It really is such a significant part of the training—not just doing prayer meetings, but coming into a pre-existing pre-established culture of prayer.

Train This Summer to be a Leader on Your College Campus

by Fia Curley
5/1/18 Training and Events

Whether it’s an internship, short-term mission trip, summer job, or even more classes, the options available to college students to get ahead during the summer months can seem endless.

While there are good opportunities available, there are some opportunities that not only offer training in leadership, but do so with prayer and biblical teaching at the center of the program. And then there’s one program that does all of that in an environment of night-and-day prayer that has been going 24 hours a day for the last 20 years.

The Summer Leadership Program is a 21-day training designed to help believers on college campuses increase in biblical knowledge and their skills as leaders, while growing in confidence as loved sons and daughters of God and members of the global Body, who attend college better prepared to pray and labor for revival on their campus.

Each day is packed with four hours of daily time in the IHOPKC global prayer room and hours of classes taught by leaders from IHOPKC, IHOPU, and global missions organizations, as well as hands-on experience in college outreaches, worship meetings, and campus evangelism.

But more than just a training program that lasts for a few weeks in the summer and then ends, SLP is an annual event that leads to yearlong, and even lifelong, involvement. From monthly conference calls hosted by the Luke18 staff for SLP alumni to numerous participants returning year after year (and even staying connected through weddings, families, and the launching of businesses), Thai has seen the Luke18 core value of family lived out through SLP. And it all starts with setting aside those 21 days to seek the Lord in Kansas City, in an environment of day-and-night prayer.

Thai Lam, director of IHOPKC’s Luke18 ministry, which assists and equips students nationwide to contend for revival on their college campuses, took some time from his schedule to discuss the benefits of SLP, and how God is using the training to impact and better equip believers on college campuses. 

How would you describe Luke18‘s Summer Leadership Program?
Thai Lam: SLP is a 21-day training immersed in a culture of day-and-night prayer. Probably the core is the time in the prayer room every day. It really is such a significant part of the training—not just doing prayer meetings, but coming into a pre-existing, pre-established culture of prayer. I think there are some things that can be taught, but there are some other things that can only be caught. We can teach on day-and-night prayer, the value of intercession, and the significance of prayer with worship from intimacy for revival and harvest, but it’s really different when you’re in the room and Laura Hackett Park is leading worship—there’s a spirit of prayer that is released; you’re really coming into the experiential revelation of what it means to take your stand in the courts of heaven, contending for justice on college campuses. That’s so core to our experience—that daily time in the prayer room with others.

What else can new SLP participants expect to experience?
TL: Another big component is the component of our times together in the classroom, where you’re not only learning information but there really is an impartation. You’re not just learning more knowledge of the Bible and getting more understanding about prayer, worship, and intercession, but there really is an impartation from ones who have labored in the place of prayer and have a history in the Lord—not that they can give you their history, but you could be provoked by their journey and their history. And there’s also the reality of faith imparted, and the Lord meeting us as we set our hearts to want to learn, to want to grow.

“Revival is Family” is one of the themes for Luke18. How is this integrated into SLP?
TL: One of the big experiential things we do is family—creating a place for encounter, a place to really go deeper, to be challenged. We so believe it’s more than just a value of being together; it really is a culture, an ethos of ones who love and value each other. SLP looks like an experiential reality of three things. It’s pursuing Jesus together—pursuing the consecrated life together. It’s doing the shared life together—pursuing friendship, community, and family together. And it’s the poured-out life together—it’s serving and doing ministry together.

What is the schedule like for those who come to SLP?
TL: The mornings are spent in the prayer room; in the afternoons students are in the classroom; in the early evenings we have family moments; and at the end of the day we do something called labs, where we do campus ministry labs. The labs are designed for hands-on ministry, whether it’s the prophetic, preaching, leading prayer and worship teams, or ministry on campus. It’s an opportunity for the students to come together and to really have practical hands-on moments.

