One of my favorite things about student ministries is being a part of developing students into leaders. I love it when students own a ministry that God is calling them to. God gives them a burden and they take initiative to lead others in accomplishing great things for Him. For the past two summers we have taken student leaders to Student Leadership Conference.

Our students love the Student Leadership Conference (SLC) and, as their Pastor, I think I love it even more than they do. Here’s why:

Every year after SLC our students grab ahold of ministry like they never have before. They become less dependent on me and their other leaders to run the ministry and they take the responsibility on themselves. SLC communicates this not only through the speakers, but through modeling student leadership and ownership throughout the conference.

I love the spiritual challenge that my students have received from SLC. They not only get practical knowledge of how to lead and what to do as a leader, but they also get challenged to look at their spiritual lives and who they are becoming as a leader. This sets students up for success because they are building a solid foundation of character as an individuals, so that ministry can flow out of a genuine heart that is devoted to God.

Some of my students come to SLC with a confidence to step up and lead their piers. But there are many others who I see with great leadership gifting that are hesitant to step up. I have loved watching those quieter students step up and grow in their confidence through some of the interactive learning times and group projects that they have been involved with at SLC. God believes in them as a leader, I believe in them as leader, and SLC gives them a safe environment to step up and experience success in leading a team of their peers.

I am looking forward to another great year at SLC and we are so excited to be hosting. I hope to see you there!

Jared Sorber is the Family Ministries Pastor at Bridgeway Community Church.