An Apologetic Practitioners’ Strategy

“An Apologetic Practitioners’ Strategy”

___________________________________________

Submitted to

Mr. David Gunn

At

Clarks Summit University

___________________________________________

In Partial Fulfillment of

the Requirements for the course

TH608 – Leadership Strategies for Apologetics Ministries

In the Division of Apologetics

________________________________________

Andrew Thomas Knight

DMIN Luther Rice Seminary, 2014

MRE West Coast Baptist College, 2010

MBS Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, 2004

BB Pensacola Christian College, 1994

July 8, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION………………………………….……………………… 1

Apologetics on Social Media……………….………………………… 2

Research and Publish Apologetic Books……………..……………….. 3

Teaching Doctrines and Apologetics on a National Broadcast………… 4

Hold Worldview Forums at Secular University Campuses….………….. 5

Teach One Week Module Classes at Local Churches…………………. 5

Local Church Seminary Focus on Apologetics and Leadership…………. 6

Launch Church Planting and World Missions Initiatives………………. 7

CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………….. 8

INTRODUCTION

How does one define an Apologist? This of course is not a name, word, or profession that is discussed daily by the general public. Though an Apologist may very well describe one arguing in favor of any number of areas or pursues. In this writing an Apologist has as its objective is to teach, preach, witness, and persuade unbelievers and sceptics. The Apologist continually employs a significant amount of apologetic tools and skill while in the process of discipling believers. Thus, the apologetic tools must be employed inside the local church as well as outside the walls of the church.

This Apologist will outline numerus platforms, venues, and initiatives as a practitioner of Apologetics. The biblical basis is for the apologetic witnessing, teaching, preaching, and writing are based on I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” This is to say that all platforms, venues, and writings will contain elements of apologetics in them. The objective is to lead skeptics and unbelievers to a saving knowledge of salvation through faith in Christ, and to an ever increasing maturity in one’s stewardship to the Lord.

This Apologist will begin by describing his apologetic outreach to Christians and skeptics on social media. This will include the platforms, the content, and the objectives of this apologetic ministry. A description of apologetic books that have been published and manuscripts that are in progress will be detailed. The next step in advancing the apologetic outreach that will be detailed is the launch of the national broadcast on Christian TV beginning in March. As a balanced approach to Apologetics this student will discuss how to organize and execute a Worldview Forum on secular University campuses. The next progression in the apologetic teaching ministry will be to explain the establishment of seminary module classes at local Baptist churches. This student will offer his explanation and apologetic basis for founding a seminary dedicated to teaching Apologetics and Leadership. The final and ultimate apologetic endeavor that will be outlined are the plans to launch two hundred-fifty new church plants in America, and send four hundred well trained Apologetic missionaries across the World.

Apologetics on Social Media

An Apologetic ministry began about nine years ago while church planting in Connecticut. It occurred to this Apologist that one can witness, teach, and invite people to church even if it is six degrees and dark outside on social media. Two criteria came to mind when beginning this outreach; first, one needs people to be an apologist to, and second, one must consider to whom do they want to reach out too? It goes without saying that everyone is a sinner, in need of a Saviour, but it occurred to this apologist that anyone cannot reach everyone. The term demographics came to mind. This is generally considered business terminology, but all it really means is types of people groups and ages. So this apologist thought that he could most likely and effectively reach people ten years younger and ten years older than the apologist. This apologist began adding contacts to the Facebook account who young adults up to their 40’s or so, and who are from the same town as the new church and surrounding towns. The list grew to over 400 people, people who would see Scripture, testimonies, and could engage in apologetic conversations. The best result was a lady that ended up coming to the church for relationship counseling, and eventually trusted Christ as her Messiah.

Social media ministry today has become much larger and influential. The list of friends and contacts on FaceBook has grown to 5,000, and over 4,700 on LinkedIn. These platforms are now connected to this apologist’ missions website, www.CEF.gives. A ministry channel has been created on YouTube, and new apologetic sermons are tapped weekly and posted across all platforms. Social media contacts have been made throughout the country on FaceBook, and to many national pastors, Christian individuals, and skeptics across the Philippians, Pakistan, India, South America, Nepal, East, West, and South Africa. On LinkedIn contacts tend to track those of one’s professional area. As a result LinkedIn has led this apologist to hundreds of alumni and students from Pensacola Christian College, Bob Jones University, Crown College, West Coast Baptist College, Liberty University, Maranatha Baptist University, and Piedmont International University, as well as many professionals from other backgrounds.

Social Media has been extremely instrumental in the past few years in apologetic outreach not only to many by way of postings, but personal communications, teaching videos, and apologetic and theological papers posted on the missions website. This may seem like a hobby rather than an apologetic ministry, but recently I called one of the 5,000 friends on FaceBook as he had liked a Scripture posting. This man was an immigrant from Pakistan. The first time this apologist had talked with him he told this apologist that he had been following my posts for a couple of years. The fact is that with any media ministry one will not know until he gets to glory how many lives had been touched by ones apologetic media ministry. The national pastors in the countries this apologist has reached out to have received books, electronic theological libraries, teaching videos, theological articles, and apologetic sermons. This apologist has lectured in a seminary in India to twenty-three students by way of Skype. And this apologist has preached in Inia and Pakistan Baptist churches through Skype.

