Several weeks ago my friend Jesse Penna gave me a call, inviting me to participate as a speaker at the Friends Student Conference in Wichita, Kansas. The event is held in late December and focuses on discipleship of junior high, senior high, and college students. You can learn more about the event here.
I will be speaking at three morning general sessions. The theme is "Stop". Young people are constantly being told to "go, go, go!", and thus lack space to reflect on their identity, the driving questions of existence, and the imperative for us to seek growth in our relationship to God. As a contemplative type, this theme excites me. But as someone who is passionate about evangelism, it is my hope that our reflection becomes a solid basis for action, rather than an end in itself. The transformed inner life is a boon to evangelism, for it adds clarity to the claims of the gospel message. God draws who he wills, of course, but a great mystery is that he chooses human beings to be his messengers. Thus, stopping to listen to our own lives, receiving discipline and correction from companions we well as our Master, and waiting to hear God in the silence is critical for us as we seek to be faithful to our calling to share God's message of love with others through word and deed.
Thanks to Matt Macy, Jesse Penna, and others who are working hard to prepare for this event. I'm excited about the opportunity. And to those that read my blog, please pray for me as I prepare to speak, that God might give me words that the students need to hear.