Summit student conference wasn’t at all what I expected. You sit in on hours and hours of lectures from world-renowned Christian leaders, and it’s actually fun! In between you hang out with great people, play lots of games, go to the beach, have spontaneous worship sessions, read amazing books, participate in Bible studies, play volleyball and soccer, have water balloon fights, play paintball, and go rock climbing.
Two years ago, my life shifted in a direction of constant awareness of worldview due to being a student at the first ever Summit California session. My small group leader, Cara, was such an inspiration to me, and I became passionate about what Summit Student Conferences were doing in a world so prone to wandering. I knew that I had to apply to staff.
While being here at Summit, I’ve learned not only from the speakers, but from the students as well, that to be effective in someone’s life, I must learn to be understanding and try to figure out their point of view. In the past, I have struggled with wanting to understand someone that has different views than I do. Summit has been a perfect place for me to learn this because we are spending two weeks with people that we might not necessarily encounter in our daily life.
Summit has definitely challenged me and caused me to grow in my faith. I have had great experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. I am thankful for the things I’ve learned, the adventures I’ve had, and the people I’ve met. God definitely blessed my time here at Summit.
I have also had the privilege of learning from great speakers such as Josh and Sean McDowell, J. Warner Wallace, Jeff Myers, Alan Shlemon, and many others. These speakers have covered topics from homosexuality, bioethics and stem cell research, evolution, and so much more!
A Summit experience I’ll never forget was getting to discuss the sessions with like-minded believers. Having quality fellowship with others really encouraged me to keep pressing forward and I grew a lot as a result of that. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity that I was given to become better equipped to engage the culture and I can’t wait to apply everything that I have learned.
As a first time staffer, the most frequent questions I’ve been asked are “What did you like about Summit?” and “What made you want to come back?”
My answer for both is the community.
The Summit conference has been an intellectually challenging, yet fulfilling time for me. I have been inundated with wisdom and knowledge about many prevalent issues in society today and what the Bible says in relation to these issues. We are presented with a vast spectrum of ideas and opposing opinions and taught to evaluate and dig deeper for ourselves in order to come to our own personal conclusions rather than blindly taking on others’ views.
Rebecca shares how her small group at Summit CA broke down her barriers towards Christian fellowship. She says, “My heart opened unlike I had felt in years to what the girls shared and especially to my leader’s wisdom. I was so used to questioning and feeling out of place that this felt like a big, warm hug.”
The majority of the people who speak here make themselves available to you. They hold open forums for the students, eat meals with you, and can be found around campus ready to lend an ear and try to answer any questions you might be having. Personally I’ve sought advice from Sean McDowell, and I wound up eating with Ken Turner a few times.
The beautiful thing about Summit is the opportunity to have some of [our] questions explained. Not all of them — that’s not the point. If we could pop answer pills to cure our questions, there’d be no faith involved. This is precisely what Summit was created for: to be a safe place where reason meets revelation and questions can be answered while keeping Jesus — not knowledge — front and center.
Christiaan has attended a private Christian school for almost all his years in school. Yet, at Summit California he is learning how to dig deeper into understanding what different worldview entail. “It was only after [the lecture] that I realized how powerful worldviews are since they can affect every aspect of our lives, including our governments,” says Christiaan.
Leadership is a curious thing.
I think it’s safe to say that most people would love to lead in a particular subject or area of work. But often people don’t want to put in the courage, work, and responsibility or don’t even have the conviction to lead others. In the very roots of leading though, courage is the water that feeds the conviction to lead others.