5 Essential Steps for Teaching Kids to Defend Their Faith
Apolo-what? Apologetics. In 1 Peter 3:15 the Bible tells Christians that part of our sanctification is being "ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and respect." The word Peter uses for "defense" is the Greek word "apologia," from which we get the word apologetics. So apologetics is the discipline of giving a reasoned defense of what you believe.
Here is an amazing clip of Stephen Colbert actually attempting apologetics in a somewhat humorous way to defend the faith against agnostic scholar Bart Ehrman! While I think Colbert scores a point or two, I do believe that there are far better apologists who can dismantle Ehrman's ideas, and I'll get to them later.
My wife and I know from personal interaction with people that there are Christian students who "lose their faith" in college or once they are out in the workforce. How many? We don't know for certain. Here is an article that examines some data from George Barna.
We did not want our kids to walk away from the faith we hold dear. They will be confronted by friends from other beliefs, and we want them well-prepared to explain what they believe and to defend it. And if learning and teaching this isn't important to us, it sure isn't going to be important to our kids. It is the job of pastors and other spiritual leaders (Sunday School/Catechism teachers, VBS leaders, Youth ministers) to teach our kids. But it's not their job alone.
Just as God instructed Israel in Deuteronomy 6:7, and the church in Ephesians 6:4, it is primarily the parents' responsibility. We are not "experts" and we did not do everything perfectly, but here is what we did and here are some of the resources we used in teaching apologetics to our teenagers.