Below you will find candid and unedited feedback from attendees, staff, and group counselors from a follow-up survey to Mission Critical Teen Conference held on Saturday, February 6, 2021. If there is one major trend we see from the results it is that these young adults are hungry for Biblical answers and desire to connect their faith with those around them.
There’s a popular Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The time is now to invest in our young people and teach them to stand on the Rock in a culture of shifting sand. They are hungry. They are waiting. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
BIG THANKS to all who filled out the follow-up survey for Mission Critical. We’re grateful for your honest feedback. If you attended Mission Critical and haven’t filled out the survey and would like to click here.
Who filled out the survey?
Survey Participant’s gender.
Survey participants’ age.
How would you rate your overall experience at Mission Critical? (0=never again, 10=it rocked)
How likely would you attend/participate in another event similar to Mission Critical?
If you were to attend a similar event, these are the topics you are MOST INTERESTED in learning more about:
- The eruption of Mount St Helen and the Grand Canyon in light of the Gospel
- More apologetics, more scripture, and ways to defend against/share with others the truth about real, current issues that go against Christianity.
- More apologetics, missions, “making disciples of all nations.”
- I would like to study/discuss specific apologetic arguments (The Ontological Argument, Cosmological arguments, the Moral Argument, etc.).
- More apologetics
- BEAST School (Basic Expository Apologetics Skills Training)
- Love and how to deal with relationships.
- Being a Christian teen in today’s society and how to handle it.
- Being confident in sharing Jesus.
- Being able to answer when asked about things relating from the world to the Bible.
- Being able to confidently defend ourselves against the attacks of Satan, whether it be accusers, depression, anxiety, our own minds, and life in general.
- Apologetics, how to be faithful in difficult friendships, and how to speak Tuth in a fallen world.
- Evolution vs creation
- More Apologetics
- I believe that the most interesting concept that was covered by Mr. Brian Dobler and my youth leaders was the apologetic tactics that contemporary Christians can use as direct responses to possible deception or misunderstanding that is commonplace in the public forum.
- Creation, deep dive of Genesis 1-11
- A study of the topic of God’s love for us, as well as us loving Him first, then others.
- Christian discipleship for teens/young adults.
- Predestination, the Trinity, and the letters written by Paul.
- Come to the throne of grace.
- More Creation science! The children were fascinated by the facts that they had never heard. It amazed them that science was actually in favor of creation/ against evolution. They literally had NO CLUE – so it was the one thing they really anchored on. Group discussions could also be a bit longer as students were truly engaged
- I think any apologetics or ethical instruction that students can receive to help them to combat the lies of the culture (for themselves and for others) is helpful.
What you enjoyed MOST about Mission Critical:
- Small group
- Being able to hang out with my friends and I liked the dock. The people were nice.
- Being around other teens/getting to go to a Christian “camp” of sorts after being unable to do so much due to a pandemic.
- The second lecture: BEAST school (Basic Expository Apologetics Skills Training), as well as the free time—fellowship.
- I liked the small group discussions that occurred directly after the sessions. It allowed me and my peers to dive deeper into the information.
- All the cool facts tied in with the Christian view!
- BEAST School.
- The free time.
- Being with teens my age confidently sharing and speaking about Jesus.
- Having the opportunity to meet new people and make friends with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Feeling the strength and confidence of knowing Jesus in the midst of others and being fueled by the power of Jesus after leaving the conference.
- Hearing the beautiful voices of other teens singing and praising the Name of Jesus without shame.
- Learning about apologetics, meeting new people.
- The sessions
- The teaching sessions, how it was catered to youth, the very real presence of the Holy Spirit, how I was prayed over before the event, and the emphasis on investing in each of the youth who were present.
- I enjoyed the explanations delivered by Mr. Brian Dobler. His gift of public speaking helped tremendously in my understanding of the issues that were covered and helped me look at most of the issues from an entirely new angle that made sense and was easy to follow.
- All of it!!
- A large number of teens were fed physically and spiritually with great information in a well-organized manner overall.
- Fellowship with my fellow believers
- It was fun and lively, I got to see many of my other friends who were interested in the same.
- Being a group leader for high school boys.
