EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported Hanna Sims’ name. The article was corrected at 12:20 p.m., April 16.
KANSAS CITY – The idea of apologetics can conjure up academic study, formal debates and deep intellectual arguments aimed at convincing adult minds of the truth behind the gospel.
For Hanna Sims, a member of Red Bridge Baptist Church, here, that doesn’t have to be the case. Apologetics can – and should be – translated for younger minds; into “childrenese,” the language of children.
“Children are sometimes a forgotten generation,” she said. “They say children don’t make up 100 percent of our population, but they do make up 100 percent of our future.”
Sims became a believer thanks in part to an adult that took the time to intentionally share the gospel with her. She grew up in a Christian family and was often in church, but when she was challenged by close friends, she often didn’t have an answer to their objections to Christianity.
“I knew it was true, and I just didn’t have that response,” she said.
That’s where apologetics helped her not only strengthen her faith, but learn to reason with others. In high school, Sims began devouring books on apologetics like, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, and “Tactics” by Gregory Koukl.
“Those were a powerful tool and a strong encouragement to me,” she said. “I didn’t have to feel like it all rested on me or that I had to convince the; I learned I just had to share the truth as He’s equipped me to do.”
And now as an adult, Sims wants to make sure others are equipped to share as well, specifically as it relates to children. She’s involved in her Red Bridge’s children’s ministry in various ways, especially in making sure they’re equipped to defend and share their faith.
“A lot of times, we wait until their teenagers because we think that’s when they’re struggling with things,” she said. “Or we focus on adults because we think they’re the ones who can impact the world. But children are interested. They have that childlike faith and humility, and when we teach them, they’re eager to grasp onto that.”
Waiting to fully equip young generations until middle school or high school can be dangerous, Sims said.
“They often don’t know how to reconcile what they’ve been taught at home and in church with the lies they’re hearing from the world. That’s why it’s important to bring these truths to their level. They need the meat of God’s Word and the equipping for their own walk and to share with others. Instead of building a hospital at the bottom of the hill to treat teens after they’ve fallen down the hill, we’re helping them build a fence or a wall at the top of the hill so they don’t fall down.”
Sims also runs www.networkerstec.com, a ministry that teaches, equips and connects those seeking to build up the next generation for the Kingdom. She offers various workshops and training material there, as well as resources to jumpstart a children’s or youth ministry.
Sims is part of the Missouri Baptist Apologetics Network. For her contact information, apologetic resources and more about the network, go to https://mobaptist.org/apologetics/mban/ or call 573.636.0400.