Last month I posted “4 Things the Conference Is NOT But You Probably Think It Is,” noting four unique (and I think needed) aspects of the For Action Conference I’m assembling in January. After a few conversations with interested parents and students, I thought it important to highlight a 5th difference. This 5th reason has actually dissuaded some.
I must preface with this: Training Minds Ministry considers itself a “Great Commission Ministry,” meaning that it is about equipping God’s people with the tools necessary to do the work that God is calling them to do. This is why Training Minds has traditionally focused on academic activities like debate so much: these activities teach young people thinking and communication skills for the purpose of impacting the world beyond competition.
Hence the reason for the For Action Conference. As I stated in another article (“Background of the For Action Conference“), educators like me — especially those with a Great Commission vision — are much more interested in the stories that unfold after graduation. The glory years for young people should not be back in the day when they were in high school. Their glory years should be ahead of them.
Herein lies a problem. Some educators have views of education that I believe is off track. They believe the student has a brain, and that brain needs only the filling of information. The student needs to learn what is correct, holy and true — period. End of story. Anything more than that is teaching students to think too much, is corrupting the young, is leading them down a dark and dreary path to personal destruction.
Well, that’s facetious of me. In fairness, those who shared with me reservations of the For Action Conference didn’t term it as such. They saw this approach as encroaching on what they viewed as important to the raising of their children. They saw “training minds for action” as undermining their parental authority, teaching thinking skills that are better taught in the family context. One dad explained it to me this way, “It is more important to getting the basics right before venturing into deeper thinking skills.”
But the For Action Conference is aiming for 16-24 year olds. It’s time we expect them to grow up and get on with life, and I want to prepare them as best I can. This conference is beyond what to believe about the world; we’re training them how to impact the world. Attendees will not get a list of apologetics questions where we guide them to the correct answer. We have events for that in junior high and high school. We’re moving onto bigger things at this conference. We’re ready to equip these young adults with the skills necessary to launch them into the exciting future God has in store for them.
So, I crafted a fifth difference of the For Action Conference. I sincerely believe it is extremely important in this day and age. Here is the list once again:
Four FIVE Things the Conference Is Not, but You Probably Think It is
- It’s not the “next” level; it’s the NECESSARY level
- It’s not teaching; it’s MENTORING
- It’s not expensive; it has a huge ROI
- It’s not an event; it’s a COMMUNITY
- It’s not a worldview camp; it’s an EQUIPPING camp
I’m telling ya, the For Action Conference is a one-of-a-kind conference for 16-24 year olds. You will be missing out if you don’t attend. If you’re looking to take that next step in your young adult life (or if you know of a young person who needs some help doing so), come join us in Colorado Springs in January. We’re out to equip you for the Great Commission God has in store for you.
January 2-4, 2014
Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs