C.S.A. Custom Creation Seminar -- Planning Guide
This document provides information which will be useful to those people who are involved in planning a C.S.A. Custom Creation Seminar -- and a "link" to a "Seminar Planning Worksheet" form which may be submitted to CSA.
Many people contact CSA regarding Real Scientists Just Say NO! and other CSA seminars. This document is intended to help you plan and execute a RSJSNO! seminar. If you follow these guidelines, you will be surprised how easy it is to put on a successful seminar in your community.
CSA conducts many types of seminars, but some general types are:
Seminar for a specific organization (Church, school, service organization, etc.).
Community Seminar -- generally where leaders from several schools, churches, etc. sponsor a public seminar for the entire community.
Public or private school, or college seminar.
Smaller group seminars (for study groups, homeschool support groups, etc.).
The most popular formats are:
Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM with several long breaks including Lunch and Supper.
Friday evening, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM, Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Sunday, 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM with several long breaks including Lunch and Supper. (This format is only suitable for individual church seminars, because leaders of other churches usually cannot attend such a seminar.)
Series of meetings over several weeks or months. (This format is normally only suitable near the residences of CSA speakers.)
Use of a video tape series, perhaps opened and/or closed by a CSA speaker, in person or even over the phone.
If the travel time from the Kansas City area (where most CSA speakers reside) is considerable, a Saturday or Sunday only format is the least costly from the CSA perspective. Seminars starting Friday evening may require that we bring a second vehicle to accommodate those speakers who must work Friday. Frequently there are ways around this.
Many people today measure success in the Lord's work by the numbers, or by the revenue they raise. We consider a seminar successful if hearts are turned away from the foolishness of this world, and/or if Christian hearts are encouraged in their conviction (faith) that both God and His Word are reliable guides to man. We look forward to helping you execute a truly successful seminar.
CSA is a non-profit ministry. We do not charge for any of our services except for books, audio and video tapes (which we feel will be wasted if the person acquiring them has nothing invested in them). Most of our speakers work without pay. Our only financial measure of success is that we can afford to continue in the work, and hopefully to expand it to important areas beyond the community seminar. For example, our seminars at schools and colleges produce little or no revenue. As requests for seminars further away from home began to increase, travel and other expenses began to increase considerably. At the suggestions of local seminar committees we reluctantly allowed them to charge very nominal seminar fees of about $20.00 per family, $10.00 per individual. Typically, the family cost of a 10 hour seminar was less than a movie and treats. A similar length secular seminar would cost $200 - $800 per person. However, it is still our preference that the local sponsor not charge for the seminar. If the intended seminar audience is largely non-Christian, CSA will do anything in our power to help the sponsors, with or without remuneration. However, if the planned audience is largely Christian, we feel the Scripture clearly mandates that it should not only provide for our expenses, but a just wage to assist in supporting our families and our ministry to the lost and to less fortunate people. Meals for people attending the seminar, if provided by the local committee, are charged at their discretion.
Form a local Seminar Committee (mostly of laymen) with a local phone number and address.
Select dates and locations for the seminar and community leader's breakfast.
Circulate CSA written, audio and video materials among the committee members and as many others as possible.
Build an accurate list of local leaders: church, radio, TV, Christian media and outlets (radio, TV, book stores, campus ministries, etc.), school boards, newspaper, etc.
Schedule a Community Leaders Informational Breakfast at least four weeks ahead of the seminar. CSA (or, in some cases, the local sponsors) will invite the Community Leaders on the list provided by the committee.
Provide Creation/Evolution quotes for inclusion in church bulletins prior to the seminar.
Distribute flyers and posters to churches, schools, radio/TV stations, etc. CSA will print these or provide "camera-ready" or "copier-ready" masters.
Issue press releases and text for PSA's (Public Service Announcements) to local media.
Contact editors and writers at local newspapers. Often they will use a press release as a news article.
Contact local Right-to-life and Home Schooling associations. Provide them with literature for their newsletter.
Post information about the seminar at churches, bulletin boards, Christian book stores, schools, etc.
Distribute flyers, preferably as a bulletin insert, at churches about 3 weeks ahead of the seminar.
Distribute flyers and other information to other organizations mentioned above, and to any others you can think of.
Arrange for volunteer workers at the seminar to help set up, tear down, assist with registration, sound system, book tables, meals and cashier stations.
