Brett's monthly letter for November 2013
Do students really want apologetic training? Last month more than 600 people, most of them students, showed up for our second annual reTHINK Student Apologetics Conference in Orange County, California, and gave a resounding “yes.”
I put together an intense conference schedule, with eight different apologetic training sessions spread out over a Friday night and Saturday. That’s more than eight hours of classroom training. Students loved it.
I brought in speakers who were engaging communicators: Scott Klusendorf, John Stonestreet, Greg Koukl, Alan Shlemon, J. Warner Wallace, and J.P. Jones. However, these guys did not dumb down their talks. Instead, they raised the bar of expectations for those middle schoolers, high schoolers, and collegians. Students loved it.
We covered intellectually demanding topics like worldview, the problem of evil and suffering, abortion, tolerance, tactics, the resurrection of Jesus, intelligent design, evolution, and Islam. To close out the conference, I challenged the youth with a merciless atheist role-play. Students loved it. How do I know? Because they said so.
- “Our kids voted unanimously to return next year. We have never gotten such an enthusiastic response to a conference before. Well done everyone!” – Andrew
- “Our group will be back next year without a doubt, but we hope to bring more from the Imperial Valley. Thank you for such an awesome experience. I have been blessed personally by all of your ministries and I was blessed even further because of the impact you had on the kids we brought.” – Matt
- “Thank you to everyone involved. It was a brilliant and practical conference. You did a terrific job. Thank you for your faithfulness. Gives me hope that our world has a chance with these youth!” – Felicia
- “I know everyone from my group really enjoyed it, and are talking about coming back next year…and talking about bringing others with them.” – John
- “Thank you all so much! The Hilde family was challenged and equipped all at the same time. God was definitely glorified this weekend.” – Michelle
I want to remind you that you play a vital part in all of this. First, last month I asked you to pray specifically “that we effectively equip students to stand for the truth of the Gospel” at the reTHINK Conference. You prayed, and God’s Spirit worked in young lives. Second, I have asked you to support my work financially. You have, and my work at Stand to Reason is sustained. Without you, there is no Student Impact Director position. Without this position, there is no reTHINK Conference. And without October’s Rethink Conference, there is no impact from this event in the lives of hundreds of students.
Your support makes my work a reality, and I thank the Lord for you.
Helping students rethink their worldview,
STR Student Impact