2019 Truth for a New Generation Apologetics Camp with Dr. Alex McFarland Is a Hit with Spiritually Hungry Students from Seven States
‘Generation Z Keeps Amazing Me!’ Says Camp Speaker Meeke Addison, as 100 Teens Converged for Week of Deep Devotions, Awesome Outdoor Activities, Inspiring Speakers and a Committed Time to ‘Go Deeper With God’
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—What happens when nearly 100 high school students come together with a common passion to stand up for their Savior, learn how to deepen their faith, engage in adventurous activities and make awesome new friends? Incredible life change occurs, and the memories, knowledge and commitment to Christ will last long after this summer.
Last week, religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland spent five days with teens from seven states who will make up the future of the church and our nation through Truth for a New Generation (TNG) Ministries’ intensive Youth Apologetics Camp where attendees learned to stand “Unashamed” for Christ. Set last week at Camp Cale in Hertford, North Carolina, the full-capacity TNG “Unashamed” camp for high-schoolers allowed them to invest five days to “Go Deeper with God.”
McFarland reported that feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive:
- “Now I am ready to stand strong for my beliefs when I head back to school!”
- “I have learned so much about Jesus and His Word. My friends have too, and they’re glad I asked them to come.”
- “This was the best retreat I’ve ever been on; I will definitely come back next year.”
- “This is my second year to attend, and when I turn 18, I want to be one of the TNG camp counselors. This has been really important in my Christian growth.”
The feedback above from the students shows what veteran evangelist has known for years: America’s teens are spiritually hungry, eager to learn the “straight truth” from God’s Word, and they want to make a difference in the world.
“Some things I have clearly learned in speaking to hundreds of thousands of teens over the past 25 years are this: Teens are very spiritually hungry, and they do not—I mean, do not—want a message that is sanitized and sugar-coated,” McFarland said. “For the well-packaged, ‘tame’ Christianity that is marketed and given ‘spin’ by media and religious publishing houses, teens ask, ‘Why bother?’
“Our ministry philosophies do not come out of brain-storming sessions with marketing teams,” he added. “Our staff and I interact with thousands of students each year, averaging events in about 25 states annually. At the camp during the Q&A times, teens express what we hear across America: ‘Please, just tell me the truth! Does the Bible address the issue of [fill in the blank].’
“Oddly enough,” McFarland continued, “ministry to youth that tries to be relevant is almost sure to be irrelevant. Kids knows that our commitment to God should be absolute. When churches try to ‘help the Gospel out’ by trying to make it fun, zany, over-the-top, PC or watered-down, they are really telling youth that God and His Word are subject to culture, rather than the other way around. And this is an invitation for youth to walk out the church doors.”
Teen attendees at the TNG camp learned about topics such as: compelling evidence that God exists; ‘Is the Bible is the Word of God?’; ‘Creation vs. Evolution’—and why it matters; Jesus: His virgin birth, resurrection and historical verification of the New Testament record; the ministry of the Holy Spirit—in the believer, in the church and in the world; right and wrong and ethics: How do we know that there are absolute moral truths?; gender roles: What do the Bible, history, psychology and common sense have to say about male and female?; homosexuality and the implications of the LGBTQ agenda?; America, its founding and current condition: What is the truth, and why should I care?; the problem of pain: Does Christianity guarantee a life without suffering?; and ‘Dealing with Me:’ How do I learn to pray with power? Overcome bad habits? Stay positive when stressed or depressed?
While deepening faith and fun times were at the forefront, a powerful realization was made by the guest speakers and adults in attendance.
For example, Meeke Addison, one of McFarland’s fellow American Family Radio hosts and a pro-life and pro-family advocate, said she was convicted that youth need spiritual mentors.
“Generation Z keeps amazing me!” Addison said on social media. “There are real challenges, but there is REAL hope! I love this bunch! They have honestly stolen my heart! I’m praying for their generation with new insight. Oh, parents, our children are counting on us! I have learned SO much by spending time with the next generation of the Church. I’m discovering (they are) bolder than we realize. They need to be armed with Truth. One profound piece of information—they are desperate for genuine mentors. They can’t find any. I will pray about this, asking the Lord for insight.”
A parent named Amy said her daughter, Chloe, was moved by Addison’s sessions at the camp.
“So grateful for the amazing people that invest in the lives of our children,” Amy posted. “I … got a text from my daughter. I asked if she was enjoying herself. She said, ‘The speakers are amaaaaazing!’ Her words. Thank you!”
Besides McFarland and Addison, daily worship and teaching were also led by Addison’s husband and broadcast and ministry partner, Wil; discipleship strategist Andy Lawrenson; pastor and author Tripp Harmon; and speaker and author Daniel Ritchie. Music was provided by Liberty University graduate and Nags Head Church worship leader Luke Culley.
Christian Broadcasting Network and journalist Paul Strand joined the camp for most of the day on Thursday, filming sessions and interviewing teens for a feature on why people should not “give up” on America or on the spiritual fate of American youth.
McFarland and TNG Ministries also extended special thanks to nearly two dozen volunteer workers, camp counselors who came at their own expense, and also to Dr. Matt Thomas and the tireless Camp Cale staff.
Through Truth for a New Generation, made possible in part by Liberty University, McFarland also hosts national and regional conferences that aim to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members lift up this young generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith. Two events in Richmond, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are planned for this fall.
On Oct. 11-12, McFarland and Truth for a New Generation will be in the Richmond area for a TNG “Unashamed” Conference. Host site Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Glen Allen will welcome McFarland and other Christian apologists who will equip, empower and inspire youth to confidently share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn more about the Richmond event here; an early bird rate is available through Aug. 31.
Then on Nov. 15-16, McFarland and Truth for a New Generation will be in Cincinnati at Landmark Church for a similar conference. Registration details will be available soon at TruthforaNewGeneration.com.
View the media page for Alex McFarland here. For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit www.AlexMcFarland.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland. For more on the Truth for a New Generation conferences, visit www.TruthforaNewGeneration.com, or follow TNG on Twitter @TruthforaNewGen or Facebook.