- I appreciated the seriousness of the content and of the conference as a whole. Too many Christian youth conferences prioritize fun over seeking to establish and/or grow youth in their understanding of God and what it means to be His disciple. The teens were able to have fun in rec time, but I think, more importantly, they left having been challenged to think more deeply about their faith. I was also encouraged by the discussion that we had with the HS guys in our small group. There was a good group of teens that were gathered for the conference. The giveaway resources were awesome (both in their bags and for raffles). All in all, I did not have to worry about deconstructing any wrong ideas on the way home or to apologize for shallow “worship” music. All of these things are no longer givens for most youth functions, so I applaud you all for what you were able to accomplish.
What you enjoyed LEAST about Mission Critical:
- Big group time
- I was a little disappointed with the food, but overall I enjoyed everything
- That it was only a one-day thing.
- The weather. 😉
- The weather was quite frigid, but there is nothing that can fix that part.
- I enjoyed all of it.
- Posing for the group picture because of the sand spurs that killed everybody.
- The short amount of time in small groups.
- Not being pulled out of my comfort zone enough to confidently meet new people, but make sure that I’m not stressed too much 🙂
- Nacho cheese
- Oh my goodness, this is a HARD question, because I can’t think of anything I didn’t like 🙂 I would have loved for Mr.Dobler to have more teaching time, towards the end of every session, I kept thinking “No, don’t stop!” LOL!!!
- I can’t think of anything at all!
- Too much afternoon free time/hand time/game time and not enough small group time/discussion time
- I felt pulled between helping with behind-the-scenes/kitchen work and my small group time. (staff member)
- Nothing, I had a great time all around.
- I like everything about mission Critical. Yall did a great job for this one entire day.
- I really didn’t have any negatives. The only thing that I can think of is that I wish Brian could have gone further into some of the topics (particularly the B.E.A.S.T. school material), but I understand that there was only so much that could be covered in a single day. I think enough was shared to get the students thinking and to hopefully pique their curiosity to explore some of the topics more on their own.
- Turn the temperature up outside next time.
What you want to see done differently at a future event:
- More group games
- I like chicken nuggets.
- There is nothing that I would change about this event. It was well organized and thought out carefully.
- I think everything was spot on
- Change the group photo location
- I would enjoy having a little more time to spend in our small groups.
- To be pulled out of my comfort zone more.
- Begin meal times in a slightly staggered schedule so that everyone has time to finish their meals
- NOTHING!!! It was perfect!
- In summary of the events held throughout the day at Mission Critical, I thought that there was a perfect combination of teaching while still being able to have so much fun! There is nothing to critique!
- A full one-day event like this is more consistently predictable/manageable than trying to do a Friday evening and then for the Saturday event.
- More time with the small groups
- Nothing overall, just a few time changes here and there.
- Give more group time for 1 hour.
- After our second lesson. Have a 3-hour free time
- And stay for a whole weekend. Get there Friday afternoon and leave Sunday morning sometime. Or better yet stay for a whole week.
- More discussion time & more discussion of science facts/ apologetics
- I don’t know what the scheduling options looked like at Camp Albemarle, but possibly scheduling the conference when the weather might be a little warmer, if available.
- Just can’t wait to participate again and would love to have the opportunity to work alongside the staff someday.
The talks were:
The LENGTH of the talks were:
When asked if you are interested in learning more about apologetics (defending and sharing your faith), you said:
Do you want to learn more about how observational science confirms the historical events in the Bible (Creation, the Fall, the Flood, Tower of Babel, etc.) and contradicts millions of years of earth history and molecules-to-man evolution?
Do you have a church or fellowship where you gather and worship?
If you do attend church, do you learn how to defend your faith?
Do you feel you benefitted from your small group time?
What you would like to see done differently with small groups?
- I like games
- More time in small groups. It felt really rushed and possibly doing a different bible study from what the talk was so we can learn more.
- The small groups were great, it only lacked the connectedness of conversation and discussion.
- There is nothing that I would change about the small groups.
- I can’t think of anything I would change.
- More time to discuss questions and get to know people.
- Having more time.
- Definitely give us more time to talk.
- To dive deeper into serious subjects.
- I think it would have been cool if my small group prayed over each other as a group. But other than that, my small group leaders were amazing!
- While I do believe that the leaders did a great job, there were a lot of people in the rooms and I also think that there may have been too many students per leader in the Student/Leader ratio. Not a big problem in the slightest!
- Lead with relevant questions pertaining to the talks.
