Faith Notz (Session 1)

Student ConferenceFaith Notz 2016 TN Session 1O’Fallon, Missouri | 22 years old

Coming to Summit, I did not fully know what to expect aside from what I saw on the promotional video: well-known speakers, knowledge on how to defend your faith, ultimate Frisbee, and people from all over coming to this conference. When I saw the promo video with my college group, I thought I wouldn’t be able to go; so no use in thinking about it. But when I evaluated my reasons for not going, it was truly about the money and my apathetic spirit. So I swallowed my pride, put out support letters, and raised the money I needed in record breaking time.

I finished my degrees in May but my walk with God really started to crumble the past few years of college. Not for a lack of support, but a lack of purpose and meaning. I have had a hard time valuing myself as a person and especially as a child of God. So of course, I would be hesitant to go. But I knew my heart and mind needed the challenge and the chance to start again.

At Summit, I was blown away by the amount of information given to us and the range of the information. We covered everything from creation to politics and economics (I am a mathematics major so of course, I was excited!). But we also were taught about other worldviews and how to talk with people different from us – Muslims, Mormons, Pro-Choice, etc. I learned that it is not about proving a point, but understanding their worldview by asking questions, and helping them back to the truth of God’s word. I learned that when I ask purposeful questions, I get closer to the true argument that I can address while still respecting the other person.

The slogan of the two weeks was to “put a stone in the shoe.” Help others to think. You don’t have to prove Christianity all the time, and usually, that’s not at the core of the conversation. Needless to say, I overwhelmed my brain cells and do not regret it! Listening to the speakers and reading their books helped me to grow in my own faith with confidence and with more of a desire to reach people as a means to help them and not as a “good thing” to check off my Christian to-do list.

What is a good apologetics week if you don’t talk with others about your thoughts and questions? This was probably one of my favorite parts of Summit Student Conference. We had the opportunity to talk with the speakers sometimes after their lecture and sometimes in the dining hall. We could also ask our questions at the open forums every evening. Again, the openness and realness of the speakers were encouraging and inspiring. People just like me only with a wealth of knowledge that I could tap into. On top of that, every evening we met with our small groups, groups of between five to seven people with a small group leader, and we would discuss the day’s lectures. My group of ladies means so much to me because of those times. We discussed and debated issues and also laughed with each other. My small group leader was  very real and honest and I could tell that she loved us. Being open with my small group at group time and throughout the day was so easy for me.

I said earlier that I came to Summit for another chance to jump start my relationship with God. The previous months I prayed off and on that God would provide not knowing what that would really look like. God opened my heart by giving me a small group leader who understood my struggles and sin addictions and by using me to help a friend through prayer. I know God did not have to do any of that but He did. I am seeing more of His truths and bringing to light more of the devil’s lies.

If you have not had the opportunity to come to Summit, please consider, and then bring some friends with you, because they will love it too.You may be like me and really struggling to hang on to your faith or you may be on fire but not sure what to do about politics, other cultures, or homosexuality. Come and be informed but also be ready to be reformed. Ask people to pray for you and support you. I know I have people back at home that supported me in getting here through prayer and finances. I cannot wait to tell them about what I learned at Summit.

I hope you take the opportunity to come!

Your sister in Christ,

Faith Notz

Rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer – Romans 12:12