Author: Kara Morley
Categories: Student Life|VOCA

Houghton sophomores recently had the opportunity to participate in the college’s second-annual leadership conference, Activate 2018.

Activate focuses on leadership and personal strengths, and how students’ unique abilities can be used to further the kingdom of God. This year’s featured speaker was Scot McKnight, professor of religious studies at North Park University (Chicago). McKnight is also an author of more than 50 books, including Jesus Creed and One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow, which offers readers an explanation of what leading a ‘Christian life’ means.

McKnight talked with participants about the meaning of ‘Kingdom’ and challenged them to reflect on what ‘Kingdom work’ is. Other speakers encouraged students to dwell on the leaders in their own lives who have influenced them and what characteristics they possess that students would like to emulate. Using Henry Nouwen as a role model, attendees were challenged to think about their positions as Christian leaders, how they wield influence, and how they live their lives for others.

Activate took place at Camp Asbury, a camp and retreat center along Silver Lake about 24 miles north of Houghton. Students attended workshops and sessions to develop and to discover their own strengths and leadership skills. Participants also had a chance to take the StrengthsFinder assessment and were challenged to think of ways these strengths could be applied to their lives and the lives of others.

“This conference was an incredible experience,” remarked sophomore Sarah Hoag. “I learned so much about myself and others through the activities they had us do and then the debriefing process after. It was also a blast to bond with other students from the sophomore class!”


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