How do the students find the adjustment of daily prayer meetings that last for hours each day?
TL: I think the reality is that for a lot of the students, this is the first time that they are in extended hours of prayer. Most of the ones doing prayer on their campus are the ones leading it. Simply setting their hearts before the Lord, even in just 20 hours a week, impacts these students in such a way that they experience new hunger for the Lord—because they’ve never previously carved out the time to sit before the Lord as “a Mary” (not as one who is laboring to create a prayer movement). This allows them to literally experience their own personal dullness, subsequently realizing there’s so much more of God, and so much more of His desire for them, all of which awakens them with desire for Him. I think growing in intimacy with God is such a huge thing, and so many, during our time in the prayer room, are revived with desire, returning home yearning for more.

What kind of person is SLP best suited for?
TL: I feel like we’ve had a lot of different demographics come through over the years, but I feel like the ones who are impacted the most, and leave probably marked the most, are those who are hungry for Him—those who are hungry for more. We can’t force anyone to go after the Lord, but the ones who have a measure of hunger and a desire for more, end up coming and wanting even more—so hunger begets hunger. So, those who have this desire and desperate longing for more, when they come here, are awakened by the Lord to have an even bigger appetite and a greater desperation and longing for the Lord, causing their burden for revival to only grow.
The hard part is when someone is apathetic. The Lord has also met those who come needing a breakthrough—that’s significant too. But more often than not, those who experience more, come back for year two. I feel like those who are hungry get the most out of SLP.

How does SLP prepare participants for returning to their college campus?
TL: One of the things we do the last week is to move students onto a college campus. All of the students move from the prayer room and live on campus together. And for a week we build a prayer room, and students run the prayer room, have classes on campus, and do missions and evangelism on that campus. We want to create an immersive experience—where it’s not just classroom instruction and then labs that are sterile, but we get them on campus, around others, where they’re building together and they’re doing mission together.

What kind of feedback do you receive from those who’ve gone through the program and come annually?
TL: We have so many testimonies. Some of the big ones we hear, over and over again, are about finding family amongst like-minded believers who are passionate about seeing revival on their campus and awakening in our generation. I think it’s lonely when you’re pioneering prayer. In most contexts you don’t find this large of a community of intercessors; you’re usually the few in number. Or you may be part of a large ministry, and you’re kind of in the small subgroup of a few believers doing prayer meetings together. Then you come to Kansas City, you do SLP, and you meet dozens of others who are fiery, who are also leaders, and who are also burning for revival. When you go back to your campus, you now have marvelous comrades across the country that share the same vision for a culture of prayer on their campuses, giving courage to each other.

You talk about the family aspect of SLP, how is that important?
During SLP, they are building that Acts 1 upper-room family that’s contending for Acts 2 revival. A lot of students are touching that for the first time here, going home with the vision for doing the upper-room family together (doing ministry and mission from that place). They experience it here and they say, I so want to have a burning community back home that is based on prayer, in which prayer is how we relate to each other, and how we do friendship, our ministry, our Bible studies, and our gatherings. Prayer is the heartbeat of it—all ministry flows out of it.

College students have numerous opportunities for summer plans. Why choose SLP?
Ones who are coming really have a desire to grow. They want to invest 21 days of their summer into growing in the Lord. I think leadership is a big part of it, where even if they’re not already a leader in their context, there’s leadership desire in them, and they want to grow in leadership potential. So, amidst the multitude of opportunities, it’s about wanting to grow in the Lord. But I also think they’re choosing to come to SLP, in part, because they want to be in the context of day-and-night prayer—it’s something that’s really different than most other summer experiences that a Christian, a believing college student, wouldn’t have elsewhere. They’re coming not so much to do ministry and to serve; they’re coming to be encountered by the Lord, to really hear His voice, and grow in the knowledge of God, doing it in the context of day-and-night prayer.
You get seeds for revival. You walk away not with a full-grown plant, but with seeds that you can plant back home. I really think that the ones we have come through SLP are ones that the Lord wants to raise up as revivalists on their campuses, ones that would become watchmen on their campuses, and ones that the Lord would use to be catalysts for revival.

Find out more information about Luke18’s Summer Leadership Program and how it can equip you to be even more effective on your campus. Register today!

Fia Curley


    Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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