I recently had the chance to role play a Mormon for an unsuspecting group of Christians at a church in Southern California. You can watch the encounter below. I'm no longer surprised by how ill-equipped long-time Christians can be, but it still saddens me. However, it also motivates me to get out there and train as many people as I possibly can.
Listen to these Christians engage "Elder Kunkle" and then ask, "How would my church, Sunday school class, small group, youth group, students, etc. do in that situation?" And let it motivate you too.
I must say, I loved the responses to this week's challenge. If you haven't read them, go read them. And yes, I think there's a lot of wisdom in dealing with the mockery of this challenge first. Here's my response to some of the issues brought up:
Christian parents need help from the Body of Christ, as we work to ground our kids in the historic truths of Christianity. I work full time for an apologetics ministry and I know without a doubt that I need help in this area. It's vital our kids see not only mom and dad as models of thoughtful Christianity, but have other examples, as well. Thankfully, there are more and more good worldview and apologetics training opportunities around the country for our students, led by incredible people. Check them out and get your students signed up:
And of course, all of this activity culminates in the premeire youth conference of the year: Stand to Reason's reTHINK Student Apologetics Conference on September 26 and 27 in Orange County, California. Okay, maybe I'm a bit biased...but you still won't want to miss reTHINK.
If you want to develop a strategy for training your youth in Christian worldview and apologetics, join me tonight for a free training event for parents, youth leaders, pastors, and Christian educators right here, starting at 7:00 pm (PDT). We'll be watching the comments below for your questions. See you then! (More info here.)
Faced with the daunting task of raising kids amidst such challenges, the parental impulse to over-protect is strong. "It's a big bad world out there, so hide the kids in the basement. For the rest of their lives." Yeah, that approach won't do. Even though we're not called to be of the world, we're still called to be in it. Hiding out is not an option, so let me suggest a different strategy: don't isolate your kids, inoculate them. Protection is appropriate at certain stages, but it can't be our overall strategy. Instead, we must be proactive. We must equip our kids with the truth so they're not taken captive by false ideas (Colossians 2:8). But how? What can we do? What practical steps do we need to take?
Well, this Thursday night, April 24th, at 7:00 pm (Pacific Time), I'll try to help layout a practical strategy and answer your questions. "How To Train Your Kids" is a free online training event to help parents, youth leaders, pastors and Christian educators equip their students with the truth. You can join the discussion several different ways:
Ask questions via Twitter, using the hashtag #STRask
I'm in this battle right alongside you, have been for the last 20 years. I spent 11 years as a youth pastor in Southern California and in Colorado. I also have five kids of my own, ages 19, 12, 11, 6, and 2. I've made my share of mistakes, and I've also learned a lot along the way. I hope to offer some practical strategies that I've used with my youth groups and with my own kids. So let's talk this Thursday night. I hope you'll join us!
*Note: This live video event will take the place of our normal weekly challenge question.
As a parent of 5 kids, summer gets expensive. I have to pay for swim lessons, soccer camps, VBS, youth group trips, family vacations, and more. And these costs don't even include feeding my kids all summer!
If you're a parent, this might be pretty typical for your family as well. Summer provides all kind of opportunities, but they come with corresponding expenses. Still, most parents will make the investment. "My kid needs to attend summer football camp for his high school team?" No problem. "Pay for swim lessons?" Sure. "Academic tutoring?" Of course. I know parents willing to spend thousands of dollars on sports, academics, and other extracurricular activities. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I want to know how many parents are willing to put the same investment of time and money into their children's spiritual training. I do a lot of training with parents and I challenge them on this very point. So, I've had to put my money where my mouth is.
During my oldest daughter's junior and senior year of high school, our biggest summer investment was a 2-week trip to Colorado. Altogether, each trip cost us about $1,300. Where did we send her? To Summit Ministries' Student Worldview Conference. Her flight from Orange County to Colorado Springs cost about $300. The conference was $895. She needed about $100 of spending money. That was a big chunk of change for our family. But it was worth every penny. It was an eternal investment.
We knew what Lexi was going to get at Summit: two weeks of intense worldview training, training more valuable than any basketball camp or swim lesson. She was forced to carefully examine the false ideas of this world that compete for her heart and mind every single day. Then she learned to analyze those ideas and expose them for the lies they are. She learned to think Christianly, discovering why Christianity is true and what difference it makes for every single area of her life. How do I know? Because I get to see firsthand what Summit does every summer, as one of their instructors. After teaching at my first session a few years ago, I was completely sold on Summit.
Did my daugther get that teaching at home as well? Of course. But I know that my kids need more than mom and me. They need other models. They need to hear the truth from other followers of Christ and see His truth lived out in their lives. Summit provided the kind of smart, intelligent, loving and winsome Christian ambassadors that I want my kids to emulate.
So parents and students, check out Summit's summer conferences. Not only do they host them in Colorado, they have a camp in Tennessee (July 6-18) and one in California (June 15-27). It's the best investment you can make this summer. (Use the discount code STR2014 to register!)