Youth-orientated apologetics ministry in Canada aims to keep up with phenomenal growth
One of Canada's youth-orientated ministries has put a call out to help them raise $30,000 to keep going.
Apologetics Canada, known for their annual conferences in both eastern and western Canada, has been growing phenomenally over the past seven years.
“That ministry just began to take off and quickly and people started realising how valuable it was,” director Andy Steiger said. “Especially as more and more people started knowing other people or friends or family or sons or daughters that were leaving the faith or wrestling with difficult questions.”
They even have plans to begin offering a scholarship for young students of the discipline later this year in honour of a young apologist who passed away following a skiing accident in March. However, they have found themselves behind budget as the ministry continues to grow since its inception seven years ago.
“We are starting to see the idea of apologetics and the word itself is becoming a household name. More and more people understand what it means and why it is important,” Steiger said.
“I have seen the church embrace the idea that they need to help their people understand what they believe and why they should believe it.”
They have even expanded beyond Canada’s borders with their Thinking Series, which addresses the top questions Christians wrestle with, Steiger explained.
“That resource is being used across the United States, Canada and Europe and places like South Africa. That just keeps increasing. We continue to have more and more churches and individuals purchasing and using that resource.”
Overall, Steiger said the ministry has been opening doors for Christians to discuss challenges of the faith.
“One of the biggest developments is getting people to talk to each other.”
Regardless of the financial challenges this year Steiger said they had faith the ministry would survive.
“God has provided every time we have had our financial challenges.”
Steiger, who founded Apologetics Canada with his wife Nancy in 2010, said they have come a long way from the early days.
“I started Apologetics Canada in my basement - in my garage - if you will and a lot of people said this is an unusual ministry and weren't really sure what it was about or that it was really needed,” he explained. But that changed quickly, he added.
“All of a sudden it became a very relevant ministry.”
He moved to Canada from Portland to study and earned his BA in Biblical Studies but it wasn’t until after university that he discovered apologetics.
“I read Lee Strobel's book Case for Christ after I graduated from Bible college because I found that as soon as I got into ministry that Apologetics was absolutely essential.”
As an experienced ministry worker, Steiger said the organization’s focus has been on strengthening those in the church.
“We are a young adult-focused ministry but we do a lot with the church. I think that was one of the things needed and still is a huge need. A lot of time these nonprofits are no longer a part of the church and they don't understand how the church works. They don't understand how pastors think and what they are dealing with,” he explained.
“Because I had been a pastor for so long and still am, I still work with the church, I do, if you will, speak their language and understood them. I understood what scared churches off from non-profits and what would work with them and what would actually help them. That has been very successful.”
Since launching Apologetics Canada, Steiger has taken on the role of young adult ministry leader at Northview Community Church in Abbottsford. The church also houses his apologetics organization though the two remain distinct.
“People at Northview and the staff they don’t really see a distinction in some ways between Apologetics Canada and Northview but there is,” he said.
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