I know ATF can be a somewhat controversial event.  However we are going again this year.  Our kids love it.  Over the past 5 years it has grown and become a significant thing for many of our youth.  This year we are taking 120 down to Denver at the end of the week.  The thing that I like best about ATF is how they push being involved in your local church.  I remember the first year we went I was ready to pull the plug becuase it was like they were saying, “Follow us…we have all of the answers.  If your youth group is doing something we do it better.”  As a youth pastor that really bothered me and left me somewhat hurt after coming back.

The 2nd year things were different.  They spent all day Saturday pushing discipleship.  They changed from having multiple speakers on multiple topics to one speaker on the same topic all day long.  The biggest difference I noticed was our students were starting to grow.  So this year we are going again with 120 students.  I don’t always agree with everything that is said and we try to “prep” our kids and warn them against being caught up in the emotional and instead try to see God through each experience.  We use it as an outreach tool where our non-believing students can hear the gospel in a new and relevant way.  That is the one thing ATF is really great at.