Celebrating our 10th Christian Youth Summit
We are so thankful for all the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and attendees who made our 10th annual Christian Youth Summit a success. It is such an encouragement to see hundreds of youth gathered, willing to spend their weekend asking tough questions and growing in faith. Many parents and ministry leaders also came and enjoyed the event. The conference was held April 7-8 with roughly 350 attendees from over 70 different churches in the Pacific Northwest and California. Every year, it is so clear to us that we need to come along side the younger generation. Daily, they face a worldview battle and express this struggle in their feedback forms. One public school student who attended this year said this, “I have been having a lot of doubts about Christianity … every session pretty much pin pointed an aspect of my life that I have been struggling with. And just today I got to share Christianity with one of my friends and I’m researching the questions he asked me. The notes in the back [resource binder] are still helping me with it and what to talk to him about.” Another attendee said this,”Thank you for providing this amazing resource to recharge and revive young believers in Central Oregon and beyond!”
Craig Hazen, Dena Davidson, and Stephen Williams delivered powerful keynote talks on critical topics such as Evidence for the Resurrection, Faith in the Midst of Doubt, and the Reliability of the Bible. One parent commented on social media: “Attended our first Christian Youth Summit this weekend put on by Prepare the Way Ministries. It was awesome, blown away by the speakers! [Dena Davidson] was unbelievable, could listen to her all day…” The breakout session speakers did a terrific job of tackling a variety of relevant topics, providing a more casual atmosphere where attendees could engage in dialogue. M.C. Bryon Mengle of KNLR helped keep the atmosphere fun with prizes and games.
One unique aspect of the Summit is that the majority of youth sit at tables with Table Leaders who are trained prior to the Summit. Our leaders did a great job this year of engaging their groups in discussion, so that they could process the material and ask questions. One 18-year old Table Leader shared, “I was grateful to see one of the students at my table grow in her faith. It was her first Youth Summit, and I think the information she got on the reliability of the Bible has helped her establish a stronger stand on Christianity.”
The teens were also given some time to reflect and worship. Michael Kuhlman from Redmond Community Church and Jon Vevia from Trinity Lutheran coordinated a youth-led worship band with members from a variety of churches. The band did a terrific job leading the youth in worship–we love seeing the next generation cross denominational lines and all praise God together.
Our survey revealed there were many commitments to Christ, both first time and re-commitments. Over 90% of attendees who filled out surveys said they were “excited to commit more areas of their lives to God” and “more confident in sharing their faith” with others. Our surveys also reveal that even teens who consider themselves Christian overwhelmingly struggle with doubts and questions, and are thankful for a place to wrestle with them. Please pray that those who attended would grow in faith and be empowered to impact our culture for Christ. Pray that they would be confident in sharing the hope of Christ with those around them. As one attendee said, “I was reminded of how important it is to share my faith with those around me. I don’t always know how to do that, and so I tend to forget about it. The speakers, and Dena Davidson in particular, had some very practical recommendations on how to share your faith. I am praying that God will give me opportunities to share His love with others, and that He would give me the courage and wisdom to do so effectively when the time comes.”
Expressing Our Thanks
Every year, it is hard to put our gratitude into words. We praise God for letting us steward this event for ten years and for faithfully blessing it each and every year, despite challenges and obstacles. We are so thankful for the sponsors, donors, speakers, volunteers and Trinity Lutheran staff who have made the Christian Youth Summit possible. We are inspired by the youth who are hungry to be equipped and the parents who attend so they can engage in dialogue with their kids.Thank you for helping us continue the work of equipping the younger generation to stand firm in their faith so they can stand for truth in our culture.
Trinity Lutheran Church and School; Calvary Chapel SE Portland; Community Bible Church Sunriver; Bend Community Church/Organic Church Network; Oregon Right to Life;
Corban University; Western Seminary; Kairos MDiv Program; Biola University;
Juan Young Trust; Midstate Fertilizer; Tennant Developments; Friesen Foundation; Dan Cardot Bend Premier Realtor; Bend Family Dentistry;
X-Press Printing; Smart Solutions; Dynamic Arts Graphic Design;
If you would like to support the work that the Lord has called us to, please donate now. We are also praying for more monthly donors.