The intellectual and moral challenges facing our young people are immense. It's time for the church to step up the training and discipleship of our students. At Stand to Reason, we're doing our best to help parents and leaders with this task.
That's why we’re hosting the Rethink Student Apologetics Conference this coming October. Last year, people from around the country—from Northern California, Nevada, Ohio, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, and even Canada—attended our Southern California conference. So this year we’re doing it again. We’ll host the Rethink conference in Orange County, California, on October 25-26.
So, how is this apologetics conference tailored specifically for students? Here's what we’re doing:
#1 – Elevate our expectations: When it comes to the spiritual training of its students, the church has set the bar low. Indeed, it's so low that the majority of our young people now are almost completely inarticulate about their faith. Many churches are satisfied if their students come to youth group once-a-week and hear a 30 minute inspirational message. Not us. We know students are capable of handling a lot more, so we’ll give them a ton of content: six main teaching sessions, each over an hour-long, and additional workshops. We fit all of that into a Friday night and all-day Saturday. Last year, as we elevated our expectations for students, they ate it up. We heard student after student rave about the conference.
#2 – Make it accessible: We’re careful to pick speakers who not only know their stuff, but can make the content accessible to young minds. No, this does not mean dumbing down the content, but communicating it in ways students can grasp. When we don't make apologetics accessible, we run the risk of making it seem irrelevant and then students write-off the whole endeavor. So, having a Ph.D. or being a well-known author are not prerequisites for our speakers. Being an engaging communicator and excellent translator are.
#3 – Make it interactive: We aren’t satisfied with students merely sitting through some teaching sessions. We want them interacting with the material and reflecting on it throughout the conference. Therefore, we’ve built in 15 minutes of Q & A at the end of every single talk, giving students an opportunity for immediate interaction. In addition, most of our speakers will able to be there for the majority of the conference and won’t be hiding out in a comfy speakers-only room. No, they’ll be "out and about" amongst the students. Lastly, students will get a chance to test out the things they’ve learned with some role-play during our final session.
Students want us to take them deeper, much deeper. And that’s why students raved about last year’s conference. In fact, adults are asking if they can attend as well. Our answer? Yes, as long as you bring a student with you. So, we hope to see you and your students this October!
You can get all the details for both Rethink conferences at www.rethinkapologetics.com.