by Rick McGough
Local Church Apologetics was birthed in 2016 to respond to the growing need within America for local churches to equip their people in how to defend their Christian faith from the onslaught of a skeptical, unbelieving culture. After pastoring an Assembly of God church in Moline, IL. for 34 years, my wife and I stepped out in faith to follow the Lord’s call to this new ministry venture. Our mission is to impact believers and local churches throughout the nation; challenging, inspiring and equipping them in the area of apologetics.
While pastoring, a growing burden developed in my heart as I saw the attacks upon the Christian faith increasing and the numbers of Christian young people walking away from the Christian faith by the time they graduated from college. I began to study apologetics about 25 years ago and began to incorporate apologetics into my ministry at the church in various ways. Many local churches in America today do not address the issues of apologetics in any way and many others only touch on these issues lightly. I believe this must change! I devoted the remainder of my life to help see this change come about.
Local Church Apologetics involves 4 main focuses of ministry. We seek to assist individual believers in becoming better equipped in how to defend their faith, but we our primary goal is to assist local churches in becoming better equipped to equip their people in these areas. Our 4 focus areas are as follows: (1) Preaching and Teaching in Churches, Schools and Conferences, (2) Producing Apologetics Materials for All Ages (I have recently published my first book entitled, “Faith & Reason Made Simple” and we are now working on a children’s ministry curriculum to be used in local churches to teach their children apologetics.), (3) Coordinating Truth Conferences (see description below), & (4) Developing a Web Site at “localchurchapologetics.org” that will eventually offer Materials for Local Churches to Teach Apologetics at Every Age Level.
In my book “Faith & Reason Made Simple” I have attempted to present the complicated areas of apologetics in a simplified way so that the believer who does not have previous apologetics training can easily digest, memorize and utilize key points which will help them defend their faith. For example, the book explains 6 Scientific Flaws with the Theory of Evolution and gives 8 Levels of Evidence that confirm God Created Everything. It also presents 8 Areas of Evidence which Confirm the Bible is the Word of God. In addition, the book deals with evidences confirming who Jesus Christ is, differences between Christianity and other religions, answers to the questions of skeptics, and a Christian response to issue of Homosexuality. These are all key issues that Christians are facing today.
In the Truth Conferences we bring together speakers like Josh McDowell, Chris Brooks, Eric Hovind, Charlie Campbell, and many others to offer people a full day of training and inspiration. Topics covered include Creation vs. Evolution, How We Know the Bible is the Word of God, The Person of Jesus Christ, Christianity & Islam, The Christian Response to Homosexuality, and Answering the Questions of Skeptics. Phil Stacey, former American Idol finalist serves as our worship leader during the conferences. We believe that apologetics and worship go hand in hand!
In all of our ministry efforts we seek to help believers understand that apologetics and reasoning must be combined with the love of Jesus flowing through our lives and the power of the Holy Spirit guiding our words and actions if we desire to be effective in both defending our faith and reaching the lost for Christ!
Our current focus is the development of a children’s ministry curriculum to be introduced in a future Truth Conference and offered to local churches across the nation to help them teach apologetics to children in their churches.
You can learn more about Local Church Apologetics at localchurchapologetics.org. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray for us as we seek to follow the Lord’s calling! Thank you and God bless you!