If the sponsor allows enough time, CSA will provide promotional material "masters." Promotional material typically includes masters for:
An announcement flyer (typically one 8.5 x 11 inch page, printed on both sides and intended to be folded once into a 5.5 x 8.5 inch flyer)
A press release
Two poster masters
"Quips and Quotes" masters. These are various sized quotes and announcements designed for cutting and pasting into newsletters, bulletins, advertisements, etc.
Optionally, invitations to the Community Leader's Breakfast
The seminar committee needs to assume responsibility for, and divide up the promotional tasks.
Select and arrange site for the breakfast
Mail invitations to the breakfast (can be handled by CSA if a list of invitees is provided)
Distribute promotional material
Press release to local media, especially Christian media
Posters printed and installed in appropriate locations
Advertising scheduled, designed and delivered
For a Community-wide seminar, there usually needs to be some way to familiarize other leaders of the community with the seminar contents and speakers. One way to accomplish this is a breakfast or lunch at either a church or other suitable location where at least one seminar leader can brief pastors and other leaders on the purpose and scope of the seminar. This is not a requirement, but we have found it helpful. It does, however, increase costs and should be discussed thoroughly by the sponsors.
Regardless of whether the local committee charges for the seminar or depends on offerings, there are no expenses associated with the seminar:
Travel by CSA speakers
Meals and lodging for CSA speakers. Normally our speakers are happy to stay with local brothers and sisters. Sometimes CSA families participate in the seminar, which may restrict the number of homes able to accommodate them. Usually these details are easy to work out.
Printing or copying flyers, posters, etc.
Meeting location rental, setup and cleaning
Occassionally a small local committee has had high enthusiasm but put forth little effort, resulting in considerable expense to CSA, and little fruit. Jesus said, "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also." Therefore, we now ask that the local committee raise enough money for the invitations to the Community Leaders Breakfast, the breakfast itself (about $3.50 per head), and for the flyers (about $300 for 5000 if CSA prints them). This usually requires about $40 per committee member (10 man committee). These costs can be almost completely eliminated as follows: CSA can provide invitation and flyer masters to be run off on copiers at supporting churches, and the breakfast can be prepared by local volunteers and served in a supporting area church.
Most CSA speakers receive no compensation and even pay their own expenses. However, like Jesus, we have finite time and resources to accomplish our mission. We ask that you help us be good stewards of the talents and resources the Lord has allotted us.
Large room, with good accoustics and a high ceiling (to permit the screen to be easily seen by everyone)
At least a 6' x 6' screen (larger for audiences over 200), clean transparency projector (CSA can provide), slide projector (CSA will normally bring the slide projector).
Six to eight large folding tables for book display, registration, artifacts, etc. Book tables should be in the seminar room or in a major traffic area nearby.
Another large folding table in lieu of a speaker's podium. This will be used for stacks of visual aids and for artifacts, demonstrations, etc. by the speaker.
Facility for meals, or maps to nearby restaurants.
The actual contents of each CSA seminar will vary depending on the duration of the seminar, the goals and preferences of the sponsors, and the leading of the Spirit on the seminar team. What follows is a typical menu of available topics.
Most people think they know God's history of the world, but few actually do. "Can't I believe in evolution and be a Christian?" "Couldn't God have used evolution?" "Couldn't there be a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2?" "What about the idea that the days of creation were millions of years each?" "What about dinosaurs ... the ice age ..., etc. -- Where do they fit into the Biblical account of history?" "What about the idea that Biblical origins passages are merely symbolic?" We will review the scriptures from Genesis, Job, the New Testament, etc., that describe the early history of the universe and world and contrast them with the World's most popular stories. Surprisingly, there are many scriptures that bear on these typical questions which we will examine. Hopefully, each of us will then examine his/her own heart.
Many people, even many Christians, mistakenly believe that the origins accounts aren't very important, may be incorrect, may be just Jewish myths, etc. This session should demonstrate clearly that the origins passages throughout the Bible are an integral part of God's Word. They cannot be ignored, ripped out, stomped on, mythologized or alegoricized without peril to society and the Church.
The vast majority of people believe Science is something to be believed, religion is based on Faith, and most, if not all religion is Myth. A proper definition and understanding of Christian Faith, the nature and limitations of Science, and the true nature and role of myth in history, is an eye-opening event for most people, even most Christians.
