretty clear.
37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” ~ (Matthew 22:37-40)
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ (Romans 12:1-2)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~ (Matthew 28:19-20)
Second, we can help equip your church in discerning and responding to false teaching in the church and in the culture
Scripture is pretty clear that in the last days there shall come scoffers and false prophets; wolves in the church. We can see this from not just the popular cults that come knocking at your door, but also the false teaching proliferating the airwaves (the Word Faith Theology, The New Apostolic Reformation, New Age ideas cloaked in “Christianese”)
There are several passages showing this is around us today,
2 Peter 3:3, Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers
Matthew 24:11, And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many
Jesus warned us of these scoffers and false prophets in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
And let’s not forget Peter, with 2 Peter 2:1 (c.f. Jude 4), “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
Jude 4, “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Not only are we in the last days but in the last minutes to the return of Jesus Christ and the prophesied scoffers and false prophets (wolves in sheep’s clothing) are here today.
As pastors and ministry leaders we are called to protect and equip the sheep from the kingdom of darkness that is sent to feed on the sheep.
Here is what we can offer to help
Thirdly we are here to help you with a “back door problem.”
The question here is . . . What can I do, as a pastor or ministry leader, to help my church be more engaged evangelistically?
Why is this important?
Here are statistics (updated). Statistics come from UPDATED: Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?
To learn more on the condition of Evangelical Church in America click here
The Ugly Truth. . .
40% – Only 40% of American Christians attend church regularly.
82% – The fact is, over 82% of American Christians only read their Bibles on Sunday while in church (Ponce Foundation).
50% – Nearly 50% of Christians who attend church weekly do not believe that the Bible is the actual Word of God (Gallup Poll).
57% – 57% of American Christians believe other religions can lead to eternal life (Ponce Foundation).
Then consider the following. . .
Our kids are being targeted and “slaughtered” (spiritually speaking) by secular college and university professors, by the cultural temptations, the propaganda of public schools, colleges and universities and other arenas in our culture.
We need to inoculate and equip them as early as Middle School now. Why?
88% leave the church at the age of 18 (Southern Baptist Council on Family Life)
63% do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Josh McDowell and David Bellis, The Last Christian Generation).
70% leave the church between 17 and 19 years of age, (Lifeway Research)
90% of active youth in high school programs drop out of church (Jossey-Bass, The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church)
60% disconnect from their churches after the age of 15 (David Kinnaman Barna Research Group)
What We Do Understand. . .
Having served as pastor, I understand that when it comes to understanding the task and discipline of “apologetics” (1 Peter 3:15-17; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Colossians 4:5,6), there is a sense of intimidation with some of you. When it comes to understanding the need for apologetics to be part of the DNA of your church to help fulfill the mission, Pastor, you may fit in one of three categories:
“The All In Pastor“ – you are the one who understands that there is a problem in our culture and that apologetics can be a tool to help equip your church, defend the church from false teachings trying to get a voice, and to see it as a means of fulfilling your mission of “equipping the body for service” (Ephesians 4:12).
“The I’m Definitely Interested Pastor “ – you are the one who has heard of an apologetics revival. You know that there is a problem and you want to know more of how apologetics helps equip your church, defend the church from heresies trying to get a voice, and see it as a means of fulfilling your mission of “equipping the body for service” (Ephesians 4:12).
“The Pastor Who Says ‘Just Give Me Jesus & the Bible’“ – Did you know that apologetics is a biblical discipline and that the greatest Apologist is Jesus (yes Jesus did apologetics), and the great apologetics book is the Bible. I have Bible study that we are putting together to show you that there is a problem you need to be aware of and that you do not need to be intimidated with this word or discipline known as apologetics (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3).
A final word from my friends Pastor Jack Hibbs, Dr. Mike Adams, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace.