How Should One Combat Apathy within a Young Adult Training Setting?

Brett shares how to inspire an interest in apologetics among students.


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How do we combat apathy within our youth? There are several things you can do. Number one, question them. Start forcing them to answer questions about what they believe and why they believe it. Make them defend their faith. Introduce questions and challenges, and help them to see that they don’t know as much as they think they know. 

Second, you can role-play with them. One of the things I’ve been doing a lot recently in my work is role-playing a Mormon to test them theologically and role-playing an atheist to test them in their apologetics. When I’m a Mormon, I’ll defend Mormon doctrine from the Bible and then I’ll force them to defend Christian doctrine from the Bible. That has a way of exposing them and letting them see that they don’t know a whole lot. Sometimes, that can be very helpful in waking them up from their apathy. 

Another thing we need to do is get them off the sidelines and into the game. So much of church activity, training, and discipleship happens behind the four walls of the church. By the time they are in high school, students should be ready to get into the world. We need to create opportunities for them to get outside those church walls and get into real live conversations with unbelievers, skeptics, atheists, and their non-Christian friends. 

You can take them to a place where they can do surveys. You can take them to a local mosque, or a Buddhist temple, or have a visit with some Mormon missionaries. Create opportunities for them to dialogue with people who don’t believe what they believe. 

Get them into the game. Just think about a football game. Who are those that are least apathetic? Those are the starters. They’re off the bench and in the game. In the same way, we want to get our students off the bench and into the game, and that has a way of waking them up. 

Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. Sometimes you’ve got a student that’s just apathetic, and none of your efforts wake them up. With that student, you just have to pray really hard and trust that God is going to do his work. Invest in those students that are teachable. Those are some ways we can wake up our students from their apathy. 

Brett Kunkle