Elizabeth Leininger (Session 6)

Summit Student Conference Elizabeth Leininger 2015 Colorado Session 6I’m 27.

Yes, most students are much younger and yes, I got to sit in the front row. I’ve never had worldview training before, and after taking Dr. Myers’ Leadership Courses last year, it seemed like the natural next step to take. Once that was decided, I knew I needed to bring people with me, specifically recent high school graduates from my church.

Society gives millennials an incredibly bad rep. Older generations like to wail over the demise of society and cry that the next generation is incapable of doing any good: they’re always on their phones and are incapable of looking anyone in the eye. Summit knows this, understands it, and confronts it head-on without letting anyone off the hook. The staff repeatedly tells students, “You need old people,” “Ideas have consequences, and ideas have hands and feet,” and, “In the next 10 years you are the books you read and the people you meet.”

This is not an organization that is content with letting you walk through their front door and leaving with good vibes and nice memories. This is a place ready to equip you with the tools to live and lead a life of purpose.

Part of me was really afraid that getting students to go to Summit was a mistake.

This kid hasn’t been prepared enough…

This kid doesn’t have the right background for Summit to build upon…

This kid will think it’s boring…

These kids will think everyone’s judging them…

If it weren’t for the fact that I knew this was a trip God had had in the works since I was little, my small fears would have become full on anxieties, and I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night. As it was, I knew this was God’s trip. I knew that in days, weeks, months, and even years down the road, God was, is, going to have a mighty hand in the lives of the kids that came to Summit with me. Those small fears never became a reality. As different as each kid was, Summit’s staff and the student body welcomed them with open arms, regardless of their backgrounds and their diversity.

There are a lot of things I can’t get over when it comes to Summit, one of which is how thoughtful they are. From the Hotel’s furniture to the staff, from the clothes the staff wore to the lectures and activities scheduled, the subculture Summit has created is a beautiful thing to behold.

The underlying mantra that holds Summit together is that to have truth, you must have relationships, and vice versa. Nowhere is that more clear than in their staff of young adults whose primary job is to not just love, but to love sacrificially. These are people who willingly give up their spare moments to sit and be with students, answer their questions, laugh with them, and pray for them.

If you have the opportunity to go to Summit, go. You’ll never see the world the same way again.