Theme, Keynotes, and Classes Descriptions

Theme Description

Reclaimed
College campuses are often viewed as dangerous places for the Christian faith. Cultural changes. Pressures. Temptations. New viewpoints and ways of thinking. It can be overwhelming at times. And it leads many parents and churches to be pessimistic about college campuses, places where a godly, healthy life is unlikely to flourish. But Christians on college campuses are not called to cower in the face of these issues, feeling powerless and at a loss for ways to effectively engage our campuses. At GCG 2020, our keynote speakers will address some of these temptations and trends head-on. Isolation. Despair. Worry. Lust. Reactivity. We will hear how God wants to reclaim our students and campuses from these trends and temptations. Our hope is that each student can come away from GCG 2020 encouraged and equipped trusting in God's power and grace on our campuses.

Keynote Descriptions

Friday Night -- From Worry to Trust
In 2018, over 60% of college students report feeling overwhelmed at some point in the past year. College students are more worried than ever. Colleges are expensive, leading students to juggle jobs and college courses, all while taking out crushing amounts of student debt. Graduate and professional schools are increasingly competitive, increasing the need to study hard and get good grades. Social media keeps students hyperfocused on their images, inviting them to constantly compare themselves to others. These pressures (and more!) combine to suffocate students with concerns. Calm and confidence seem out of reach. Stress and worry dominate. But God wants to reclaim our hearts and minds from these worries and concerns. He calls us to place our trust in His power and love for us. How can students handle all the pressures of tuition, debt, coursework, relationships, and more while retaining their trust in God? How can they practice trust in a world that pulls them towards worry and fear?

Saturday Morning -- From Lust to Holy Sexuality
The invitation to follow Jesus is an invitation to transformed into His likeness in every aspect of our lives including our sexuality. However, we do not live our lives in a spiritual vacuum where Jesus is the only one forming or shaping us. We live in a time and place where our culture is relationally confused as well as hypersexualized. Have you ever paused to think about how the culture at large is forming you in regards to how you steward your sexuality? What would it look like to let Jesus form our sexual stewardship? In this talk we will take a close look at our current cultural sexual climate and contrast it holy or biblical sexuality.

Saturday Evening -- From Loneliness to Community
Loneliness is an epidemic on college campuses. Over 64% of college students surveyed report feeling "very lonely" in the past twelve months. Increasing rates of mental illness and the role of social media has decreased healthy social relationships and led to college students being more isolated and lonely. But God did not design us for isolation and loneliness. From the creation, in which the Triune God created humans to share in His loving communion, to his design for the church, God has always intended for humans to live in a loving, supportive community. How does God see the loneliness of our students? How can our response to the loneliness tap into God's design for the church to be a family? In short, how does God plan to reclaim the lives of college students from the loneliness they are experiencing?

Sunday Morning -- From Despair to Hope
Many college students struggle to approach the future with genuine hope. Some feel that the tragedies and letdowns of their pasts will continue in the future. That they are destined to failure and disappointment. Others have not achieved the grades, test scores, or graduate school admissions for which they have worked years. Their future feels bleak. Uncertain. Scary. But at the center of the good news of Jesus is the message that our futures are bright and full of hope and expectation. God is working all things together for our good. He is turning our ashes into beauty. How can college students face the uncertain and scary future with the hope of God? How can they let go of their despair and fight of the hopeful vision of the future promised by God?

Sunday Evening -- From Reactive to Redemptive
From social media to campuses, many college students are expressing their frustrations, disgust, and disapproval of the injustices in our world. Their reactions come from a deep-seated impulse that this world is not how it should be. As Christians, we believe that this world falls short of God's standards of love and justice. But we are also in service to the God who is redeeming our world from these failures of love and justice, the God who is making all things new. How can we tap into this awareness of the injustice, but move beyond our frustrations to partner with God in making all things new? How can our response to societal injustice become redemptive, not merely reactive?

Breakout Descriptions

Saturday
Contemplative Worship

Hannah Parmalee, "Dating that Brings Life, Joy, and Love"
Come talk about how romantic relationships can bless our lives, drawing us closer to God, and making us more into the people He created us to be. Get some practical dating tips and continue shaping your vision for what dating and marriage mean for your life.

Buddy Bell, "Christianity 101"
Let’s reclaim the simple gospel in our overly complex world. It’s powerful enough to save us and unite us! If you are interested in learning about the core message of Christianity, this breakout is for you. If you are interested in sharing your faith this breakout is for you.

Aaron Etheridge, "Sex without Jesus? Walking with Jesus in a hyper-sexualized age"
Is sexual fulfillment an individual right or divine grace? The Bible teaches us that all things were created through Jesus. Does that include sex? If so, why does he so often get left out of the conversation? This session will take a look at what happens when sex or sexual fulfillment take Jesus’ place on the throne of our lives.

John Nichols, "The Persistent Gospel"
The Gospel reveals how much a person needs Jesus. The Gospel demonstrates how far God is willing to go to save people. The Gospel shows God meeting people where they are. This is good news! Did you know it doesn’t stop there? The Gospel also reveals a loving God who meets people where they are and doesn’t leave them there. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues to heal pieces of a person’s character and relationships. God continues to transform his people. The Gospel shows us that God is doing something today....persistently. He doesn’t give up. He never gives up. That’s good news too!

Sunday
Instrumental Worship


Hannah Parmalee, "Friendships that Shape Life"
Everyone needs deep, life giving friendships. Spend an hour exploring how God is inviting you into new levels of life shaping friendship.

Paul Evans, "The Penitentiary Podium: How Paul Leveraged 'The System' to Convert the World"
How does a legalist become a lawyer? How does a birth certificate become a weapon? How does a prison sentence become a platform? How does an elitist choose suffering? The surprising step-by-step account of how the Roman government was used for God's glory.

John Nichols, "The Persistent Gospel"
The Gospel reveals how much a person needs Jesus. The Gospel demonstrates how far God is willing to go to save people. The Gospel shows God meeting people where they are. This is good news! Did you know it doesn’t stop there? The Gospel also reveals a loving God who meets people where they are and doesn’t leave them there. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God continues to heal pieces of a person’s character and relationships. God continues to transform his people. The Gospel shows us that God is doing something today....persistently. He doesn’t give up. He never gives up. That’s good news too!

Fred Liggin, "Tangibly Extending God's Hospitality to Neighbors Living Through Social Displacement"
Homelessness not only occurs when someone loses a dwelling place, but also when abandonment, despair and feeling out of place all come together in a loss of social and cultural identity. Homelessness is a state of being without any sense of place or effective means of orientation. At 3e Restoration we call this social displacement. The question we want to ask is how can a campus ministry become equipped, empowered and encouraged to be present with neighbors living through social displacement? And how can a campus ministry resist the urge to do this by facilitating programmatic transactional relationships?