I am a Christian, who comes from a family of Christians, who has long-time friends who are predominately Christians. Despite, or perhaps because of this, I find myself lacking the very thing I should be having in abundance: conversations about Christianity.
It’s not that my friends and family don’t talk about subjects like gay marriage, abortion, modesty, or growing in our faith. It just turns out that when you already know what your friends are going to say, having those difficult discussions just isn’t the same.
When I came to Summit, I expected to hear about those particular topics (and others) and maybe talk about them. After all, small groups and class discussions provided a built-in a space to listen to others’ thoughts and share your own. As promised, I have been completely challenged by the lectures. Not only have they strengthened my faith, but they have given me the tools to understand exactly why I believe what I do and how to challenge others’ beliefs.
What I didn’t expect were the conversations outside the classroom. Summit is full of students who are not only willing, but eager to share their thoughts on Christianity and the tough topics. Whether staying up to talk about Catholicism with my roommate or hiking and discussing what modesty really is, I am constantly surrounded by people who are ready to have in-depth discussions about difficult subjects.
As someone who learns best through discussion and debate, these talks have been the highlight of my time at Summit. Comparing ideas—with or without mutual agreement—feeds me in a way mere lecture or Christian companionship cannot.
One discussion that particularly struck me took place at lunch. As someone who is interested in the film industry, I frequently become frustrated with Christian movies because they are often poorly written, directed, and acted. As a result, they often fall short of their intent: sharing the gospel with a fallen world.
I started talking with group of students about the well-known Christian movie and how it was largely ineffective. We discussed not only this movie, but the entire Christian movie industry and what we could do to make it even more effective. Knowing that other students see the same perspective and share the same passions as I do—and are willing to discuss how to fix them—excites me. Although this discussion wasn’t a “hard-hitting” topic like homosexuality or abortion, it allowed me to hear others’ thoughts about a subject close to my own heart.
The students at Summit are what really make Summit. The speakers spark the thoughts, but the students drive them home. Being surrounded by students who not only live a Christian life, but discuss it as well is something that is different for me. It turns out, though, it is exactly what I needed.
I am a Christian, who comes from a family of Christians, who has long-time friends who are predominately Christians. And I plan to start having more of the very thing I should have in abundance: conversations about Christianity.
Jordyn Pair is a 18-year-old aspiring journalism student from Milford, Michigan. She plans to attend Hillsdale College in the fall. You can read more of her work at unassignedreading.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.