Welcome Prospective Host Church!
Thank you for the opportunity to introduce you to Grassroots Apologetics for Parents (GAP)! We are a Bible-centered ministry that works with local churches to launch and host chapters that equip parents with a deeper understanding of the Christian worldview and apologetics (how to make a case for and defend the truth of Christianity). Our passion is to help close the “GAP” that exists for parents between knowing the world will challenge their kids’ faith and knowing what to do about it.
Here you'll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about GAP.
Why should my church prioritize apologetics?
Barna Group research shows that an astounding number of kids (at least 60%) are walking away from the Christian faith they were raised with, and less than half return to some level of church involvement. (You can find a list of the many related studies here.) Kids are rejecting Christianity because they no longer believe it’s true. If we’re going to reverse this trend, kids must be better prepared for the challenging secular world they’ll encounter. They need to know what they believe and why they believe it so they can have a deeply rooted and confident faith that’s ready to withstand today’s challenges. This knowledge also enables kids to boldly share their faith with others and give a defense when challenged. As 1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.”
Parents have the primary responsibility for raising their kids with an understanding of these answers. Unfortunately, however, most parents are unequipped themselves, and are often very intimidated, to teach their children apologetics. GAP wants to change that by working with churches around the world to host local chapters that bring parents together for regular meetings where they’ll receive apologetics training and support.
What, exactly, is a host church?
A host church is a church that agrees to be the "home base" for a GAP chapter. We know that as a church leader, you’re extremely busy and are constantly pulled in many different directions. GAP works to make being a host church as little work as possible! The main role of the host church is committing to providing a facility for GAP meetings/events and offering promotional support as needed. Chapters are led by a Parent Ambassador who is passionate about developing developing GAP at your church and will take care of all coordination.
How long is the host church commitment?
GAP has a long term vision for chapters. We want to develop local groups that grow in fellowship and learning over years! That said, we're not asking you to sign up for a 10-year commitment to a new program. We're reasonable people. We ask that if you sign up to host, you commit to just one year. We're confident you'll see the value and want to continue after that.
So what do people do at GAP meetings?
The goal of a GAP chapter is to complete two 10- or 12-week apologetics/worldview studies each year--one in the fall and one in the winter/spring. The actual dates are up to individual host churches and are therefore flexible around your schedule. The Parent Ambassador is responsible for leading these weekly discussions and are provided with the materials they need.
While GAP is developed around studies, it's important to understand that it's not designed to just be a study. We pray that GAP groups form long term connections between members who will support one another in raising kids with confident faith. It's both fellowship and learning.
What is the GAP curriculum?
GAP does not have its own curriculum, but rather uses relevant resources already available.
All GAP chapters use the book Keeping Your Kids on God's Side: 40 Conversations to Help Them Build a Lasting Faith as the first study and Talking with Your Kids about God: 30 Conversations Every Parent Must Have as the second study. Both of these books are written by Natasha Crain.
Keeping Your Kids on God's Side introduces parents to 40 of the most important faith challenges facing Christian kids today. Conversations cover the subject areas of God, truth and worldviews, Jesus, the Bible, and Science. Keeping Your Kids on God’s Side was selected as a 2017 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Christian Book Award Finalist.
Talking with Your Kids about God is the natural next reading step for parents after Keeping Your Kids on God's Side. It dives deeper into 30 conversations specifically about God.
After chapters have completed this first year of foundational study, GAP provides several recommendations for what to study next. Chapters decide which subjects they would like to focus on. You might think of GAP as having two "general education" requirements (the first two studies) and then many electives for continued learning.
Why these two books specifically?
While there are many wonderful apologetics books available (many of which we recommend for the "electives" after the first year!), these two books are the only apologetics books written specifically for parents. As such, they are written in a tone and style that appeal to parents who wouldn't normally pick up an apologetics book.
Crain is a respected voice in the area of apologetics for parents and her books have been endorsed by Sean McDowell, Frank Turek, Nancy Pearcey, J. Warner Wallace, Jeff Myers, Craig Hazen, Andy Bannister, Melissa Cain Travis, and Brett Kunkle. Her writing has been featured in Focus on the Family Magazine and the Christian Research Journal, and she speaks nationally at churches and conferences.
But do parents even read books anymore?
Good question! :) It's true that people often don't read as much as they should. However, we've found that once parents understand the deep need to gain the knowledge the GAP program offers, they are motivated to do the studies. Video series, while popular, simply can't offer the same opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge.
What if we have mostly grandparents in our church?
Although we are called Grassroots Apologetics for Parents, that's just for the convenience of not having to say "for Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Neighbors, and All Adult Christians Who Have Spiritual Influence in the Life of a Child!" We LOVE grandparents and believe they are a critical part of raising up the next generation. GAP is perfect fit for grandparents as well as parents.
This sounds great, but my church is really small. I'm not sure we have enough people for a GAP chapter.
There is no size requirement for a GAP chapter! Even if you're equipping a small handful of families in your church, you are making a big impact for future generations. But we also want to make sure you know that host churches are supposed to be a "hub" for members of other churches to attend GAP as well. If you promote GAP to other churches in your area, you may have a much bigger group than you think!
OK, I'm in. How do I sign up for this amazing program?
We're so glad you asked! If you already have a Parent Ambassador who has approached you about signing up to be a host church, just let him or her know and they will register your church.
If you don't yet have a Parent Ambassador, talk to those in your church who may be interested in leading a group and share this site with them. They can learn about being a Parent Ambassador here and fill out an interest form.
Thank you for your interest in GAP!