We just got back from one of my favorite trips of the year—the Student Leadership Conference (SLC). If you aren’t familiar with it, SLC is a 3-day conference that aims to train the leaders (Junior High through High School students) in your ministry to learn more about what it means to be a leader and how to effectively lead at their church, in their school, and in the community. I would recommend it to ANY youth ministry and here are a few reasons why:

Practical and Challenging Leadership. Each year, the conference has INCREDIBLE speakers. What I like most about these speakers is that they don’t just paint a picture of who a good leader is, they provide practical steps towards becoming that leader. It makes everything seem so much more tangible and achievable for students.

Hands-on leadership activities. What is unique about the conference is that the program isn’t filled with just people talking. Each year they have the students participate in a large-scale leadership activity. It is super cool because students have the total opportunity to fail. They get to see how their choices and interactions with each other ultimately effect the outcome. It allows for some really great debrief.

Networking. One of the things that I like most about conferences is meeting new people. It is so great to be able to hear what other churches are doing and what they are excited about. At SLC, students experience the value in learning from others and building relationships with people that are in the same boat as them.

Community building. Going on trips with people is so fun! SLC gives us an opportunity to get our student leaders hanging out with each other for an entire weekend. Building a solid community is such an important part of a healthy team, so it is fun to have a trip that our student leaders can go to and grow together during.

I think that a large part of the success of our student leadership program is due to this conference. If you are looking for a way to take your student leadership program to the next level, you can’t miss SLC 2014. As of now, they have three locations (Texas, California, and Pennsylvania) and they are looking to add more. To get more info on SLC, and to sign up for updates for SLC 2014, check out SLC2013.com.

Colton [Email||Twitter]