Speaker Q&A with Steve Forister: Being "All There"
Steve Forister will lead two two-part sessions at Think Well 2018: "Can We Trust the Bible?" (both on Tuesday morning, June 26) and "Working Out Your Faith" (on Friday morning, June 29). Here's a little more about Steve and his heart for young people. You can also check out his brief bio on the Think Well 2018 Speakers page.
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do, and how you ended up in Charlottesville.
Steve Forister (SF): I’m thrilled to serve as an elder and youth Sunday School teacher at CrossLife Community Church, and now to speak at Think Well. It blends together my passion for connecting God’s people with God’s Word, so that they might lead lives of victory and joy through the power of God’s Spirit. Although I now work in the high-tech industry, I have long had a passion for this kind of ministry. My family and I have made Charlottesville home for two years, and we've lived in Virginia (northern and central) for a total of six years, since we decided to uproot ourselves from our beloved Colorado at the end of 2011.
What do you like to do for fun?
SF: For fun, I relish the chance to be outdoors, especially on a mountain hike or a bike ride, and to embark on spontaneous adventures with family and friends to places I’ve never visited.
Can you summarize what you'll be speaking on at Think Well and why these topics are important to think well about?
SF: I’m speaking on two very different but critically important topics for young believers: the reliability of God’s Word, and the nature of our faith. Both are under intense assault today from all corners. I hope that through these sessions—two sessions on each topic, on two different days of the conference—Think Well students come away not only with a rock-solid confidence that the Bible is utterly trustworthy and that their faith is genuinely bearing fruit, but also with the boldness and means to encourage others elsewhere toward this same end.
No one attending Think Well should keep what they learn boxed up or stuck on a shelf somewhere to gather dust. If you’ve ever doubted or been challenged about the authenticity and authority of the Scriptures, or the relevance of the power of a faith that’s 100% your very own, I want to put tools in your toolbox that allow you to tackle that head on. Following Christ is not for the faint of heart, but young Christians everywhere need to know they are not alone—and that truth is on their side.
Why are you excited about Think Well?
SF: Not a single person involved in this conference will walk away empty-handed. You’re about to be surrounded by some amazing fellow students, many of whom are coming with great expectations and some of whom—who knows?—may even wind up becoming lifelong friends. You’re going to be stretched and learn what it means to love God with all your mind. You’re going to be exposed to some challenging words and solid teaching from conference speakers. You’ll have fun even while you have a sober-minded understanding of what’s at stake. I’m counting on this being absolutely transformative for everyone involved. Let’s be praying toward that end!
Do you have any message for students attending (or thinking about attending) the conference?
SF: Missionary martyr Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there!” I’m captivated by this thought and have been for over 25 years of walking in my faith. It’s changed how I relate to people: When I ask the question, “How are you doing?” I actually stop and listen, intently, with full eye contact and questions that carry the conversation further. I’m dialed in 100%. All of a sudden, people feel like you really care—and believe me, it opens doors. This whole “be all there” approach to life has changed the way I think, the way I read, the way I serve, the way I work—and it’s still changing me today. I want to be all there, wherever I am. Just like Jim Elliot was until the day he died at the hands of the tribe he was trying to reach with the gospel.
My prayer for you who attend—and my strong challenge to you—is that you are “all there” from the moment Think Well begins until we wrap on Friday evening—and long afterward. Engage yourself fully. Come expectantly, eager to grow and learn and be changed forever. Then, buckle up and just watch what God does in you!
Still haven't registered for the conference? Steve Forister and the rest of the Think Well team would love for you to be all here! But hurry; registration is only open until June 15.