stepping stones uses three main vehicles (our Pillars) to develop each participant. The three Pillars are Spiritual Formation, Service and Community Life. These vehicles provide a balanced and comprehensive approach to bringing youth towards maturity in Christ. Each program of stepping stones uses each Pillar in designing the experience.

Spiritual Formation

'Spiritual Formation is the process through which those who love and trust Jesus Christ effectively take on his character' (Dallas Willard). stepping stones aims to aid each participant in their spiritual formation through a variety of God and ministry focused material and methods. Each program and enrollment level has different degrees of depth of content, areas of emphasis, and level of accountability related to the learning experience. Structured learning will take place through small groups, instructor-led teaching sessions, and spiritual disciplines. Some levels of enrollment will have a higher degree of instructor-led curriculum while others are more self-directed in nature. As individuals progress through stepping stones they will be given the opportunity to learn both theoretically and practically.

Work Excellence

stepping stones participants will all learn and participate in service. Work Excellence (Service) is an important expression of our faith and God has uniquely equipped each believer to serve the body of Christ. Opportunities for service vary greatly, from shadowing a skills instructor to serving meals. The varied service roles that the youth work in are also an important learning experience. It is during these times of practical service that the stepping stones participants put into practice many of the things that they have learned, acquire many new skills, and make a lasting impact in the lives of the guests.

The Work Excellence experience will be used to train students in doing everything as unto the Lord, under the leadership of service placement supervisors in different areas of technical skills as well as encourage growth in learning to lead as servants. (please refer to the service role section in the Application Kit for details on the service opportunities).

Community Life

One of the greatest advantages of the stepping stones experience is the community that is formed over the length of each experience. The stepping stones community, during the summer, is made up of approximately 90 youth and young adult students, under the supervision of full-time staff, with the assistance of our committed volunteers, who closely work, live and worship together. The community is one of Christian fellowship and seeks to encourage the growth of its members to fulfill their unique role in the body of believers.

The summer staff will live in a 'House' system, where students of varied ages live together so that the older experienced staff can teach and care for the younger ones. Every student can learn responsibility, healthy life practices and interpersonal skills in a supportive Christian environment. In the houses, participants will be involved in group devotionals, inter-house competitions and so much more.