- Have more allocated time for small group discussions
- More time
- Nothing much, maybe just more discussion time. We were in a small hustle to have everyone answer a question pertaining to the talks, and we had a medium-sized group of guys so a time extension would have definitely helped.
- Have 1 hour for small group times instead of rushing the time schedule.
- In the first session, there was a bit of time spent doing icebreakers- which left very little discussion time. But the ice breakers really helped the group dynamics overall—so they are important.
- I know that space was limited, but I think that being outside in the cold for our group (especially the last meeting time) was a little distracting for a few of the guys. We appreciated the heat lamps though!
Did you enjoy the food?
Did you enjoy the worship music/time?
What would you like to see done differently with the worship music/time at a future event?
- Move Mrs. Weist to the front.
- Nothing. It was great!
- More songs, less repetition of songs.
- There is nothing I would change about the worship time.
- Not much
- More well-known songs so that the crowd engages more.
- Nothing! I LOVED it!!!
- I loved that it was youth-led! Amazing talent! No change!
- Have a time of meditative prayer.
- No, the music was great with the teens playing and the atmosphere was good.
- Play “Best News Ever” by Mercy Me.
- I really enjoyed hearing “The Voice of Truth” by Casting crown.
- It was wonderful to see teens playing the music and leading.
- The worship music was vastly superior to what I have seen at other youth events. I appreciate the selection of songs that had more depth and were theologically sound. I feel like I am nitpicking here, but I wouldn’t have minded another one or two modern hymns from Keith Getty. Again, that being said, I was fine with the songs that were selected.
Did you enjoy the activities and your free time?
What would you like to see done differently for activities/free time at a future event?
- Nothing it was great.
- Possibly team event/games
- There is nothing I would change about the free time at this event.
- Maybe make the different things closer together so you don’t have to walk a couple of acres to get to a different activity.
- The activities were fun, but I felt like the free time was too long. I know other people may have really enjoyed that time, it just personally wasn’t my favorite.
- Have something for people to do who don’t want to do the “green band” activities but want to meet and talk to new people during the free time without walking around not knowing what to do or who to talk to.
- Nothing! It was great!
- Nothing at all! I was happy that there was something for everyone to do and that no one was ever alone!
- Less of it. I would have enjoyed more time with the talks.
- Activity/free time should be shortened and overall duration.
- No change.
- 3 hours of free time would be good.
- Because it was cold, we had several teens asking when free time was over. It might be an option to distribute free time throughout the day rather than one long interval. However, the ropes course requires a longer interval.
- I wouldn’t have minded rotating to a different station halfway through the free time just to see what was going on elsewhere. That was on me though, as I know you all said that both leaders didn’t have to be present where they were stationed for the whole time.
- The youth seemed to enjoy these times.
Do you have any additional comments, suggestions, concerns?
- Thank you for Mission Critical. I learned a lot and had fun.
- I love the debate aspect of not only seeing things from our faith-based perspective but also the evolutionary side. I feel like many people on each side of the debate never want to acknowledge the opposition. Having it laid out on both sides with facts, evidence, and logic was extremely beneficial and gave me a clearer view of what I, myself am defending, and what I am up against. I had been through multiple apologetics courses throughout my life, but this was by far one of the best! It gave me a renewed vision as to what I believe and stand for, as well as a renewed passion for apologetics! Thank you!
- I have no additional comments.
- Thank you all for all the effort you all put into it. And for wanting to share your faith with younger believers. Thank you all so much!
- It was overall an amazing and nourishing time with friends and the Lord and I can’t wait to do it again!!❤️
- PLEASE hold another event!!!
- I needed this SO MUCH!!!
- Pray hard work hard praise God!
- Love you guys!
- Just keep up the great work!
- Everything was awesome. I hope y’all will do this event again soon maybe for like a whole week in the summer.
- I know the work to put the conference together was overwhelming, but I hope that you would decide to do this again. I would encourage parents at my church to send their teens again. Have you ever given any thought to doing a basic intro to apologetics to older elementary-age kids? The earlier we can get kids exposed to the fact that our faith is supported by logic and science (to combat the lie that we have a blind faith) the better. Thanks again, for all of the hard work you all put in, and for a wonderful day for our teens that came. Feel free to follow up with me if I can be of help, but don’t feel obligated as I don’t have a specific need to be followed up with.
- Keep going strong guys. Stay true to God and His word…..He will add to it.