8 Reasons to go to a RUF Conference

Les Newsom  |  October 15, 2014

You heard the announcement. You talked to the guy a few doors down in the dorm. You saw a sign or two up in your math building. Apparently, RUF is road-tripping to a “conference.” 

Simple question: why would I ever want to go to something like that? Here are 8 reasons why RUF Conferences are a good idea:

1. No one is going to ask you to shave your head.
Whatever your preconceived notion is about these kinds of things, rest assured that no bizarre cultic ritual will be foisted upon you by an overzealous bigot. RUF is built upon being a safe place for people to ask good questions and think through what Christianity has to say in a pluralistic context. We actually work hard to be honest about who we are and not purposefully weird.

2. It’s about learning to rest, something that you’re worse at than you think.
We’re not talking about a good nap here (although, if only for that, it would be worth the getaway), but something of far deeper importance. RUF knows that the pace of your life is going to eventually kill you if you don’t stop what you’re doing and tell the “things” in your life that, ultimately, THEY can’t tell you who you really are. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of free time to get necessities done. (But you also don’t want to be one who keeps asking where the WIFI signal is strongest…trust me.)

3. You need a change of scenery.
That cell block that you live in that the administration of your school calls a “dorm," let’s not pretend that it is a big sacrifice to leave it and spend the night in a place that’s rustic and fun. If you don’t have a sleeping bag, well... buy a sleeping bag. You can’t go through college without one of those. 

4. The food is pretty good.
This is not the ratty camp food you’re used to. Mostly because your campus minister is experiencing for the first time in his life the ill effects of endless fast food and cafeteria muffins that dominate his dietary daily life. Pure self-interest takes over and he is the first to insist that your conference takes place where the food is more than edible and downright tasty.

5. Fun, fun, fun.
Someone in high school convinced you that it wasn’t cool to play silly games that make you laugh and get to know people. They were wrong. You don’t have to work hard to “fit in” at RUF conferences. History has rewarded the goofy college student who gladly plays along with the mixers. 

6. Two Words: Dance. Party.
Yes, these have become a thing. Let’s face it: most of the dances you attend in college will be stained by everything from childish relationship drama to raw, embarrassed self-awareness. When was the last time you gave yourself permission just to cut loose…footloose…kicked off your Sunday…oh, never mind.

7. You’re going to make new friends.
There are few more persistent mainstays of my 20 years in campus ministry than the confession of graduating seniors who were most involved in RUF that three or four of their closest college friends they met at an RUF conference. We can’t really explain why this happens, but a magic unfolds when you power through your self-consciousness to jump into a random car with folks you don’t know and make conversation for the two hour drive to the conference. The benefit is not temporary, I guarantee you.

8. Conferences are about reflection.
Seriously, I know you think you don’t need this, but your time in college will seem crazy short by comparison and it’s already ebbing away. There are few greater benefits to be derived from your years here than some extended self-reflection: why am I here? What’s the meaning of life? Where can I find truth? How do I deal with my guilt? How can I change? RUF believes that the Bible has something to say to you in every area of life not only that you *need* to hear, but could very well reset the trajectory of your life towards God’s purposes for you. 

So sign up today! You will not regret it!