Alan Shlemon - 2015 Keynote Speaker
Alan is turning the tide on Christian training. He knows many believers aren’t equipped to persuasively share their convictions with our culture. It’s difficult. People often view Christians as anti-science, anti-choice, judgmental, homophobic, and intolerant. They see the Church as backward-thinking. Though they’re largely mistaken, that perception repels people from the truth of Jesus. Worse, many Christians struggle to respond in a persuasive, yet gracious manner. They don’t feel confident to engage people in conversation about their convictions. That’s why Alan has dedicated his life to training Christians to thoughtfully articulate their faith and values. He realizes that when people are properly equipped, they’re more confident about talking with others. Because they become more skilled in maneuvering in conversation, they’re more effective at sharing their faith. Prior to training Christians, Alan worked in hospital-based physical therapy for ten years. He trained people who could no longer walk, stand, or even sit to rebuild their strength, gain confidence, and physically achieve former levels of function. During this career he still served the body of Christ by teaching and was a bold witness for Jesus on bioethical issues at hospitals in Southern California. The positive reaction he received from students and coworkers propelled him to turn his full-time attention from working with physical bodies to spiritual ideas. That transition brought him to work with Stand to Reason. Alan’s work represents the best in Christian thinking and the art of conversational persuasion on challenging issues of our day. In fact, he has distinguished himself in training Christians about the most controversial issues of our time like evolution, abortion, relativism, homosexuality, euthanasia, cloning, and Islam. His broad experience allows him to bring clear thinking to almost any issue. Alan’s training incorporates three components. First, he equips people with the knowledge to form a foundation of belief. Second, he teaches them to communicate their knowledge in ways that are persuasive and clear. Finally, he shows them how to make the manner of their approach warm, friendly, and gracious. What makes his training unique is his ability to make complex issues accessible to anyone--adult or youth audiences. Alan graduated from California State University, Long Beach and holds a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He has been a guest on both TV and radio, and has spoken to thousands of adults and students across the country at churches, conferences, and college campuses. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife, Jennifer, and two children.
Kiley and Rachel Butler – Speakers & Hosts
Kiley has ministered to youth through various ministries, bands and churches for over 20 years. He has served on staff with Youth For Christ, Memphis Leadership Foundation, Urban Youth Initiative, been a rural and inner city youth pastor, and now works with AreaOne as its President. He has lived his life with a heart to see teenagers live out every aspect of their lives from a biblical perspective. During mid 90′s he helped run a Memphis, TN Christian night club and played in several Christian rock bands including Urgent Cry, Fingerpaint, and with Todd Agnew. Kiley graduated from Crichton College with Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and has also studied for his Masters at Covenant Theological Seminary. When with the Urban Youth Initiative and Memphis Leadership Foundation, he created an inner city mentoring and tutoring program that reached hundreds of at-risk kids in Memphis. He has spoken at churches, camps, graduations, conferences and many other events. He has served as President of AreaOne since 2002 and is chief architect of all AreaOne conferences and events. Kiley also serves as President of AreaOne's three TechLifeLine divisions. TechLifeLine Productions provides event and production services. TechLifeLine.com is a free training site for church production volunteers and TechLifeLine Designs provides web and media services.
Rachel serves as V.P of Operations and Administration for AreaOne. She oversees the organization behind the scenes as well as event registration. As Chief Financial Officer Rachel directs and oversees all aspects of the finance and accounting functions of the organization. She has a heart to disciple young women and has actively been involved in teaching others how to disciple one-on-one and in small groups. Rachel co-founded and ran the Cultural Arts Development Institute in Lakeland, TN where she taught private music lessons and oversaw the formation of classes for homeshoolers. She graduated from Crichton College with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and studied for her masters through Covenant Theological Seminary. Rachel's blog is titled Only Passing Through. Kiley and Rachel live in Lakeland, TN.
Danny Sartin - Adult Breakouts
With more than 40 years’ experience in ministry, Danny Sartin is no stranger to AreaOne. He has served in ministry from the local church to the international level as national field director with Youth For Christ, an international youth evangelism organization. He wrote application notes for several books of the Life Application Bible as a contributing author. Danny is now Executive Director of Deeper Still Ministries. Danny and his wife Cathy are missionaries to missionaries all over the world. He and Cathy, spend much of their time split between South Africa and South America ministering to missionaries in the field. When not out of the country, Danny and Cathy reside in Bartlett, TN and enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren.
2015 Theme: STAND
I Corinthians 15.58 :Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Is your faith securely rooted and grounded in the Word of God? Will you be able to stand firm when your faith is tested? Paul encourages believers in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to stand firm and let nothing move them. The goal of AreaOne SummerCON 2015 is to give students the biblical tools they need to do just that - STAND. Alan Shlemon will be teaching on topics such as: Defending Your Faith, Tolerance vs. Truth, and Why We Should Trust the Bible. The goal is not to teach students how to be on the defense in a non-Christian world, but rather to be active participants in their relationship with the Lord and to fully engage in their walk with Him.
We always challenge students to start a relationship with Jesus Christ if they do not have one. The challenge for students that already follow Christ will be to consider what it means to live for Christ, or, put another way, be the church rather than just attending church. When we present the gospel we present the facts of Truth and trust students to make a decision because we believe that God’s Word will not return void to Him. We also work to create opportunities for you and your youth team to minister to your students. Should you be short on adult volunteers to pray with your students the AreaOne staff will be available to support you.
Meet Alan Shlemon
About Alan Shlemon
Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D. Founder and Director of the MA in Christian Apologetics, Biola University and Author of Five Sacred Crossings: Alan Shlemon is one of those rare "go-to" people with regard to thoughtful Christian engagement. He is always incredibly well studied on the subjects he addresses and he presents his ideas in a crisp and compelling way. Perhaps most importantly, Alan models a way of speaking the truth in love that we all need to follow. He truly is a winsome and attractive ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ and an effective advocate of the great ideas that ground our faith commitment.
Larry Osborne, Ph.D, Senior Pastor, North Coast Church and Author of A Contrarian’s Guide to Knowing God and Sticky Church: “Alan Shlemon provides a valuable service to both the body of Christ and to our local church. With thousands of people coming each weekend, it’s impossible from both a time and research perspective to stay on top of all the important theological, apologetic, and social issues that impact our people. Alan has successfully resourced our congregation and staff over the years with a strong grasp of theology and the contemporary issues. He always does so with, truth, grace, humility, and persuasiveness.”
Topics Alan Will Cover