If you’d like the young person in your life to grow deeper in their faith and more able to live it out in this culture, I’ve got a suggestion.
If you’re a mom or a dad like me, your dearest hope is that your children will grow up to know and love God. To be followers of Jesus Christ, live out His call on their lives in a way that brings God glory.
But you also know that your kids live in a world that is, to put it mildly, no longer conducive to Christian faith. Distractions, temptations, outright spiritual assaults await them—whether at school, on their smart phone, or from their peers.
You do all the “ordinary” things. And ordinary is not a bad word. You pray with your kids. You take them to church and youth group. But these are not ordinary times. So please, let me suggest something extraordinary you can do for your child.
For 14 years, I along with other Christian leaders have committed part of my summers to teach at Summit Ministries. There’s no other ministry that does a better job training young Christians in Christian worldview and apologetics, and preparing them to live out their faith in this culture.
That’s why I tell everyone, if you have a son or daughter ages 16 through 22, send them to a Summit Ministries conference this summer.
For two weeks, young people are given an intensive, life-changing immersion into Christian faith and worldview. They learn from the best Christian worldview teachers out there. They are exposed to the great Christian thinkers they need to know about and read. And they experience the truth of Christ not just in lectures and readings, but also in community: in relationships with their peers, with mentors, and with teachers, who together are committed to growing in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ and influencing the culture for Christ.
I can guarantee you, they love it. Summit conferences are held in the mountains of Colorado, on the beaches of California, and in the hills of Tennessee. You can learn more at Summit.org.
And please know, your child does not have to be one of those “on fire for the Lord” kids to attend. In fact, many students who attend are questioning their faith, they’re struggling to discover their purpose in life, and are asking those very tough questions. And why shouldn’t they? The culture, many of their peers, and even some of their teachers openly question Christianity or deny that there’s such a thing as truth.
Take the story of Blake Roeber, now a philosophy professor at Notre Dame. Over a decade ago, his parents asked him to attend a Summit conference after his first year of college. Blake went, he now admits, just to “appease” his parents.
But when he got to Summit, the people he encountered surprised him. “My first conversations with philosophically-minded Christians were at Summit,” he says. “Before attending Summit, I didn’t think it was possible to be both thoughtful and a Christian.” In fact, after being introduced to modern Christian philosophers like Alvin Plantinga and William Alston, Blake realized he wanted to become a Christian philosopher himself.
More importantly, Blake became a Christian the fall after his first summer at Summit, and he returned to become a Summit staffer. Now he’s a husband and a father, and he’s straightforward about the impact Summit had on his life: “I doubt I would have studied philosophy,” he says. “I doubt I would have become a Christian, and I doubt I would be doing anything valuable with my life.”
So folks, whether your young person is strong in their faith or still seeking, you will not regret sending him or her to a Summit Ministries conference. In fact, I’d guess that when your child comes back, you will hear those precious words, “Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad. And can I buy some good books?”
For more information on Summit summer conferences and to get an early registration discount, come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary. We’ll link you to them.
Here's a great opportunity to have your high school/college age student exposed to some of the best Christian thinkers, speakers, and resources. Click on the link below to get information about registration at a Summit Ministries conference this summer.
Student Summer Conference Registration 2016