James W. Ware – Staff

Student Conference James Ware 2016 Colorado StaffPeoria, Illinois | 19 years old

Summit Ministries is far more than a mere Christian ministry. It is a unique family of Christians coming together to learn about God in a community. I was a student at Summit Colorado, Session 6 in 2015. I fell in love with the unique environment and immediately wanted to be a staffer, helping to make the life changing experience of a Summit conference happen for other young people. I applied and waited patiently (well, waited while biting my nails.) Lo and behold, I was offered a position as a staffer for the first half of the summer 2016 conferences!

One of the things that stands out to me about Summit, both as student and staffer, is the way Summit expertly balances the intellectual and worshipful sides of the Christian faith. Now that I am a staffer, I can see what makes this possible. Every part of our staff training and work is immersed in prayer and worship. We are encouraged to take time out of our busy schedules to read our Bibles and pray. Summit staffing is hard work, making this difficult, but I have learned from my fellow staffers and personal experience that it makes all the difference in the world!

This year, I have the opportunity to work in Summit’s kitchen, helping to prepare, serve, and clean up after the two hundred people we feed on a daily basis. To be quite honest, I was disappointed at being assigned to the kitchen. However, through the encouragement of my fellow staffers (and a healthy dose of humility) I learned to enjoy my position. I am now excited to keep cooking for Summit! This experience helped to teach me humility and joy in serving — two invaluable lessons.

As a student, Summit encouraged me to ask good questions and address hard ideas. As a staffer, I am encouraged to pursue these goals, this time as a small group leader. Every Summit staffer has the privilege of leading a few young people in discussing the content raised by Summit’s speakers in a small group discussion. This has been a welcome challenge for me, stretching me to seek God in prayer and study so that I can facilitate the discussions of the students under me. I realized that being a small group leader is the opportunity to encourage and equip young people and, in doing, change the world! This is a daunting responsibility but a welcome challenge.

Summit is a family first and foremost. We study together, work together, laugh together, and pray together. Through every stage of Summit, as either a staffer or student, we develop a unique bond with the students around us and the staffers supporting us. Summit is a family I am proud to call my own.

I continue to encourage every Christian young person to seriously consider attending a Summit Student Conference as a student. However, having had the experience of being a Summit staffer, I now suggest that every Summit alum consider applying to be staff. As I concluded my blog post written last year after being a Summit student, yes, ideas have consequences but so does a generation of young people, equipped and passionate about standing up for truth. Furthermore, a group of Summit staffers, equipped with the truth and with the leadership skills afforded by staffing, these consequences can truly change the world! Come be part of our family, whether as a student or staffer!