Author: Vern Hill, Cesar Castillejos
“This experience changed the way I saw myself, my life, the world, God’s love, and everyone around me!" -2017 SLP Student Session II
Since 2002, the Young Life Student Leadership Project (SLP) has been ushering in God’s kingdom by training students to be multi-ethnic leaders and sending them into clubs, communities, and the world.
Make SLP part of your Froward Plan to transform kids who will transform your club, area, and the world!
SLP is a 10-day leadership development/discipleship program for high school students completing their junior or senior year of high school. To promote a deep sense of mission, each SLP group is racially diverse, gender balanced, socieo-economically varied, and host students from different parts of the country. This summer approximately 100 students will attend SLP at sites in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Paul, Minnesota; and St. Augustine, Florida. Nearly all students who have experienced SLP’s transformational program of classroom instruction, service, and personal formation become active professionals and volunteers in ministries and nonprofits in their communities!
The purpose and content of SLP mirrors FORWARD’s goals. This makes it easy to include SLP in any FORWARD Plan. SLP has four “Pillars” of learning that interlock with Forward’s four strategies.
Deeper – SLP students learn and apply spiritual practices. Students are taught and have quiet times in scripture and prayer each day. In addition, students experience worship and regular prayer times with others.
“I learned hearing God and understanding is a matter of practice.”
Together – Cultural Awareness is another pillar of SLP. Students explore the impact of their own ethnicity, learn about healthy interactions with others, and experience cross-cultural life with their SLP peers.
“I found there is something to be learned about God through every brother and sister I have in Christ.”
Innovation – SLP students learn to be effective, innovative leaders by understanding their Calling. Primarily called to love God and serve others, SLP students explore how to do successful ministry based on their unique passions, talents, life experiences, and the opportunities God places in their lives.
“Sometimes we decide something for our own future, but God has better plans.”
Growth – Using the example of Jesus, SLP students learn Servant Leadership principles. Students are challenged to identify a personal mission for the 12 months following SLP. This year this will include organizing a project in their area in conjunction with YL Expeditions “YL Serves” on MLKJ Day, 2019.
Here are some practical ways SLP can serve your ministry:
- Areas can send a student to SLP to help advance FORWARD in their community.
- Big Areas and Metro Areas can send several students for a shared SLP experience to help initiate multi-ethnic ministry between schools and within a community.
- Regions can send a cohort of students to SLP to create a network of young leaders in the region and promote student led projects.
- Divisions can support an SLP site for their Division, identify and send students who show staff potential as a gateway to staff development.