During the past few years I have been blessed to find myself, along with a couple friends, as attendees at various apologetic conferences and training events. What I have come to discover, as in any discipline, is that we need to take advantage of any source of knowledge we can to grow. The depth of our understanding does not come from osmosis, a book under your pillow, although may of my Christian friends seem to adhere to that very idea. That some how the Bible on the shelf is some how mystically transferring its information to your soul. But reality is that if you don’t read the label you might ingest the wrong product, if you get my drift. So I wanted to argue for the need or at the very least a few good reasons to consider attending a conference.
You might have the opportunity to fist-bump J. Warner Wallace, Cold Case Detective.
Now, this may seem like the most unlikely reason for me to list. Really, attend a conference to meet a famous apologist? Well, yes, and my intentions are pure. If you go for that reason it just might, very well be that moment when you realize the amount of knowledge that you are devoid of, and require to answer hard questions pertaining to your faith. You may go to meet the guy or girl who you saw on TV and end up with the greatest challenge of your lifetime.
You have friends that have been asking you questions outside your current scope of knowledge.
Most Christians are challenged with questions as soon as someone verges from, “where do you go to church,” and then the defensive machine begins to spit and spuder. This is where many a believer spews answers that are completely fabricated, on the spot and false information never helps anyone. We are required to “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you,” Our ability to give a reasonable answer that is coherent and true is founded upon the amount of knowledge we attaint.  Conferences like those held by Southern Evangelical Seminary or the ReThink conference orchestrated by Stand to Reason are great places to get into the meat of the word and the knowledge that a believer, in my view, should have to be a believer.
You desire more knowledge but don’t necessarily want to earn a degree, at this time.
The culture has gone crazy and the Church has seemingly hitched a ride with them, to be fair not all churches. If you genuinely have compassion toward your fellow believers and skeptics and you understand the amount of equipping that goes on at one of these events, then…. Make it a road trip, get the youth pastor to coordinate it, beg your mom and dad, what ever it takes, within the bounds of moral responsibility of course.
The Christian has a responsibility to those who question, as mentioned above, but greater than that we are foremost accountable to God. We should not ignorantly flounder through life not really knowing why we be believe, what we believe. We should not be so quick to plug our ears until the questions stop, or simply “have faith,” this is not honest. Nor is it honoring to God. We are commanded to love God with all our hearts and minds, this requires knowledge, but first we must reverence Him enough to begin the process of growing in it. There really is no idle position, either we are pursuing truth in these areas or we are meditating on doubt. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.  So take advantage of the growing amount of events around the country and the world for that matter.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), 1 Pe 3:15.
 Ibid. Pr 1:7.