Lake Placid, Florida | 19 years old
Paul begins many of his epistles with thanksgiving and prayer. My name is Gabriel Mercer and I would like to thank God for Summit Ministries. I am a believer of Christ and an ambassador for Christ, however, this was not always the case. I struggled with the existence of God all of my childhood until 2012 when I realized He is the true living God and I need Him inside of me.
Summit Ministries has completely surpassed my expectations. It has addressed the issues I struggle with the most, and I have gained new insight into the Christian faith. Now, I would like to share how Summit Student Conferences are currently equipping me to better understand my faith.
The only thing I wanted out of Summit was a “springboard” for my faith. I want to know critical verses in Scripture which point to Jesus and I want to know how to explain, understand, and defend those points. I have been extremely pleased with our first speakers.
Former Bryan College president, Dr. William E. Brown, addressed the nuclear components of worldviews. Dr. Brown highlighted how within our world we have three general worldviews; naturalism, transcendentalism, and theism. This information is crucial to the body of Christ for two reasons. We must understand what we believe and what others believe because from our worldviews come our values, which produce our behavior. These string of lectures alone were not only thought provoking but also encouraging, and guess what? It is only the third day! Hallelujah! There is more! Now, I am eagerly waiting on the other seminars to hear the content God desires to speak into my heart.
I believe the most convicting seminar I heard was from Michael Sherrard on relational apologetics. I have a weakness in strategic evangelism because I do not know how to communicate the faith that is within me. Sometimes my evangelism looks a lot like a lecture behind a podium rather than a simple conversation in a living room. Sherrard addressed how strong the power of saying, “I don’t know” is. When people are led to Jesus by Christians without Ph.D.s, then we must ask God to humble us from thinking we are, “experts” in the faith. I always sound like a textbook when I defend or explain my faith, rather than sounding like the one true living God is inside me; like the king of the universe lives inside of a textbook on my grandmother’s coffee table. Relational apologetics is the largest area of my faith which with I struggle, but thanks to God, I now have valuable resources to help me grow.
In conclusion, spending time here at Summit has been the most effective investment in my faith. Nowhere else will you find such a place to grow close to God and receive such an abundance of Christian educational resources. This is truly a safe place, where anyone is free to be objective and disagree. We are taught to question Christianity and find answers which lead to truth. You will find Truth here! Just as one may study the Bible and feel refreshed in wisdom and truth, you may find it is like drinking water from a fire hydrant here at Summit. I would like to lift up my prayers to God and thank Him for the students, the staff members, the instructors, and the healthy environment which He has blessed us all with here at Summit. I’ll leave you with this question, do you really believe that what you believe is really real? Summit Student Conferences are the place to find that answer.