Hello Joe (@jobobear). I do agree with @SeanO. In my personal experience as well, even if there’s an abundance of resources in the internet age, people don’t actively pursue them. Questions which I am asked could be searched easily on the internet. Some are scared in a sense that they are not sure if the article or book they are reading is credible. In addition, some people are so busy that they don’t have time on their own to check out these resources.
So for me, an apologetics ministry in the local church is needed. Fears about whether a resource is good or not will be lessened, because church leaders whom they trust can help facilitate the meeting for them. Aside from that, the particular needs of the local church will be answered. Some articles that we read may address a particular concern for a Western culture, which may not be something which a particular Southeast Asian culture may be struggling with. So having this ministry in the local church can help us see how different cultures can benefit from a particular apologetic concern. People who don’t have the time to check the resources, but have the time to go to these gathering at church can benefit immensely. They can use their learnings immediately when they go to their particular type of work.
A local church apologetics ministry can help people see apologetics being practiced on a grassroots level. We have experience of people seeing apologetics merely as what Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig does, that you go around universities and give a knockout answer to a question (so they see apologetics as something which is not for them). But apologetics could be life-on-life as well, which is messy and may take time, which we do daily as we share our views with our non-believer friends. I’ve been encouraged by students who share with me how they defend the faith in their own words to other skeptics, and how it made them bold in sharing the gospel and in discipling others.
So yes, I do see a need for it. A particular local church is situated on a particular community which has a particular narrative with particular needs. Even people who attend the church have their own particular narrative and needs as well. Having an apologetics ministry for a local church can help people on that local church reach out to their community by addressing the personal objections of those people, and also disciple people in the area for the glory of God. This can help in the development of future leaders in the church as well, which will benefit the local church further. The oversight of the pastors and leaders in this particular ministry can help as well in making sure sound doctrine is protected as people seek to grow in the life of the mind. At least these are some things that come to mind when I think about it.