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We may only be a little over a year into this new 2020s decade, but I think we can all agree it has surely made an impression so far. As seasoned Christians, seeing all that’s going on in the world may be disheartening, but we ultimately know that these are the labor pains that must pass before Christ returns and makes all things new. He is our hope to face tomorrow and why we persevere with purpose.
However, today’s children and teens struggle to have this depth of spiritual foresight when it comes to processing the current climate. This unfortunately can lead them down a path of unhealthy coping instead of drawing closer to the cross. They have not only been battling increased levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts since COVID-19 began, but they’re also being targeted by a confusing, divisive culture that so wants to draw them away from God’s truth and biblical values.
This is a heavy, widespread reality. But rather than throwing in the towel, be encouraged! God has chosen you and me to empower the next generation for such a time as this. He predestined you to be a light and to lead right here in the 2020s. When children and teenagers are taught how to be in relationship with Jesus Christ, they can then engage faith and culture head on with a Spirit-led boldness. Such an important task isn’t meant to be a solo mission. When a united body of believers comes together for a common goal, incredible waves are made in the Kingdom, and I’ve witnessed that firsthand through the organization Schools United.
Schools United Professional Development Day
Similar to Church United, Schools United was founded four years ago to give Christian educators in South Florida the opportunity to expand their professional knowledge, build godly community, and develop their respective schools for the purpose of having a deeper impact for Christ. What first started as informal gatherings among heads of schools has grown into an annual Professional Development Day conference that has served over 700 attendees from our area and beyond, becoming one of the largest events of its kind in the nation.
Schools United’s upcoming conference will be taking place on Friday, February 18, 2022 at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in partnership with Christian Schools of Palm Beach County. This engaging, day-long event will involve worship, main teaching sessions, interactive breakout sessions and roundtable discussions, giveaways, and lunch catered by Chick-fil-A.
Last year, renowned apologist Sean McDowell served as the keynote speaker, and for Schools United Professional Development Day (SUPD) 2022, we have the honor of having Brett Kunkle join us to lead our main sessions. Kunkle is the founder and president of MAVEN — a movement to equip the next generation to know truth, pursue goodness, and create beauty. He has more than 25 years of experience working with junior high, high school, college students and parents. Kunkle will be leading sessions titled “How to teach your students to think critically” and “A practical guide to culture.”
Conference attendees will not only have the opportunity to learn from Kunkle, but other well-known leaders as well, including:
- Dr. Bob Barnes — CEO of Sheridan House Family Ministries in Davie, FL; will be challenging us as educators and leaders.
- Dr. Alan Pue — President of The Barnabas Group; will be challenging us to rethink how we do discipleship.
- Jerry Nelson — Special Advisor to the President at ACSI; will be teaching on a biblical view of diversity.
- Dr. Lynn Swaner — Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at ACSI; will be teaching on how to have a flourishing school environment.
A chance for the next gemeration
More than 25 Christian schools and 1,400 Christian school teachers and staff members have already committed to participating in SUPD 2022. Though this event is designed primarily for Christian faculty and staff members who work in education, any adult with a passion for reaching the next generation for Jesus can benefit from being a part of the event, and you can attend in person or virtually.
If you’re interested in partaking in this special time of professional and spiritual growth, email [email protected] to lock-in the affordable rate of $35 per person.
And while we do have great professional speakers lined up, we’re also looking for school faculty and staff as well as ministry leaders to teach breakout sessions on topics that will empower those who spiritually and academically lead children and youth. This entails sharing a 45-minute, interactive presentation in a classroom setting. Breakout session presenters will receive a $50 stipend for each session they lead. If you’re interested in serving in this capacity as a conference attendee, please email [email protected] for more information.
This event is ultimately a reminder that we go further when we are on mission together — collaborating with, encouraging, and equipping one another. Participating in SUPD 2022 is just one of the many ways we can be strengthened in our faith and calling. As we’re faithful to sow seeds of life and hope in the lives of young people, we can rest assured that the Lord will cause those seeds to grow in His perfect timing and will. Keep on persevering and pouring into others for His glory!
For more information, visit schoolsunited.city
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