2013 SOS Leadership Summit Recap


Over President's Day weekend SOS hosted 26 former campers (current high school juniors and seniors) for the first-ever SOS Leadership Summit: a weekend of intensive servant-leadership training, urban ministry development, and biblical discipleship.  This was a very special occasion as it was the first Leadership Summit and the campers had to be nominated by their youth leaders.

There are four purposes behind the SOS Leadership Summit:

  • We hope to help develop godly leaders to serve over self in their home churches.
  • We hope to train students to translate what they've experienced at SOS into their “real world.”
  • We hope to develop potential future summer staff and Academy interns.
  • Most importantly, we hope to grow students affections for Jesus Christ and give them an increased understanding of how to live this out.

SOS full time staff and Academy interns led the weekend.  Students participated in four teaching sessions:

  • Session 1: Justice Mandate
  • Session 2: What is Poverty? How can helping hurt?
  • Session 3: Big Dog's Personal Testimony
  • Session 4: Servant Leadership

In addition to Biblical teaching over the weekend, students participated in experience tracks.  There was a tour of Binghampton, a Big Dog Street Ministry Exposure trip, and home visits with strategic neighbors in Binghampton.

The weekend served as a community building tool for this group of 26 students.  Students traveled from Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri and even from Memphis, TN, to participate and left as close friends!  The biggest complaint of the weekend was that it was not long enough and the demand to have a leadership summit reunion is very high!

These are some responses from the students who participated in the weekend:

"This weekend, I finally learned that despite all the times I've pushed God away, He's still drawing me to Him!  I learned the because of Jesus, I am good enough for Him!"

"There is lots of work left to be done, and that with the Gospel and great people, we can start to restore Shalom.  Despite brokenness, we can do great things."

"I finally learned an essential part of Biblical leadership!  Leadership is making yourself low, not high."

"I think the highlight of the weekend was the reflection time.  All of the information that was being given was thought-provoking, and it was really helpful to have time set aside specifically for reflection."

"In the community church gathering communion, a song started playing.  The lyrics that caught my attention are "This is where I belong...here in your love." The night before, I had asked God if he would give me a sign whether HE wanted me to work at SOS and not if I just desired to work here.  These lyrics answered my prayer.  God was very quick and now I CAN'T WAIT TO APPLY!!!! Counting down the days until October 1st!!!"

"God showed me I should do everything while thinking He first did that for me."

"I felt the Holy Spirit really showing me that there are so many ways to minister and live out my discipleship and that for some crazy reason God has chosen to use me in my own original way."

"God revealed to me the importance of the Gospel & particularly how it relates to service.  Remembering the story of Jesus's great love on the cross should be the reason my life overflows with acts of service."

"It was incredible to see a different side of Memphis and hear the hope and change coming to make it better."

"The highlight of the weekend was everyone becoming one with each other & growing the strong bonds between us.  It made us feel like we have known each other forever, when it's only been 4 days."