One of the main reasons I left public office in 2006 was because I wanted to be more involved in evangelism—the spreading of the gospel. Yet, in a self-assessment of my own abilities, I knew I would make a pretty mediocre preacher. I figured the last thing the world needed was another mediocre preacher.
Not knowing what to do, I started praying a rather outrageous prayer. I thought that if somehow God could answer it, then I would know He could use me to help accomplish something great for His Kingdom. For over four years I prayed, “Father, make me the greatest evangelist to this generation without ever having to preach a sermon.” Now you have to admit that is outrageous—right? How could God ever answer such a prayer?
Then one day in 2010, I ran into Ratio Christi on the internet. Immediately, I knew this was the answer to my prayer, and said to my wife Terry, “This is a mass movement ready to happen.” This fledgling organization was under the leadership of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte for a few years, but in early 2011 they turned the reins over to me and, thus, Ratio Christi was established as an independent non-profit organization.
In just a little over a year, Ratio Christi has grown from about 12 chapters to over 75 chapters at universities across the nation, and this growth rate shows no signs of letting up. Each one of these chapters has an apologist on campus to equip young people with the philosophical, historical and scientific evidence for why Christianity is objectively true. With the help of speakers and materials for other apologetic ministries, our apologists are training up a new generation of young, well trained evangelists. And each year these students become more and more confident in their faith and their ability to be effective faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Each semester during their college career these students tackle the tough questions and objections to Christianity in a very hostile environment—the university campus. Rather than run away from the confrontations, they are learning that Christianity can stand up to the intellectual scrutiny of skeptics, atheists, Muslims and all the other worldviews on campus. Many students become confident enough to initiate conversations that many Christians are afraid to deal with.
I love how one student from Ohio State put it. He said,
Ratio Christi…taught me how to share my faith more effectively. Before Ratio Christi I found it difficult to witness to others about Christ. Well, with Ratio Christi, every week was an adventure on campus to witness to people. We saw God work and bless us with great conversations and even a few on-the-spot conversions.
Ratio Christi is training young people to be defenders (apologists) for Christianity, and evangelists for Jesus Christ. Our goal is to have at least 500 chapters over the next five years, and 1,000 of them in the next ten years. Each year, some of these students graduate and go on to graduate school or into their careers. Each one is equipped to defend the faith, to provide evidence that Christianity is true, and to demonstrate that Jesus is exactly who He said He was.
Let’s extrapolate this vision out ten years. Imagine 1,000 chapters graduating only five students each year. That’s 5,000 new apologetics oriented evangelists every year that move into the marketplace. I am not talking about professional preachers. I am just talking about regular people in regular jobs. That is 5,000 new people every year that can not only defend their faith and show the weaknesses of other worldviews, but who can also present the simple truth of Christianity to a lost and corrupt culture.
Ratio Christi students are also being trained to teach what they are taught. Imagine if these 5,000 lay apologists started teaching Sunday school, youth groups, or cell groups in their churches. As the Apostle Paul said to Timothy “Taking the things which they heard, and entrusting it to other faithful men and women who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2).”
I may never be able to preach a great evangelistic sermon, but I am doing what God has given me the ability to do. I am working diligently to organize the largest “grassroots evangelistic campaign” possible.
With my small team, we are placing a resident apologist on every university campus. We are working on a strategic plan to launch an international division of Ratio Christi to do the same thing all around the world. And we are in the early development stages of Ratio Christi College Prep program to reach middle school and high school students.
This is where you come into this vision. We need your help to get this done. There are many ways for you to be directly involved in this ministry beyond simply writing a check. We have so much opportunity, but we need the manpower to manage it–and that costs money.