With God’s blessing, the inaugural FRC Young Men’s Summit took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 22-24, 2023. From across the denomination, twenty young men, aged 16 to 25, flew or drove to the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary where the event was hosted by the FRC Youth and Education Committee. The vision of the Summit is to strengthen young men who desire to serve the Lord in their relationships, homes, churches and denomination, while also building camaraderie between each other.
In an increasingly hostile culture, the church has a responsibility to uphold the biblical mandate for men as Christ-like, humble-minded, servant-leaders. The Summit focused on equipping and encouraging young men to consider various “callings” in their lives under the theme of “See your calling, brethren” from 1 Corinthians 1:26.
On Tuesday night, Dr. Kranendonk laid the foundation in the first session speaking on Christ’s call to his disciples to “Follow Me” from Mark 8:34. After breakfast on Wednesday morning, Rev. Moerdyk spoke on “Called to Integrity” by learning from four biblical examples and Psalm 25:21. After that, Dr. Bilkes addressed the topic “Called to an Office” and provided an alphabet of practical points to begin preparing for an office in the church if called in the future. In the afternoon, Dr. Barrett led a workshop on “Called to Daily Bible Reading”, while elder Mr. Henk Kleyn led a workshop on “Called to a Focused Prayer Life”. On Thursday morning, elder Mr. Henry Vanderveen spoke from 1 Timothy 4:7-8 about discipling and exercising ourselves towards godliness under the theme “Called to Godly Character”. The final session provided an opportunity to ask questions of Mr. Vanderveen, Mr. Kleyn, and a surprise guest, Dr. Ian Hamilton from the United Kingdom.
The young men were encouraged, convicted, and grateful for the speeches. There was time for questions after each speech allowing for more intimacy and discussion. Following the Summit, a survey was taken with one of the questions being, “What is one area you would like to change in your spiritual life when returning home?” Here are a few responses: increase and improve bible reading; more consistent prayer life (x6); live with integrity in the church of Christ; reach out to more people in my church and encourage others; more serious pursuit of godliness; waste less time; decrease social media; live in the light of eternity.
The men also had the opportunity to play icebreaker games, go out for burgers, tour the seminary, visit downtown Holland, play volleyball, jump in Lake Michigan, sing hymns at sunset, and get to know each other in our generous hosts’ homes. They prayed for each other, challenged each other, and sang together. Half of the young men were able to stay and attend the PRTS Conference the following three days.
We pray the Summit impacted the hearts of these young men by God's grace. The intention is to make this event a regular occurrence in the future. We are thankful to PRTS Seminary for the venue, for all the host families from the Grand Rapids churches, and all the volunteers who helped with food and logistics. A special thank you to Corbin Prince for organising many of the details. Ultimately, we praise God from whom all blessings flow. May He continue to build His Church and receive the worship He deserves for purchasing His bride.