by Hugh and Kathy Ross
Conversation—perhaps more than ever—seems the key to effective evangelism and equipping today, especially among young people. Have you noticed this change? We’re convinced the future of the church in North America depends on recognizing the value of dialogue and incorporating questions and discussion into our worship gatherings.
We’re all familiar with the depiction of teens and young adults as “plugged in and tuned out.” Research certainly does suggest a shortening of attention spans with each new generation of tech devices that are released (now way beyond the simple cell phones we two are still learning to use!). However, it’s also clear that no amount of digital communication can fill the hunger for meaningful interaction. We recently observed this hunger in a personal way, and the experience has given us a bright ray of hope.
A few days ago, we met in a friend’s home with a youth pastor, his wife, and a group of collegians, some of whom are involved in church and others, not, but invited by friends. No particular topic was announced, just an offer to discuss whatever questions were on the students’ minds. We also let them know how helpful it would be for us to hear what challenges they face, what kinds of comments, attitudes, and questions they hear from their professors and peers. At first the questions focused on science-and-Bible issues. Then, during and after dinner, the conversation transitioned into deeper and more personal concerns. After six hours, our voices began to give out, and yet we were energized.
We hope this gives you a clear understanding of our plans for AMP Conference 2018. In addition to the Pre-AMP VIP Experience, an opportunity to share a meal and begin conversations, our team has planned for a gathering after AMP called Continue the Conversation. Here, you can dive deeper into topics the AMP speakers address, discussing them at a personal level that will affect our thoughts and attitudes and actions in the days, months, and years ahead. For you, Continue the Conversation may spark ideas for future chapter meetings, outreach activities, and will certainly benefit your personal enrichment. If you’re looking for a time of energizing fellowship, we hope you’ll register for AMP Conference 2018, the Pre-AMP VIP Experience, and Continue the Conversation. We’ll see you there!