The Teen Conference is an exciting time for all who attend, whether high school students, college students, or parents. Ben Lennander remembers attending his first annual teen conference nineteen years ago. This year he was back as the main speaker, talking to teenagers about “Discipleship: The Choice, The Cost, and The Course.”
It isn’t often that teenagers hear positive messages geared specifically towards them and the Teen Conference is an entire weekend of worship, breakout sessions, inspiring messages and high energy games meant to motivate and challenge young people. One mom, Diane, was inspired by Becky Crane’s message that “in the battle for our hearts, any day we forget that we’re in a battle,
we’ve already lost.” She hopes to remember this everyday not only for herself, but also to be an example for her kids. Katie, a junior in high school, really thought about fighting daily distractions and decided that it would probably be a good idea to spend less time on Pinterest and more time praying.
Teens are never too old to appreciate the life-changing truth that gets shared every year at these conferences, but capturing a vision at a younger age can set them apart from their peers and promote lifelong personal growth.
One of the analogies shared at the conference illustrated the importance of having a perfect life: Imagine sitting outside enjoying a favorite drink when a bird flew by and a small drop from that delicate stream of white landed in the drink. Would one think, “Well, such a small drop won’t affect the taste. I can’t tell it’s there! I don’t want to waste my drink, so I’ll just drink around it?” No! the drink would be thrown away and with good reason. The same could be said of our lives when we allow little things to creep in and contaminate us, even just a little bit of something wrong pollutes everything. But how can we live a perfect life? No one is capable of being perfect, but God says it is important. In fact, it’s a requirement to enter heaven. The good news is that God gives us the perfect life of his Son as a substitute for the life that we will never be able to have on our own.
There’s not only good messages and hard teaching. There’s lots of fun to be had at the Teen Conference. John, a senior in college, enjoys whacking teenagers with flour-filled socks in “Bonkers,” a highly anticipated tradition by anyone who has ever attended a Teen Conference. It requires a lot of teamwork and helps to cement friendships, often by tying people together in a three-legged fashion. Troy, a junior in high school, enjoys the team sports, especially the football. Each year is a unique experience with different speakers, altered games and crazy weather, but teens can count on a bed to sleep in, new friends to meet and food to eat. They not only get to enjoy the great food, but they can also help serve the food or wash the dishes. Sometimes, those are the experiences that people enjoy the most, as they can be great bonding experiences.