When people ask for an explanation of what the For Action Conference is, I direct them to the landing page. When registration opens on Sunday, September 15, there will be a lot more information. For now, this page should explain what Training Minds Ministry is up to.
“Just give it to me straight,” someone asked me. “Give me the background…why is Training Minds doing this?”
Ah, yes. There is background. And it may surprise you. But when I tell you it, you’re going to totally relate.
You see, the For Action Conference is totally different than any event I’ve ever done. Our event history for the past dozen years has been this: holed up at a Bible camp somewhere teaching speech and debate strategies. The results have been great: tons and tons of trophies, titles, awards, scholarships, etc. We’ve been doing camps, tournaments, classes and clubs for years — and we have a lot of good things going. Why on earth am I focusing on young adults with the For Action Conference?
To tell you the truth, For Action stems from disappointment. Hard to believe I’d say such a thing after gloating about all the awards we’ve racked up. But it’s true: we coaches haven’t been too impressed with what our whipper-snapper debaters have turned out.
I love running into alumni at tournaments, weddings, graduations and just around town. “What are you up to?” I ask. “Oh, not much.” And there too often isn’t much. I sometimes want to shake the young adult and say, “But you were a national champion back in high school…you were going to take over the world…what happened???”
Not much. That’s what happened. To coaches who pour their heart and soul in kids, that’s a huge disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong, there are several good stories of wonderful students. I am a very proud coach of nearly 20 years. I just want to see more good stories.
I bet someone popped into your head when I shared this. Right? I tell this to people all the time — particularly other parents who have been involved in speech and debate community — and instantly someone comes to mind. No, it’s worse than that. A lot of kids come to mind. Perhaps more pour examples than proud examples. The trend is not nearly as good as it should be.
Training Minds isn’t taking this lightly. We’re a Great Commission ministry, and dog-gone-it, we’re not going to let these kids whither away or fry out. Not on our watch. We showed them how to “train the mind for action” (1 Peter 1:13), and the action wasn’t a 20-something dropping out of college to live in a basement, talking about the “glory years” of high school. No way!
The age group we’re aiming for is 16-24. The glory years of adventure, risk, and growth should be at this young age, the natural followup to academic training. The For Action Conference brings in speakers who have a tremendous amount of experience to show them how it’s done, to give them the push they need to be successful in today’s ever-changing world.
Do you know a kid who could benefit from this conference? Perhaps one of your teens?
Or perhaps you are a young person yourself and you’re looking for a network of friends who will encourage, guide and launch you into the exciting future God has in store for you.
Watch for the registration. It opens on Sunday. There are a limited number of spots available, and speakers will be announced later this week. I hope to see you there.
January 2-4, 2014
Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs
Registration Opens September 15