Alumnus Interview: Know What You Believe and Why
Jonathan Cothran was one of the 67 students who attended our first Think Well Conference in 2016. (Yes, he's also son of Pastor Todd, our M.C.!) I recently interviewed him and asked him to reflect a little on that first conference as well as look ahead to the 2018 one, now just three weeks away. Below are his responses.
Also, we are SO grateful Jon's agreed to head up our morning and end-of-day worship/singing at Think Well 2018, as well as a special outdoor praise and worship time at our closing event (weather permitting!).
This is your second Think Well Conference; what are you most looking forward to about the 2018 conference?
Jonathan Cothran (JC): Definitely the classes. The conference is structured so well that I never got tired of sitting.
What's the most memorable lecture/speaker from the 2016 conference and why?
JC: Nabeel [Qureshi]. I think I remember him the most because I had never really thought about what he was talking about. I never really learned to look at things from the other person's perspective.
[Editor's note: Qureshi was one of our video speakers in 2016, and his session was on his conversion to Christianity from Islam. He spoke about his journey to faith and the questions he asked along the way. They can be found in part in his autobiographical book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.]
How did your 2016 Think Well training change your outlook or perspective?
JC: It taught me to look at things objectively. I started to really understand that there is incredibly strong evidence for why we believe what we believe.
One title among our free book giveaways at Think Well 2018 will be Do Hard Things. I understand this book made quite an impression on you. How did it impact you?
JC: Do Hard Things changed the way I looked at everything. It taught me that we (youth) have so much more potential than we often think.
Is there anything you'd like to tell students who are new to Think Well so they're prepared and know what to expect at the conference?
JC: I would tell them to bring a really good pen and a lot of extra paper! Also, shoes for playing sports in are very important.
How do your faith and love for music intersect?
JC: Whenever I play I remind myself of the reasons I play: one, because it brings joy to me and the people around me; two, because I believe God gifted me with the ability to create music; and third, and most importantly, because music is the most personal way I can praise God.
For students still trying to decide whether to register, do you have a message you'd like to send them?
JC: People shouldn't pass this chance up because the world is a very dangerous place, a marketplace of ideas, and if you don't know what you believe or why you believe it, you will never be able to effectively communicate and respond to questions that will challenge your worldview.
It's not too late to register for Think Well 2018, but time is ticking toward our June 15th registration deadline. Sign up here! If you have a need for scholarship assistance or carpooling rides to the conference, please don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com.