By: Chap Bettis
As a parent or a teen, you are trying to determine your priorities for the coming year. You can’t do everything. But what is best?
As a pastor and father of four adult homeschooled children, I would like to lay out why any high school plan ought to have time for a Doctrine and Apologetic class.
But first we must back up and think more foundationally. What is the goal of your parenting? What are you aiming for?
When God gave you this new life, he didn’t just give you a baby to care for. He gave you a soul that will live for eternity.
Therefore, our job as parents is not to raise good kids who pursue the American dream with a little Christianity sprinkled in for good measure. Christ’s desire for parents is to do all they can to raise fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
This Apologetics speech category can help you do just that. In a structured way, high school students will be led into a deeper understanding of God’s Word. They will think about hard questions in a safe environment. And they will begin to articulate answers to those questions. I can think of numerous reasons to do this category.
1. To ground our children in the word commensurate with their increased understanding. We give our children high school Government, Biology, or Literature even though they studied this material in grammar school. Why? Their understanding has grown to handle deeper concepts. Similarly, our children need to advance beyond a Sunday School understanding of the Bible. Apologetics will do that.
2. To answer their own questions. As I cover in The Disciple-Making Parent, teens often go through a time of doubt. I know I did. Apologetics gives a chance to proactively ask those questions and inoculate against the coming attacks.
3. To provide a structure for your family discipleship. As homeschoolers, it can be easy to become so busy educating our children we forget to the disciple them. I know numerous families who have used this course to give structure to their family devotions for a year. One mom said to me, “You are helping me do what I want, disciple my daughter.”
4. To equip your students to minister in the church and world. Your students will leave confident and equipped to answers questions others have. I receive numerous testimonies of young people who use this material immediately and years down the road. Teenagers need theology!
5. To give course credit. Don’t be fooled. Apologetics is a significant amount of work. Nothing ever worthwhile is easy. But it can be counted for academic credit. My wife and I gave our children each 1 elective course credit we labeled Foundational Christian Thought.
6. To use in multiple years. Apologetics is the only speech event that you can use in the following year. You can master material over several years. Every other speech event requires starting from scratch!
I so believe in the spiritual effectiveness, I have written a curriculum to equip students. It used by families all over the country. Entitled Fearless Apologetics, you can find it at www.fearlessapologetics.com.
As you make your plans for the new school year, consider making time for this study. It may be the most important course your teen takes.
After serving full-time as a pastor in New England for 25 years, Chap now serves as director of The Apollos Project, a ministry dedicated to helping parents pass the gospel to their children. He just released The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ. In addition, he has written The Fearless Apologetics Curriculum. He and his wife Sharon homeschooled their four children for their entire career and have participated in competitive speech for 12 years.