Student Hails Ratio Christi as "An Island in a Dark River" during a national conference!
So many conferences, so little time!
Our Ratio Christi staff members and field representatives are always out hosting display tables at events and speaking to groups at conferences. If we do not already have a presence in a certain city, our people will often travel to get there. Many of our leaders are so passionate about our ministry to college and high school students that they raise their own support to work and travel for RC.
Our participation in two national conferences in early November has already resulted in more students, parents, grandparents, pastors, and media members learning about our mission and vision.
Tom Griffin serves as RC’s project and syndication manager of our “Truth Matters” TV/satellite broadcast. He and Anna Rose Kitko, our chapter director at University of Tennessee Knoxville, hosted a Ratio Christi exhibit table at The National Religious Broadcasters' Network (NRB-TV) “Defending Truth” conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Griffin, who is also the author of a series of apologetics books for tweens, describes an exciting occurrence:
“One ongoing conversation of interest was with a young student. Her parents had convinced her to come to the conference because she was raised Christian but had a lot of issues with Christianity. She had so many questions and misconceptions: Why is Christianity so exclusive? What about the age of the earth and science? Belief is an involuntary action. The evidence offered for Christianity isn’t convincing. She came back to our table at least half a dozen times, usually after every speaker. Cumulatively, I'm sure we spoke with her for over an hour.
But she listened intently and seemed to really think RC is special. She called us “the island in a large dark river" compared to other Christians whom she had interacted with! She stated that she liked our answers much better than those received from others. I assured her that God will provide enough knowledge for her salvation if she continues to seek, but that she would have to make a decision because belief is not involuntary.”
After hosting an exhibit table at the Legacy Coalition’s inaugural Grandparenting Summit in 2016, we were invited back this year to the second Summit – not only as an exhibitor this time, but also to lead a breakout session. This took place in Rockwall, Texas. The Legacy Coalition is a ministry of Awana, a global, nonprofit ministry whose goal is to introduce children to Christ.
We sent three speakers: Michael Bossman, our vice president of Strategic Partnerships; Julie Loos, director of Community Outreach and Involvement; and Dan Britton, one of our Ratio Christi College Prep mentors. They presented a session entitled “Conversations of Consequence: Why Are Grandchildren Leaving the Church and What Can Grandparents Do?” With over 1,000 grandparents in attendance and multiple sessions to choose from, Ratio Christi was pleased to have over 150 sit in on our session. Julie Loos describes the presentation:
“The session was described as follows to the attendees: ‘The legacy of faith in your grandchildren’s generation is being severely challenged. Why? How? What can you do? Your relationship with your high school and college-aged grandchild affords you a platform to have conversations of consequence—ones that can help them stand firm in their faith in a world hostile to it. You can be key in stemming the tide of the youth exodus from the church.’ Ratio Christi’s mission was defined, and the attendees were invited to join this panel discussion to explore solutions to those challenges.
The discussion was followed by a Q&A period that spilled over into the dinner hour! It resulted in increased traffic to our exhibit table where we had many conversations with grandparents about apologetics, Ratio Christi resources, and more. Many grandparents expressed interest in learning how to start RC College Prep clubs at their churches. Ratio Christi was also able to include a two-sided 8.5x11 flyer created especially for the conference in the welcome bag. It included common questions even kids as young as ten years old may ask about faith. The flyers were very well received!”
Dan Britton, another one of our speakers at the Grandparenting Summit, adds his perspective:
“Many of the grandparents I spoke with have had a grandchild who walked away from their faith. Although that is tragic, I was blessed to speak with them about Ratio Christi and how our organization could help. It was even more of a blessing to see so many grandparents willing to learn and invest in their grandchildren’s future by embracing the evidence for our faith and sharing it.”
In the month leading up to the Conference, our “Truth Matters” broadcast host Tony Gurule conducted three interviews about grandparents and apologetics to help get the word out. “Intentional Grandparenting,” “Apologetics Solutions for Grandparents,” and “Helping your Grandchild Grow a Stronger Faith” can be viewed at these links on our “Truth Matters” YouTube channel.
See more photos below. (Top photo: Mike Bossman standing; Julie Loos seated at front right, Dan Britton at front left.) Ratio Christi looks forward to partnering with these conferences in the future!
Please think of Ratio Christi this coming “Giving Tuesday,” November 28. Donate now or watch for RC to use the hashtags #thoughtfulChristianity, #thoughtfulgiving and #GivingTuesday on social media.
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