Research and Publish Apologetic Books

The command of our Lord is to, “teach all nations.” Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” As this apologist would argue, and from recent reading, that all doctrinal teaching is apologetic in nature. One could break the Great Commission down to teaching the Bible which is an apologetic endeavor. One can further argue that writing is discipleship. Writing is discipleship beyond one’s reach. Thus, this apologist has made the practice of not only putting books in print but making them teaching and training tools to include training lessons in each chapter. These first two books, “Children’s Leadership Ministry,” and “Leadership the Lord’s Way” have been sent by email to national pastors to many places around the World. These national pastors have begun translating these books, and those that know some English have been trained by the national pastors with these books to better do the work of the ministry.

This apologist’s next manuscript will be two volumes, which will be called, “Transforming Truth.” The first of these two volumes will go to the publishers by December. Each chapter will have an apologetic lesson in the back of each chapter. In addition the new books will have all seven lessons that are in “Children’s Ministry Leadership,” which focus on the Great Commission and training parents how to lead their children to the Lord, put in the appendix of the new books. This will be a total of nineteen lessons in the first volume of “Transforming Truth.” This book will also be distributed free to the national pastors around the World for them to distribute to other national pastors and church members. These pastors use these books in their churches and Bible Institutes. These books are all written in order to teach doctrine, improve the practice of the local church ministry, help families raise their children for the Lord, and to persuade in the things of God.

Teaching Doctrines and Apologetics on a National Broadcast

This apologist’s and his camera man are taping apologetic messages every week and

posting videos on the missions foundation website and posting the pdf version on the site as well. These apologetic sermons are seeing reactions and views from social media contacts from all over the World. Through the LinkedIn page the videos are getting upwards of 600 views per video per week. This is not for naught, but it is somewhat a dry run as the plan is to put a Bible teaching, apologetic broadcast on Uplift TV channel 379 beginning in March 2018.

This broadcast will seek to fulfill several objectives from a teaching perspective. First, the broadcast will teach eleven major doctrines of the Bible. This teaching will attempt to communicate deep Scriptural truths in as understandable way as possible. This will be a lengthy series that we plan to call, “Doctrines for Dummies.” Notes and outlines will be provided for viewer on the website. This apologist will develop more substantial notes to teach from and to edit for a manuscript for publication and distribution. The second objective to fulfill though this broadcast outreach will be to make apologetic arguments throughout this endeavor to teach the eleven major Bible doctrines on national Christian TV.

The two major forms of apologetics to be employed in this broadcast outreach will be presuppositionalism and evidentialism. The reasons for emphasizing presupposition apologetics are that first the supremacy of Scripture demands that argument begins and ends with Scripture. Truth must be employed to advance truth. John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” And, John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” One cannot prove truth without truth, and one cannot teach truth without truth. Thus all presuppositional apologetics must begin with Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God.. All other writings, such as, linguistics, history, geography, archology, scientific discovery, and the biographies of those that were human authors, and the translators of the King James Bible have all been immensely helpful to the advancement and defense of biblical Christianity. In addition, the profiles of those that have defended, preached, taught, commentated on the Scriptures, and those that have faithfully lived their lives according to God’s Word are all useful in advancing and defending the Word of God. All extra biblical sources are incredibly useful, but are limited by their lack of divine origin and canonization. Scripture as the primary source of truth and thus the Scriptures stand tall with supremacy as the ultimate apologetic tool.

The second reason for employing presuppositional apologetics is that because its foundations are built on the doctrines of the Bible this teaching will lay the groundwork of truth in people’s hearts and minds. When one teaches the doctrines of the Bible they are teaching presuppositional apologetics. Truth upon truth, and reason upon reason is why one puts their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The reason evidential apologetics will be employed is the that Peter used this specific language, I Peter 3:15b “a reason for the hope that is in you…” The secondary reason to this is that people are rational thinkers. One could argue that the mind is the gate keeper to the heart. At the apologist appeals to the mind he will then be granted access to the heart. The apologist formulates his arguments for the purpose of inching his hears further to maturity in Christ.

Hold Worldview Forums at Secular Universities Campuses

An apologist is a warrior by nature and function. Not physical but rather spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” As such, the apologist must be in what the military calls the, “forward operating base.” This is to say, the apologist is not the support staff, but rather is on the spiritual and cultural frontlines defending and advancing the Word of God. He must be in the thick of it.

