Focus on the Family

Why a Day of Dialogue is Needed — And What You Can Do

by Candi Cushman

The need for God's hope has never been greater — especially in our public schools, many of which have increasingly delved into promoting controversial sexual topics to students, such as homosexuality, transgenderism and gay marriage. All too often, this occurs in a way that is extremely disrespectful of parental rights and students' religious freedoms. Many times it creates a pressure-cooker situation for Christian students since this promotion often occurs without parental knowledge or permission — and only one point of view is allowed, while others are disparaged.

Yet, when darkness increases, it creates an opportunity for the light of God's love to shine even brighter! The hope of the Gospel has never failed in these situations. Thankfully, we still live in a nation that allows free speech and religious freedom. That's why it's so important we encourage our students to not be ashamed of expressing their deeply held religious convictions, and to do so in a way that's peaceful and respectful of authority. They can have confidence and boldness in sharing their beliefs about God's redemptive plan for humanity.

Day of Dialogue®a nationwide, free-speech event and website for teens in public high schools and colleges — is sponsored by Focus on the Family® and is designed to equip and support Christian students who have a heart for sharing Christ's love and a biblical perspective on current-day issues with classmates.

I Timothy 4:12 says, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." And that's exactly what the Day of Dialogue equips teens to do!

Day of Dialogue 558x270

What You Can Do

  1. Download the Kits: First, download our FREE student and parent toolkits (see next item in article series).  These kits are chock full of interactive tools — including a fun, colorful "Conversation-Starter" topical guide, a share-worthy "Know Your Rights" online quiz for students, videos, and free, downloadable PowerPoint presentations — that will prompt meaningful discussions with your teens.
  2. Visit DayOfDialogue.com: As you will see constantly reflected on the website, the heart of the initiative is to equip students to express truth in love, as presented by Jesus Christ of the Bible. Jesus didn't back away from speaking truth, but neither did He hold back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm.
  3. Spread the Word: Help support students' efforts by sharing the guide with the teens, pastors and parents in your life. Share this link: focusonthefamily.com/empowerstudents
  4. Pray For the Event: We hope you will surround your student participant with prayer and exhortation, as they participate in this year's event. Please pray for students in the weeks leading up to the Day of Dialogue event on April 10. Also pray for the thousands of students who will exercise their First Amendment rights to distribute Conversation Cards, put up posters and engage in other free-speech activities that communicate a grace-filled, biblical perspective on some of the most sensitive issues of our day.

Download FREE Parent/Pastor or Student Guides

by Candi Cushman

Whether you're a parent, a youth pastor or a student, our guides are designed to empower students to live their faith — with boldness and in love.

 

Parent Pastor Guide 2014 cover Student Guide 2014 cover

 


Teens Speaking Up For God's Truth

by Candi Cushman

In today's culture — and especially in educational settings — students are encountering a flood of confusing messages about homosexuality, gender identity, same-sex marriage and the redefinition of family. 

Even if they aren't hearing about these topics in their schools, they're often hearing about them from media sources or their favorite movie, music and sports stars.

Students Sharing - webconnex image

That said:

How can Christian students speak God's truth into these issues in a redemptive way?

How do they do this compassionately — in a way that recognizes the tragic, real-life bullying scenarios that do happen and the wounding people experience?

How do they speak the truth in love, but also in a way that doesn’t compromise the truth of the Gospel and the religious freedoms and free speech rights of other students?

The needs of students and families trying to wrestle with the answers to those questions, especially in education settings, was one of the primary influences behind the creation of the student-led, annual initiative, the Day of Dialogue®, and its corresponding student-focused website, DayOfDialogue.com.

 

Learn more about the Day of Dialogue here, as well and its guiding principles.


Enter to Win Day of Dialogue Wristbands

Students! You can win Day of Dialogue® wristbands — and use them to help get the conversation started!

by Candi Cushman

Day of Dialogue wristband

Day of Dialogue wristbands on table

Click here to register and for the 2014 Contest rules.


Watch: A Youth Pastor's Perspective

by Candi Cushman

Day of Dialogue® gives families and church leaders a key opportunity to engage with youth and discuss "hot-button" cultural topics in a way that equips teens to navigate difficult situations in their everyday life and empowers them with confidence to articulate their biblical worldview.

That's why parental and youth-leader support for student participants in the Day of Dialogue on April 10 is absolutely key — since it does require great courage in this culture of spiritual relativism to acknowledge the existence of redemptive truth.

Listen to Pastor Jeff share his perspective on three key ways Day of Dialogue, a free-speech event (sponsored by Focus on the Family), equips students to have confidence in expressing their Christian beliefs.

How Day of Dialogue Helps

Don't forget to download a FREE Day of Dialogue kit for pastors and parents at http://www.focusonthefamily.com/empowerstudents.


Empowering Students to Know Legal Rights

by Candi Cushman

Despite all of the legal threats to students' religious freedoms in public schools these days, there is encouraging news: More students are becoming informed about their religious freedom rights. 

They become empowered when they learn the government cannot censor voluntary, personal expressions of faith or voluntary prayers that do not interfere with instruction time.

Learn more at our Day of Dialogue Students' Rights section.

Bullying 

 

 

 


Watch: Day of Dialogue Explained

by Candi Cushman

Candi Cushman, education analyst and DayofDialogue.com facilitator, talks about the purpose of Day of Dialogue and why it's important to equip our students to defend their religious convictions.

Candi Cushman - image 6

 

 


Watch: What's at Stake on Campus

by Candi Cushman

Candi Cushman, education analyst and DayofDialogue.com facilitator, talks about how it's often intimidating for our high school or college students when controversial subjects like same-sex marriage or homosexuality, or even  something like Darwinian evolution, are brought up in their public schools. Unfotunately, these conversations often seem one-sided, restricted and no room to express viewpoints deemed to be politically incorrect or unpopular.

Yet there's good news. Students on public school campuses actually have some of the most powerful free speech and religious freedom rights — even more so than adults — to express their viewpoint.

Watch this brief video to learn more.

Candi Cushman - image 2