I have been asked to give a short (20-30 minute) presentation to our Catholic Junior High Ministry group about apologetics. There will be roughly 50 kids ages 11-14, 7th and 8th graders all. It’s this Sunday!
Apologetics is something of a hobby of mine, and has certainly taught me a LOT more about my faith. My initial thought was to spend some time discussing the why and the how of it, rather than getting into the specifics of defending this or that doctrine.
Any thoughts? What would you NOT want your child to hear? What would you MOST want your child to learn?
there is an apologetics pamphlet, created by teens for teens by some Bible-belt Catholic teens and their youth leaders who were always being confronted by their fundamentalist friends. It is called Rock It’s a Catholic Thing, from Contemplation Corner Press, very reasonably priced. contemplationcornerpress.com
I always found that something lacking when speaking to pre-teens and teens about the church is that the speaker always tends to go into “Why you are required” or “Why you should be doing this” instead of “How doing this can enrich your life”
Let’s take for example a most common problem. Church attendance. I attended Catholic School, if a person said they did not attend mass, the response was invariably “You have to attend mass, to do otherwise is a mortal sin”
The arguement at the time (from those who even identified as Christian, many in my school identified as Atheist/Agnostic), was that they could do things like take a walk in the woods and feel the presence of God, thus avoiding any need for church. This concept was (rather harshly) shot down by our Theology teachers.
What many of us came to understand after graduation was that sacrifice can enrich your spirit and make you feel closer to Jesus. Sometimes waking up in the morning for mass is difficult, but getting up even though you’re tired or you want to sit around and watch TV is a sacrifice you are offering to God. As we sacrifice, we can appreciate what Jesus did for us.
Overall, the one thing I must recommend is that you avoid anything that sounds even remotely like “Because I (or the church ) say so” the answer just tends to provoke people and they may just try to find their answers elsewhere.