A student weekend in God's Word
Every day, students have a choice to either blend in with the culture surrounding them or boldly stand out as a devoted follower of Jesus. Student Life Conference 2015 will look to the incredible life of Daniel for inspiration and guidance in not only refusing to go along with our culture, but to actually transform it for God’s glory.
Conference 2015 Theme
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
Among Christians, the word “culture” has become code for “sinful,” “evil” or “corrupt.” This attitude typically prompts one of three sets of responses: separate and hide, protest and boycott, or give up and blend. While the Bible cautions believers to be wary of the “world” (Mark 8:36), culture itself is not inherently evil. We know this because the sinless Son of God, Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), lived within a culture, which is by definition “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Instead of responding like one of the three crowds, Jesus stood out with a fourth choice: transformation. Jesus immersed Himself in the culture, becoming human (Philippians 2:5-8) to break the curse of sin and death (Hebrews 2:14-18) ushered in by the Fall (Genesis 3:16-19) and open up a path to reconciliation with the Father and eternal life (Romans 5:6-11). Though this Truth allows Jesus’ followers to walk in freedom (Romans 6:11-14), it’s difficult to personally emulate His singular culture-shaking path in everyday life.
That’s why Student Life Conference 2015 will look to the incredible life of Daniel for inspiration. Taken from Israel and forced into the service of Babylon – a name synonymous for destructively rampant materialism and sensual pleasure – Daniel engaged Babylonian culture (Daniel 1:17-20) and remained steadfast in his faith despite incredible difficulty and pressure (Daniel 6:4-10). Daniel stood out and transformed a pagan nation by honoring God (Daniel 6:26-27).
Students can live out this “counter-cultural” faith today at home, play, work and school because of the Gospel’s life-changing, culture-shaking message (Colossians 3:1-17). Christ makes believers a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), granting the power to look and act differently from the dominant culture (Titus 3), especially when living in Christian community (Ephesians 4:11-16) and consistently turning to God’s Word for guidance (Psalm 1:1-3).
Students will leave Conference with a clear understanding that culture doesn’t have to sweep them away. Like Daniel, they can be firm and stand out (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).
Student Life offered spring conferences as a resource to churches for 14 years (1996-2009). During that time, we had the unbelievable pleasure to introduce the country to the leadership of such teachers as Dave Busby, Louie Giglio, David Nasser, David Platt, Dave Edwards, Erwin McManus, JR Vassar, Staurt Hall and Francis Chan while also participating in worship with Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, Casting Crowns, Spur58 and Jami Smith before they became household names. After taking a break to complete the Student Life Bible Study series, conference returned in 2013 to continue partnering with youth ministers in creating more unforgettable weekends where God speaks to students, moving them toward a deeper relationship with Him.