Tips for a Successful Event

 Do…

  Make sure you download the free get-started guide!

 Share your plans.  Let us know about your plans and how your event goes by 1) visiting the Day of Dialogue® Facebook page and/or 2) or sending us an email.

Reflect the Spirit of Christ. Some people may not be willing to have a respectful dialogue; they may be abrasive and rude—but don’t give into quarreling. Remember that your goal is to simply share a redemptive and hopeful perspective—it’s not to win arguments. After all, actions ultimately speak louder than anything you say, and you want your actions to reflect the love of Christ.

 It also helps to remember the words of Scripture—like Prov. 20:3: “It is honorable to refrain from strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” and Proverbs 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

For more tips, see Responding to Challenges

 Involve your parents/guardians in your plans.  Have a talk with your parents about your plans to participate in the event. It’s important to have the blessing of your parents before participating and to involve them in your plans. Ask them to pray for you! If your parents don’t feel this is a good idea, then you should respect their concerns.

Let your youth pastors, Bible study and other spiritual leaders know about the event and how they can help you get the word out to other students. For more information, they can download the free parent/pastors kit.

 Invite others to participate. It’s a good idea to involve as many friends as possible to join you in your plans. You can find supporters to come alongside you through Christian school clubs and/or local youth groups. Then have a planning meeting beforehand to discuss the best way to communicate your message and get conversations started.

 Be Encouraged! You can be excited about the fact that when you share Biblical truth with your friends, you will have a redemptive impact—even if you don’t immediately see it.

The Bible promises that God’s Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). So be encouraged that your heavenly Father is strengthening  you. Also know that national groups like Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom are supportive of your efforts. You are not alone!

 Keep your perspective. One thing that will help you avoid getting trapped into angry arguments, is to keep an eternal perspective. If someone is angry at you, remember that God loves them and weeps for them and wants to reach them. Even to the point of death on the cross, Jesus Christ was praying for the very people who hurt Him. That’s because He had an eternal perspective. You and your friends can pray before the event that God will empower you with that same perspective and love.

 Follow the proper procedures.  Even if it’s not officially required, we recommend that you demonstrate as much respect as possible by notifying your school officials in advance that you intend to distribute Conversation Cards. And then be sure to follow the proper procedure given for doing so.

Putting posters on the walls probably will require permission. So be sure to go to your principal or appropriate school official several weeks in advance to request permission. Again, be sure to follow the proper procedure.

Note:  In general, according to First Amendment principles, schools should allow you to distribute student-initiated messages (like the Conversation Cards) during non-instructional times. But schools may have a literature distribution policy that regulates appropriate procedures for doing so. Schools can legally enforce minor regulations for literature distribution, but the key is they must be reasonably and neutrally applied to all students—in other words, they can’t discriminate by allowing more freedom to certain messages and restricting others distributed in the exact same manner.

 Show respect for authority. Remember: It’s extremely important to remain respectful, even when you meet obstacles or challenges from others. If a principal or teacher, or someone else in authority asks you to stop distributing Conversation Cards before and after class, graciously request that they check with a supervisor first.

If they continue to insist that you stop, you should stop immediately. Then you can call 1-800-TELL-ADF (1-800-835-5233) for help in resolving the situation quickly or if you suspect that regulations are being applied in a discriminatory manner or unreasonably limit your access in reaching the student body. ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom, has a team of experienced lawyers ready and willing to help you remove any improper or unconstitutional roadblocks interfering with your free speech rights.

(See Know Your Rights  for more information and Responding to Challenges .)

 Be confident in your right to speak. Remember: School officials must remain neutral in how they treat students’ free speech expressions. That means, for example, that school officials can’t allow a Day of Silence poster to be put on a wall, but then turn around and deny permission to students to display Day of Dialogue posters. That could likely amount to illegal viewpoint discrimination.

Likewise, if they allow Day of Silence students to distribute speaking cards, they should grant the same equal access to students participating in the Day of Dialogue. So if you feel that you might be running into a case of viewpoint discrimination at your school, call 1-800-TELL-ADF (1-800-835-5233) .

 Schedule some fun activities. Don’t forget to have fun! Here are some ideas for things to do during the Day of Dialogue and in the days leading up to it.

Don’t ….

 Disrupt classroom instruction. It is extremely important that you only distribute your Conversation Cards during breaks, lunch hours or before or after school. DO NOT pass out cards during class time or be late to class (or cause others to be late).

 Wait until the last minute. Oftentimes, schools may have procedures that take a few weeks to accomplish for obtaining permission to display posters or schedule an after-school event. So make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to plan a successful event.

 Alter Day of Dialogue materials.  The posters and Conversations Cards provided on this site are designed to communicate a loving message in the most respectful manner. It is very important that the materials not be altered in any way, shape or form.

 Use trite phrases and slogans or take Bible verses out of context. While we have provided basic guidelines and tips on this Web site, it’s important that you have authentic, meaningful conversations with your classmates.

That’s why we recommend that you avoid using overused slogans such as—“hate the sin, not the sinner”—which can sound trite, be easily misunderstood and do not really communicate a well thought-out, redemptive message.

Also, when quoting Scriptures or displaying Scriptures, it’s important to reflect the Bible in its entirety, communicating the Bible’s most important message—that God so loved the World that He sent His only Son to die for us.

Your goal is to get a dialogue started with thought-provoking, lovingly expressed conversation starters, not inflammatory statements that can be taken out of context.

 Take negative feedback personally … or respond to insults with anger. Remember that Scripture reminds us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against …. the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). In other words, you’re missing the big picture if you get caught up in struggles with people. Instead, you should remember the real opponent—forces of spiritual darkness that ultimately seek to destroy people’s souls.

Remember that the people standing in front of you have souls with eternal destinies that God deeply cares about, so it’s important to remain loving, yet confident when expressing Biblical truths. As we mentioned before, it’s important to keep an eternal perspective—that you are representing Jesus and His light in a dark world.

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