This apologist will use the TV broadcast to promote Worldview Forums on College

Campuses. Other marketing tools would be employed to include EventBrite and social media, press release service, and direct mail. These events would be designed to be evangelistic, not just informative or a debate. These forums would take place in a College or University auditorium. This apologist likes the idea of using a team member to ask planned questions from the apologist. This gives the impression that there is a conversation happening, and like a tennis match the audience will be watching back and forth as the questions and answers are asked and answered. This technique accomplishes two things. First, it controls the conversation, and second it provides visual motion for people to follow. The next step, which is less controlled, but more engagement with the audience will be taking questions from the audience. The key to this is not losing control of the microphone. We will qualify the questions to the subject matter of the worldview subject which is being discussed. All the time the apologist will be giving answers that will be leading his audience to the most important question to answer, “Where will you spend eternity?” The team will speak with people after the question and answer time and answer all their questions. We will also give out literature at all the doors and make sure everyone goes home with good information and the Gospel in their hands.

Teach One week Module Classes at Local Churches

This apologist will continue to expand his teaching and apologetic influence by extending his teaching ministry to holding one week module classes at local churches across the country. These seminary classes would be set up under the auspices of Constitution Baptist Church and a seminary name not yet determined. The classes will focus on Apologetics, Leadership, Systematic Theology, Old and New Testament Biblical Theology, and Christian Education. All of these classes will have a strong emphasis on applying these bodies of study of Apologetics to the local church outreach. Every subject has an application to Apologetics. This would include both sharpening the teaching tools within the local church and the Apologetic ministry to the unbelievers and skeptics outside the local church.

Local Church Seminary Focus on Apologetics and Leadership

Many seminaries have as their basis for existence, sometimes called their mission statement, or mission verse, II Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” As Apologists we are not called to reinvent the wheel, but rather to be faithful to defend and advance God’s Word and His Gospel throughout the World, and to train faithful men to do the same.

The credits and transcripts from the module classes from Baptist churches throughout the country will be matriculated though the local church Baptist seminary. The weekly TV broadcast will continue to teach doctrines and apologetics, and in doing so will continue to attract seminary students to the modules remotely and through the local church location. The only real way for any seminary to have any particular emphasis is to talk about it continually. Apologetics, World missions, church planting will be kept top of mind in word, print, and as the major focal point of the institutional existence. One of the major objectives of Centurion Education Foundation is to fund the training and fully supporting missionaries for life, and fully supporting church plants to maturity. The national broadcasts will do a lot of this fundraising for the seminary and missions.

Launch Church Planting and World Missions Initiatives

The initiatives for an apologetic training seminary, church planting, and World missions are posted on the website for Centurion Education Foundation, www.CEF.gives. The first objectives besides teaching doctrine and Apologetics on national Christian TV would be to raise an endowment of $440,000,000 which will fund the missionaries for life and fully support the church planters in America. These new American churches once established and fully self-supporting would contribute to the support of the missionaries that went through the local church seminary and are sent out by Constitution Baptist Church.

One of the major reasons for supporting the apologetic missionaries 100% is that these 400 missionaries, who are sent, two families to each of 200 countries, would have the full support of a local church. Support would include, but not limited to, quarterly visits from the short term mission’s teams which would lend support and fellowship while far from home. Another objective would be to train them through the local church seminary is so that when missionaries are sent to the four corners of the globe they will have a much stronger group of church family members who stay in constant contact with the missionary families.

The apologetic missionaries, who are fully supported will also save precious time, which is to say, more time on the field and more frequently coming back to spend time at their home church. Under the current schedule of many missionaries they spend five years on deputation, four years on the mission field, and then come home to raise more support and report to upwards of 100 churches over the course of another year. Over the course of ten years the missionary will have only spent four years on the field being the Apologist. Under the modal where the church and foundation support the missionary Apologist 100% the missionary family completes their Apologetic training and then prepare to leave for their respective mission field. Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas the missionary family would be home in their home church. At the end of ten years the missionary family will have spent just over nine years on the mission field and ten months in their home church.

The new church planters will graduate from the Apologetic training seminary each year, and when they do they will have a short term church planting team, or teams that will work with them for the first three months of the new local church. This will resemble a barn-raising that the Amish farmers practice. These churches and church planters will be closely watched for any problems in the fragile work of birthing a new local church. Like a training hospital many times provides the best medical care, this “training church and seminary” will go to great lengths to insure sound apologetic training in the classroom and strong apologetic practitioners in the field.

CONCLUSION

This Apologetic ministry began with humble beginnings on social media. The steps of progression thus far and into the future, if the Lord tarries, have been outlined. The motives of writing books for the purpose of advancing Apologetic and leadership were discussed. The steps that have been taken, and will be taken to launch a national broadcast, in order to teach Apologetics and doctrines, and to raise missions endowments have been detailed. A detailed plan to organize and conduct Worldview Forums on secular campuses has been offered for consideration. The plans and objectives to promote, and teach Apologetics and leadership in local Baptist churches across America has been detailed, along with the plan to matriculate Apologetic students through the local church seminary was elaborated upon. The next major step in the progression of this Apologetic ministry to develop the seminary around the study of Apologetics and leadership, and the detailed plan to implement into sending Apologist around the World was elaborated upon. Finally, the rationale and steps to fund and support Apologists across America and across the Globe was highlighted.

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