25 Years Ago, We Never Could Have Imagined This…

Author Greg Koukl Published on 12/01/2018

A quarter of a century is a long time.

In 1993, Melinda Penner and I started Stand to Reason with a vision and a prayer and a small band of volunteers, never imagining 25 years later it would have international reach and global impact, by God’s hand and your help—that tens of thousands would be trained as effective ambassadors, standing for Christ in turbulent times. Yet here we are.

Many STR friends have told me that, because of their parents, we’ve been in their lives since they were kids. Now parents themselves, they’re passing the baton—through STR—to their own children. “We can never repay you for what God has done in our life through you,” one told me. “Nothing describes how blessed our family is as a result.”

Over the past 25 years, students have been both challenged and instructed in dozens of universities both here and abroad. We’ve done debates on campuses and on national radio and TV with atheists, New Age gurus, and skeptics of all sorts.

Our team members have been guests on countless radio shows and even TV, featured in multiple documentaries, and been plenary speakers in the biggest apologetics conferences in the country. We’ve spoken in virtually every state in the union and in over a dozen countries on five continents.

Former STR speakers have struck out on their own, now having massive impact heading their own enterprises—Scott Klusendorf with Life Training Institute, Stephen Wagner with Justice for All, J. Warner Wallace with Cold-Case Christianity, and now Brett Kunkle with Maven.

It’s been quite a ride. But we have not done it alone. We are so thankful for you and other faithful prayer warriors and generous financial partners from all over the world who’ve held us up, keeping us in the fight year after year. We are making a huge difference together!

But there’s no time to rest because we’re not done yet. Attacks on our convictions from the cultural elites have only intensified. Even many believers identify more with relativism than with a biblical worldview. We should not—no, we cannot—pause. We must forge ahead boldly and with strength. Truth is on our side. But we can’t proceed without you. We need your financial support and prayers more than ever.

Melinda’s terrible accident last December sidelined her indefinitely, but that tragedy has not slowed us down. Her legacy continues with the incredible team she trained—now completely reorganized and expanded—moving ahead full throttle. In fact, at 25, we’re really hitting our stride. One word describes my aim for our future: Forward!

  • Our regional reTHINK Apologetics Student Conferences continue to impact the next generation of Christian Ambassadors. We expect 2019 to rival attendance in 2018 where we had a total of almost 5,500 students, parents, and leaders in Dallas, Birmingham, and Southern California (which was completely sold out!). In November, we’re praying for 3,000 young people for our first Midwest reTHINK at Grace Church Eden Prairie, the largest church in Minnesota.
  • We’re launching a completely rebuilt, up-to-date, user-friendly, multi-platform website, with hundreds of videos, thousands of articles, new bloggers, and self-directed online apologetics training capability (think Khan Academy).
  • We’re adding more speakers, staff, and content providers to increase our impact.
  • This year The Story of Reality won two national “Book of the Year” awards. In 2019, Zondervan will release a Reality study guide, Reality group study DVDs, and the 10-year-anniversary 2nd edition of the best-seller, Tactics.

All this is possible only because of faithful financial partners like you. And 2019 promises so much more. This kind of impact and vision for the future has inspired a group of dedicated partners to pledge $230,000 this month to challenge you and other friends to give generously to equal or exceed their gift. Will you accept the Challenge and send your best gift today?

A recent event attendee told us, “Though I realize I don’t know as much about God as I’d like to, reTHINK has kindled a desire to learn more about Him and I love it!” You and the next generation of Christian Ambassadors like this student are why your gift now is so critical. We have big momentum, big plans for next year, and a big need of your help so we can forge ahead. But we will not spend money we don’t have—it’s not our way—so I’m simply asking you to give aggressively this month.

A strong finish this year propels us forward into 2019 with the resources we need to continue equipping more churches, students, and individuals to resist the cultural tide with unwavering commitment to our vision of “Confidence for every Christian, clear thinking for every challenge, and courage and grace for every encounter.”

And when you send your gift to us, we have something special for you. We call it our “Best of STR” package*, a multimedia set of some of our most popular resources.

Please consider the Challenge. Every dollar you give today will move STR that much closer to meeting—and even exceeding—the $230,000 Challenge amount. I hope to hear from you by December 31, and when I do I’ll send you the “Best of STR” gift package to say thank you for your generous gift. It’s a tremendous help to us and will be a tremendous help to you and all who are equipped to stand in confident and gracious defense of Christianity.

So grateful for your kindness,

Gregory Koukl

P.S. I can’t emphasize enough how much your friendship with STR means to every member on our team. I look forward to all we’ll accomplish together in 2019. Let’s end 2018 with full strength by exceeding the $230,000 Challenge Gift!

Click here to give to STR

* The “Best of STR” multimedia package features: 1. The Story of Reality: Creation, Design, Fall, and Redemption (DVD video), 2. The Columbo Tactic: How to Maneuver with Grace in Any Conversation (DVD video), 3. Dear Friend: Letters to Christian Ambassadors (book), 4. The Ambassador’s Guide to Pluralism (book), 5. Never Read a Bible Verse (CD audio), 6. Jesus, the Only Way (quick-reference card), 7. MP3 collection of select radio commentary, interviews, calls, and #STRask podcasts (USB thumb drive).