I’m a parent of 16 children. While providing for their needs and teaching them at home was daunting at first, I have found it much more daunting preparing them for adulthood. I hate to bust your bubble, parents, if you think parenting gets easier when the kids get older. It doesn’t.
This is a big reason I am launching the For Action Conference in January. It’s a 3-day excursion of workshops geared toward preparing the young adult — primarily in the 16-24 age group — for life of business, charity and higher education. An extension of the speech and debate work I’ve been doing for years, the For Action Conference “trains the mind for action” (1 Peter 1:13) for more than competition. It prepares them for real life.
Wendy and I have launched four adults into the world (we’ve got 12 children left to go). If anything, we’ve learned that we can’t do this alone. What I thought was a cinch (handling those 2-year-old temper tantrums is a breeze now) is much tougher with young adults.
So the For Action Conference places examples of young adults who are tackling life with passion and success in front of them. “See, this is how it’s done,” is what the conference will be. I’ve launched dozens of events since the creation of Training Minds Ministry in 2001, and I must say that this is the most exciting one to date!
It’s one-of-a-kind. I don’t know anything much like it. I bet there are some things you think the conference is, but really it isn’t. When you understand these idiosyncrasies, you’ll catch the vision for what is crucially important for the young adult in your life who needs some action.
1. It’s not the “next” level; it’s the NECESSARY level
I’ve been caught explaining the For Action Conference as the “next level” for the academically and spiritually focused young person, but that’s not entirely true. For those young adults who aspire to be more and do more in their young life, the For Action Conference is the necessary level.
You may share in a disappointment I’ve had for several years, a disappointment that birthed the idea of this conference. Through my background in speech and debate, I get to see the best of the best rise up and sharpen their skills and become outstanding young people ready to lasso the moon. A few years after graduation, I find these same dynamos wandering in life, not really doing much at all.
I suspect there was something missing, and the For Action Conference attempts to fill that gap. I believe so heartily in our young people, as do all the speakers I’ve gathered for the conference, and we are thrilled to see attendees commit themselves to making an impact in their world. This is their “next” level, a level they need to take it. Those of us at the For Action Conference are going to make sure of it.
2. It’s not teaching; it’s MENTORING
There is deep truth in the Old Testament scripture Deuteronomy 6:7: teaching along the way, one-on-one, through the experience. There needs to be more than a video set or a book to read to get a young adult to fully grasp the exciting world ahead. The For Action Conference intentionally sets itself up to be a mentoring weekend.
A few key points that make the For Action Conference program unique:
- Genunine. All the speakers are movers and shakers themselves. They’re not posers. They are the real deal. They each have something to show for it.
- Invested. All except the keynote, the speakers are sticking around all three days. They’re not just flying in and flying out. They will be there “along the way,” connecting with students and making an impression. You’re going to personally get to know them.
- Generous. All the speakers are generous. I’ve met speakers who are stingy, competitive, or selfish. I don’t like them and they weren’t invited. I know each of these speakers personally and professionally, and each one of them is generous in their life and expertise. They very much want to show you how they succeed!
I guess you can call this our “gig.” Our gig isn’t complicated: we are interested in YOU. We want to come alongside you and show you how to succeed. We want to befriend you and encourage you. I believe that’s a missing step in the lives of young people today, and that’s what the For Action Conference is about.
3. It’s not expensive; it has a huge ROI
I’ve got to be honest with you. This conference is about twice as much as what I charge for my debate camps. I’m flying in speakers from all over the country — and they come with fees — and I’m reserving the beautiful Omega Conference Room at the Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs. We’re eating catered food and developing an atmosphere for learning and fellowship.
Yeah, I’m going all out on this conference, and I’m asking a lot of money from you. But you know what? I believe it is worth way more than the base $179 tuition. If you apply what we teach you at the For Action Conference, you’re going to make that back very, very soon.
Why? Because there is no barrier to entry in the fields we’re teaching on. We’re focusing on the new world of 2014 in business, charity and higher education. All three of these venues used to be difficult to get into — there were gatekeepers and elites that kept young adults from stepping in and making a name for themselves. Not anymore. Our speaker lineup shows it true. Some examples on how this can happen:
- Business. People like Andrew Pudewa and I have been around for decades. We’ve made some real blunder decisions that have cost us thousands. It wouldn’t take just one simple correction from a conversation we have with you that would probably save you the pain that we went through early on.
- Charity. We all want to do things worth doing in life, don’t we? That’s the purpose of Training Minds Ministry, a Great Commission ministry that aims to “engage the culture for common good.” The tricky part is doing the good works without going broke and impoverished, ending as more of a burden than a help. Learn how people have gone before you and done ministry right.
- Higher Education. If you go with the flow of a typical admissions office representative, you’re going to spend a ton of money — or go deep into debt, or drag your parents there. College is still valuable, but strategizing to make it cost effective can save you several times the cost of the For Action Conference. We’ve got CollegePlus at the conference to come alongside and help you with that.
If you fall into our target age group of 16-24 — or if you know someone who does — I just know you are going to be inspired and empowered at the For Action Conference.
4. It’s not an event; it’s a COMMUNITY
This is perhaps the very best reason to come to the For Action Conference: community. I cannot wait to see the networking that will follow our time together. For Action Alumni are going to light up this world!
This isn’t a lofty vision. Roll with me here; it’s easy to visualize. Every young adult coming to the For Action Conference comes eager to engage the world. They’re invested in their future, and they want to connect with others who are just as focused. I bet there will be bonds formed that will develop into projects and relationships that will last a lifetime.
You know what? We’re not going to let you drift off into apathy after the event. Part of your time with us includes a followup phone call 30 days afterward to see how you are applying that which you learned at the For Action Conference. We’re gonna be tracking you, buddy, making sure you be all that God is calling you to be!
This is real accountability, real community. It’s what we do as brothers and sisters in Christ. The team of teachers, speakers, administrators of the For Action Conference are in this for YOU.
I sure hope you can make it…
January 2-4, 2014
Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs