Today my mom took a dozen or so teenagers from the church to Topeka, Kansas for a Christian conference. It occurred to me that many of you probably have no idea what that means. Essentially, it’s extended “bonus” church, except that most of the attendees are teenagers, plus a road trip co-sponsored by the church and parents. The ratio of teenagers to adults there is generally about 10:1. The kids sit through several hours of lectures and singing and a likely-passable-but-not-really-good concert put on by a rock or pop band, and in exchange they get a free road trip and stay in a hotel with their friends for a couple days.
I went to a couple long ago. It was actually a pretty decent deal, since I liked most everyone my age that went to the same church as I did. At that age especially, when you may have limited mobility or freedom, going on a free trip with your friends is a pretty appealing offer, even if it means sitting through something that is long but thought-provoking at best, and tedious and awkward at worst.