“How do you identify?
This question has certainly captured the attention of the nation. Identity has replaced other means for determining who one is. People use terms denoting family relationships, work, and orientation to say who they are. Two terms can be used to describe me, among others:
Christian and Apologist.
Those two terms speak to my activities for the year 2022. I would like to report to you on the year 2022 and my ministry activities.
The Mark Riser – Apologist blog is my primary means of apologetics ministry and outreach. I have been producing weekly articles and posts for the people who subscribe and follow me on Twitter. In 2022, I restarted the regular post Crucial Questions: An Apologetics Catechism, which seeks to break down the discipline and study of apologetics into basic questions and answers. In the first second of Crucial Question, I am examining apologetics, its meaning, and its application to the Christian and church ministry. In other major posts, I reviewed the report by Guidepost Solutions to the Southern Baptist Convention concerning the handling by the SBC Executive Committee of sexual abuse claims and made a Biblical response to the popular-level claim of rape in the account of David and Bathsheba. Those articles can be reviewed at my website.
Brookwood Baptist Church is where my wife and I have our church membership. I serve as a small group leader, called a Life Group which meets off of the church campus. In 2022, we took a major step to begin an apologetic-related study for our meetings, J. Warner Wallace’s Cold Case Christianity. This study was well received by my friends as bringing a deeper level to our Bible study efforts. Also, several incidents of illness, hospitalization, and the resultant ministry efforts worked to bring us closer together as a group. We do regard our Life Group as a second family. I continue to serve as Deacon and on the Deacon Leadership Team at our church. In 2022, we complete a small-group discipleship curriculum which should lead to more intense efforts in the coming year. Also, in 2022, I joined the Guest Services team as a greeter. In various stations at the entrances to our church and worship center, the team is the first line to welcome both members and guests to our church. During 2022, I substituted in our Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study services for our Associate Pastor John Harp three times.
I continue to serve as President of the Shreveport Chapter of the leading science-faith apologetics organization, Reasons To Believe. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month at Brookwood Baptist Church. I have had the privilege of working to bring two new officers onto my Leadership Team, and supervising their officer training activities. They have been great assets to our chapter. In 2022, we completed a series based on Kenneth Samples’ book, Christianity Cross-Examined. I made three presentations during this series, which were helpful to our members. As a finale to the year, we held a special event featuring a Zoom conversation with Dr. Hugh Ross, founder of Reasons To Believe, which focused on a challenge to personal evangelism.
Through 2022, I have tried to be intentional in discipleship. My Bible study time has taken me to the books of Galatians, Leviticus, and Acts. I am writing a weekly set of comments on Acts which focus on the apologetics work of the early church. My prayer goal for the last year was to be less formal and formulaic in prayer to our Heavenly Father and to bathe my ministry activities in prayer.
I am thankful that God has allowed me to identify as a Christian and I am grateful for the ministry of apologetics that God has given to me and thankful to each of you for your participation in it.
If you haven’t done so, subscribe to my page for content about apologetics and discipleship.
Next week, I’ll share with you my goals for the new year of 2023.