A more detailed version of Science, Faith and Myth. How can men really know the truth about the early history of the world or, for that matter, about anything? Are there any ways other than revelation? Christians are commanded to "prove all things, hold fast to that which is good." Do you understand and/or practice either scriptural or secular rules of evidence? Common methods of proof like the Scientific and Legal Methods will be discussed. Since God is neither a liar nor a deceiver, the evidence, when fully and properly evaluated, should conform to His word. Does it? Can you "prove all things" related to this very current topic?
Most people believe that Creation is religion, and therefore different from Science. Are you certain that is true? What does the scripture say? What do the laws of Science say? The answer is a startling revelation to nearly everyone who understands it.
Christians are called to bring, not simply heat to an issue, but light. If we disagree with the world, exactly where do we disagree and why? We will propose several scientific and historical propositions which make clear the distinction between God's Word and man's word. In subsequent sessions we will analyze each of these utilizing the rules of evidence outline above.
The two most prominent views of how stars, planets, galaxies and the solar system came to be will be presented and analyzed using proper rules of evidence.
We send children to school to gain knowledge and wisdom, but they return filled with fables such as the belief that all living things came from a primitive non-living soup. Most of you probably think that soup is made from living things, not vice versa. Which is true?
One world famous biologist recently remarked, "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups!" It was this topic that prompted his remark. What we see is an incredible diversity of plants and animals. Where did they come from? Were they specially created or evolved from a common ancestor. If created, which ones were created, which are their descendants? We will examine the major proof strategies used by evolutionists as well as the evidence for Biblical Creation.
The chief goal of all brands of evolution is to convince people it is possible to have complex systems without involvement of a designer and manufacturer. If the proponent is an atheist, his obviously religious goal is to completely eliminate the need for God in history. But, God has always been harder on His "religious" opponents than His atheist ones. Generalyl the goal of the "Theistic Evolutionist" or the "Christian Evolutionist" seems to be to abolish scripture as a reliable guide to man. Regardless of what the bearer of this position calls himself, he is essentially a Deist, and ultimately he is essentially a pagan, because his "god" is not the revealed God, but one of his own making. Strangely, Christian apologetics throughout history have focused on the "design" evident in "Nature." But Romans 1:18-25, the key scripture focusing on the fact that there is ample scientific evidence for God in nature, says:
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ..." Romans 1:20-22
Note that "Design" is not mentioned or really implied. We suggest that animals and plants do not exhibit simply "design," but are obviously "manufactured." Both design and manufacture require plan and work by one or more intelligent living beings. We will focus on the fact that living systems are not merely "designed." They are designed and manufactured by an intelligent living being who operated according to a plan to achieve His purposes!!
Museums and "science journals" are full of stories that somewhere in your genetic lineage is an ape or "ape-like creature." According to the "educated" of the world, dead apes seem to have no trouble performing what living apes have never been able to do ... sire a human. Is the evidence for this belief really compelling?
Most people think that exotic "scientific stuff" like mutations and radiometric dating is what persuades most people to believe in evolution and long ages. In fact, most people are persuaded by more claims about more ordinary phenomena, like fossils, deep layers of sedimentary rock strata, coal and fossil fuel formation, cave formations, etc. Ironically, these phenomena are as simple to deal with as all of the rest of the claims of evolution. Slides from the eruption of Mount St. Helens, Grand Canyon, coal mines, little known but widely found fossils, and others will be used to show the real geology is consistent with the Biblical narratives and clearly demonstrates the World's view of rock history to be false.
The notion of dinosaur extinction 65 million years before man set foot on the planet is one of the most widely believed myths in the world. Strangely, not one person in 100,000 could list even a few shallow reasons for accepting this claim. Yet, when the notion is discussed even a little, a child can refute the claim that dinosaurs lived and died before man.
Are there really billions of years of earth history ... or millions ... or just a few thousand? How would you arrive at certainty about this belief? Are you familiar with the incredible amount of evidence pointing to one of these answers? An earth age of billions of years is extremely important to atheists, humanists, agnostics, and theistic "Christians." Do you know why? Is their belief "scientific," or simply a belief, loudly and arrogantly proclaimed?