Celebrating Prepare the Way’s 15th Christian Youth Summit
15 Years of Equipping Youth to Stand Firm
We are so thankful for all the volunteers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees who made our 15th 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 deeper roots in the faith. Many parents and ministry leaders also came and enjoyed the event. The Summit was held April 8-9, 2022 with over 550 attending from 70 different churches in the Pacific Northwest. Of the roughly 440 students who attended, 52% were in public schools, 22% in private schools, and 26% home-schooled. Every year, it is so clear to us that the younger generation is in the thick of a worldview battle and that we need to come alongside them to help them stand firm.
Moving Testimonies from Teens
It’s the testimonies that keep us going every year. Handing out feedback forms at the end of the event gives us a glimpse of how the Summit impacts the faith of attendees. One teen wrote this, “I learned a lot from Alan in his Tactics talk and am much more prepared for sharing the gospel now.” Another teen wrote, “I liked Stephen’s Reliability of the Bible talk because it taught me how to defend God’s Word.” The youth appreciate having an opportunity to discuss hard topics. One teen commented in his feedback form, “Monique Duson was speaking on a topic that is very important and I don’t think it’s talked about enough.” The majority of attendees said they were excited to commit more areas of their lives to God and/or more confident in sharing their faith with others. Even though this event is geared towards Christian teens, it is important to understand just how many wrestle with important faith questions. For more testimonies see below.
Speakers Delivered Empowering Talks
Alan Shlemon (Stand to Reason), Monique Duson (The Center for Biblical Unity) and Stephen Williams of Prepare the Way delivered powerful keynote talks on critical topics such as the reliability of the Bible, being ambassadors for Christ, tactics for having spiritual conversations, racial healing, and finding our identity in Christ. The breakout session speakers tackled a variety of relevant topics, including science and Christianity, archaeology, healthy relationships, and helping youth stand firm in their faith. These breakouts provided a smaller crowd where attendees could engage in dialogue. The Master of Ceremonies, Bryon Mengle of KNLR, has been with the Summit for many years now and does a terrific job of keeping the atmosphere fun with prizes and games.
Teens Were Trained to Serve as Small Group Leaders
One unique aspect of the Summit is that the majority of youth sit in small groups with leaders who are trained prior to the Summit. Our leaders did an awesome job this year of engaging their groups in discussion, so that they could process the material and ask questions. One teen commented in her survey, “My group had really productive group discussions…” We trained over 30 leaders this year. Some youth and school groups attended together and the youth pastors or leaders led discussions. We are always thankful for pastors/leaders/teachers who attend with their youth.
A youth-led worship band did an awesome job of leading the crowd in worship. The musicians ranged in age from 13 to 17, represented 7 different churches, and included several pastors’ kids. We love seeing the next generation gather from across denominational lines and all praise God together.
Pray for Those Who Attended
As we described above, our surveys 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.
Expressing Our Thanks
Every year, it is hard to put our gratitude into words. We praise God for letting us steward this event for 15 years now and for faithfully blessing it each and every year, despite challenges and obstacles. We are so thankful for the sponsors, donors, speakers, volunteers and Faith Christian Center staff who made the 15th Christian Youth Summit possible. We are inspired by the youth who are hungry to be equipped and the parents and youth leaders who attend so they can engage in dialogue with the 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.
Thank You to Our Sponsors:
High Desert Baptist Association; Faith Christian Center; Eastmont Church and School; Calvary Chapel SE Portland; Community Bible Church Sunriver; Bend Community Church/Organic Church Network; Epikos Church; Father’s House/Buy a Tree-Change a Life; Classical Conversations; Pregnancy Resource Centers of Central Oregon;
Juan Young Trust; Brian’s Cabinets; Midstate Fertilizer; Tennant Developments; Friesen Foundation; Dan Cardot Bend Premier Realtor; Bend Family Dentistry; Kevista Coffee; Oregon Right to Life; 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 particularly praying for more monthly donors.
More Testimonies from the 2022 Summit
They are coming in daily, but here is a sampling:
“Alan’s talk equipped us to be bold in our faith.” – Teen
“I like the way Monique approached and explained race and how to address it in life.” – Teen
“I loved all the evidence that was provided in Stephen’s Reliability of the Bible talk.” – Teen
“[Alan’s talk] had incredible tools as a parent and teacher. Great resources to sue at home and good information to help create bulletproof faith.” – Parent
“I liked these talks because the apologetics to me has always seemed stressful and the conference cleared it up and simplified it and made it less stressful.” – Teen
“[The science talk] was applicable and completely usable. The speaker was sharp.” – Parent
“Jordyn was encouraging and engaging. Her testimony was amazing and very faithful and obedient to God.” – Teen
“I feel much more confident in my faith and the Word after the Reliability of the Bible talk.” – Teen
“I liked Alan’s talk because it taught me how to share and defend my faith.” – Teen
“It is good to know the truth about what science is, and its origin so you can be prepared for false arguments.” – Teen
“Really cool to see how the Bible correlates with history” – Teen (on Bible and Archaeology talk)
“[Christian’s talk] was impactful and insightful.” – Teen
“I appreciated this event so much! Excellent speakers.” – Parent
“Understanding our identity in Christ – who we were before Christ and who we are as Christians is vitally important to our own well being and bringing glory to God. Monique does a wonderful job of communicating this truth, along with challenging us to recognize how our culture is warping it.” – Parent