Welcome to Focus on the Family’s Day of Dialogue® website. The Day of Dialogue is a nationwide, free-speech initiative and website for students in public schools and colleges. It was created to equip and support Christian students who want to share a biblical perspective on current-day issues and who are looking for a compassionate and loving way to share the hope of God’s truth with classmates in their school.
In recent years, we’ve noticed the increase in news headlines about students being told they can’t engage in simple religious-freedom activities, such as reading their Bible personally during free time or praying during lunch. That’s why it’s so important to come alongside our students and encourage them that they do still have religious-freedoms protected under the U.S. Constitution—and they don’t have to be ashamed of or hide their deeply held religious beliefs.
To that end, Focus on the Family also sponsors an annual, free-speech event for students (ages 13 and older) called the Day of Dialogue, which will take place in schools nationwide in mid April, this year’s event was Thursday, April 14, 2016.
The Day of Dialogue helps Christian students carve out a safe place and have an equal opportunity to express a biblical viewpoint in a loving and Christ-centered manner—especially when hot-button topics, such as homosexuality, gender identity and same-sex marriage, are already being discussed and promoted in their public schools.
The event provides a critical opportunity for thousands of thoughtful teens and college students to be able to bring a redemptive perspective to the table on some of the most important social issues being addressed on our nation’s campuses.
To learn more about what you can do to support the students’ efforts and help them get the word out, be sure to download our free Day of Dialogue kit for parents. Among other things, the guide equips you to share the event with the students through: 1) downloadable Powerpoint presentations and fun student exercises based on real-life situations, 2) myth vs. fact explanations of students’ legal rights, 3) links to teen-friendly articles and discussion questions, and 4) videos for students, and more! At the focusonthefamily.com/empowerstudents link, you and your teen can also access a student guide that equips students with interactive tools and free-speech resources.
The heart of this event is to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible—who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm.
The bad news is that the need for God’s hope has never been greater—especially in our public schools, many of which have increasingly delved into promoting controversial sexual topics to students, such as homosexuality, transgenderism and gay marriage. All too often, this occurs in a way that is extremely disrespectful of parental rights and students’ religious freedoms. Many times it creates a pressure-cooker situation for Christian students since this promotion often occurs without parental knowledge or permission—and only one point of view is allowed, while others are disparaged. But the good news is that when darkness increases, it creates an opportunity for the light of God’s love to shine even brighter. The hope of the Gospel has never failed in these situations. So thankfully, we still live in a nation that allows free speech and religious freedom. That’s why it’s so important that we encourage our students that they have nothing to be ashamed of in expressing their deeply held religious convictions in a way that is peaceful and respectful of authority. And that they can have confidence and boldness in sharing their beliefs about God’s redemptive plan for humanity.
I Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” And that’s what this website seeks to equip students to do. As a parent, you should know that on this site we have actively encouraged students to involve you in their plans to participate in the Day of Dialogue. If for any reason, you as a parent have concerns, we have made it clear to students that they should respect and honor those concerns. Parental support for student participants in the Day of Dialogue will be absolutely key—since it does require great courage in this culture of spiritual relativism to acknowledge the existence of redemptive truth. So we hope you will surround your student participant with prayer, exhortation and your guidance as they participate in these events.