Dear ITEM Partners,
We finished up our Apologetics Summit today. I was mostly a spectator. But before the day was over I had to take a close look at how God wants me to spend the next few years with the intent of developing an ITEM youth ministry using apologetics as a springboard. I think I gained some clarity but there is more time and prayer needed to figure this out.
WHO IS A2
Adventurous Apologetics (A2) is a new ministry. Their vision is to apply typical mission trips to the area of apologetics. Instead of teams coming to dig wells or build buildings, bring teams to do apologetics.
They invited representatives from Africa Center for Apologetics Research, Apologetics Kenya, Africa Renewal University, Africa Bible University, Africa Reformation Theological Seminary, Come and See Rwanda, ITEM, Ishaka Community Church, Pastors Discipleship Network, Veracity Fount, plus a couple of individuals, one of which had worked with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries until it was shut down after character issues surrounding its deceased founder were revealed after his passing.
The A2 Mission
The goal was to get to know each other, share what each group is doing in the area of apologetics, and brainstorm ways to work together from this point on. Discussions today centered on bringing apologetics degrees in more schools and how to better use technology to advance the cause.
I believe all in attendance agreed that the mission was accomplished. There were no specific action plans made but there were enough ideas collected that an action plan can now be developed.
WHERE I.T.E.M. FITS
I came representing ITEM, of course, with the hope to plug us into on-campus apologetics ministries. But as we neared the end of our time together, I had to lay aside dreams that were huge but not realistic considering my limited number of years of active engagement that I have. I will be 75 early next year. I’ve asked God for five more years of direct involvement. So, I took a step back and began to think, “Realistically, what should be my realistic goal over whatever number of years I can keep doing this?” We are actively ministering in 12 countries with two more in startup phase. There are active, successful apologetics ministries in at least three of the countries. We do not want to try to recreate what they are already doing successfully in their countries. And even if we just focus on the other nine, is it reasonable to think we can get something started in the next few years in all nine (soon to be eleven) countries in the next few years? Do we recruit a person in the US that will assist me and take it over in the next few years? Do we recruit individuals in each of the nine (eleven) countries to work under our country coordinators?
After talking to Kevin Muriithi (Apologetics Kenya) about this, I came back to the original call from the Lord. The goal is to establish a youth ministry that will influence the next generation of Africa leaders. The emphasis will not be on establishing youth ministries in churches but on helping to train individuals to go to campuses and answer student questions about Christianity.
As I mentioned earlier, that could take various forms. I will continue to consult with others to determine how best to get something started under ITEM’s banner that will be sustainable in the years after my active participation with the ministry.
If you think about this, please pray for a clear vision from the Lord regarding this. Thanks.
Monday morning we will leave for Ishaka, Uganda, the home of Ishaka Community Church. This church has an active apologetics ministry on campuses in their region and has several young doctors in the church. Ben and Kristen (A2 founders) and I will be involved in an apologetics seminar. I have two talks I will give and four questions that I will be answering. I will also be a part of a panel that will be answer unplanned questions coming from the audience. This will take place at the church and at a nearby high school. It will be my first real live opportunity to practice what I’ve been preparing for.
Please pray for this as well.
By His grace,