Should Apologetics Be A Family Affair?
If you have spent any time reading this blog, you know I talk a lot about apologetics—what it is, why youth need it, and how to make it an everyday part of ministry. It is a big part of my ministry and a big reason that I began to follow Christ. But even after a decade of learning and teaching on the topic, I have had a hard time convincing others that apologetics should be something the family is focused on.
That is until now.
Every once in a while I come across a must-have resource for myself, for youth leaders, or for families. This time I came across a resource for all of those. But, this time it was my wife who found it. She was recently invited to participate in a book launch campaign for a new apologetics book geared toward the family. The requirement was to carefully read, analyze, and provide tons of feedback.
It didn’t take long for both of us to realize that Natasha Crain’s, Talking with Your Kids about God is not just a good book, but also a necessary one. One that successfully makes the case that apologetics is not just a church thing, but also a family thing. This is a book that will help prepare the family to impact our post-Christian culture long before children even get to high school. But even if your students are all ready in high school, this book serves as a great compliment to AwanaYM’s Advocates curriculum with Sean McDowell.
But rather than take my word for it—the guy who never shuts up about apologetics, take it from the parent who is deep waters with our kids theological education, their cultural influences, questions, and their doubts—my wife.
Do you really need one more book to read? In our home, we have well over 300 books stacked on our shelves. Between homeschooling and a husband who is a perpetual student of theology and apologetics, the thought of one more book about pushed me off a cliff. I would rather play a game of Uno with my kiddos, or I find myself drowned by the beautiful and endless demands of being a mom. So reading just never makes it into my daily routine. In fact, it rarely even crosses my mind. But we need resources to help us raise our kids. We need resources to help us help our kids navigate a culture that is rapidly changing. Our kids have more questions than ever before, and they are asking the tough questions at a younger and younger age. I cannot ignore the world they are growing up in, and they cannot escape it. So I need to prepare and equip them—even if I don’t think I have the time.
We need resources that help parents equip kids to handle challenges to their faith, to be Christ in a broken world, and to tackle cultural intolerance with a biblical worldview. But let’s be honest, most of those resources are super meaty, and you need a dictionary close by as you read.
If there was a resource that answered all the tough questions, but in a way that the rest of us could not just comprehend, but apply, that is a book you would make time to read. Well, consider your resource found. Natasha Crain, in her new book, Talking with Your Kids about God, does precisely that. She takes the time to teach us parents the topics and then, in turn, equips us with questions and answers so we can confidently have these conversations with our children and prepare them to be lifelong disciples of Jesus. As parents, we spend a ton of time, energy, and money caring for the physical and emotional needs of our children, are their spiritual needs any less important?
This book is unique. It is more than a book; it is a training tool. It is broken down into five parts, and inside those parts, there are a total of 30 conversations. Each conversation shares the skeptic’s view and the Christian view. Each of these conversations is just that—conversations. They are meant to spark discussion with your kids, create opportunities to practice and provide teachable moments. Natasha tackles the obstacles and defines all the terms we need to know and includes space to apply the material you just learned. Her dedication to explaining the content goes above and beyond making you truly feel confident you can handle these conversations and teach them to your children.
This is not a book you read just once. Nor is this a book that will collect dust on a shelf or serve as a coaster on your coffee table. You will read it again. And again. This is a book families can grow with. You can, at first read it for content and discussion, but then as your children grow and learn you can equip them and encourage them to further the discussion. They can even read the book and then lead the discussions. Think about the future for your family. The opportunity you will have to watch your children grown up knowing what they believe and being able to defend it clearly and gently. When statistics show that the majority of high school students are walking away from their faith, you can be encouraged that starting at any age can truly equip your child to not only know and walk with God but be ready to defend their faith and witness to others.
Get your copy here: http://christianmomthoughts.com/talkingwithyourkidsaboutgod/
If you are not totally convinced, take a second and read the introduction here: http://christianmomthoughts.com/read-the-introduction-to-talking-with-your-kids-about-god/
If you are a youth pastor, buy some for your parents. Especially if you are currently using the Advocates curriculum—this is a great supplement for your parents. If you are a parent, get one for your home. But don’t just read it and forget it. Take the time to use it.
Executive Director of AwanaYMSteve currently serves as the Executive Director of AwanaYM. Previously, Steve spent over a decade teaching high school theology and apologetics from Detroit to LA. Steve holds a Masters degree in Theology from Moody Theological Seminary and a Masters in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Steve is also an adjunct professor at Trinity International University. He speaks and writes on youth ministry, youth culture and apologetics. He resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and four children.
Follow Steve Kozak on Twitter: stevenmkozak
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