When I listen to testimonies from faithful Christians, I almost always hear them mention at least two things: The first thing is a place. Most often students take big steps of faith when they are at a special event. I’ve often wondered what ingredients cause this to be the case. Maybe it’s a different voice preaching the same message or actual time away from life commitments to hear God’s still small voice. It could be God’s spirit moving in powerful ways when Christians are gathered together or it might be that leaders pray more for special events. Whatever the case, lots of students begin to take their faith seriously at special events – retreats or camps.
The second thing I listen for is the naming of a person. An invitation to follow Jesus is almost always accompanied by a relationship in some fashion – a friend, a pastor, a leader, a family member, etc. The combination of a special place away from home and the witness of pastors, friends and leaders creates an amazing framework for students to commit to Jesus!
Summer camp provides this framework better than most anything.
I realize models of ministry come and go, but I believe there is still opportunity to see fruit happening through special summer events.
There is a lot of competition for students schedules in the summer – truthfully, it’s all year long! You might already be sending your student on a mission trip or some other ministry focused summer event. But if you find that your schedule is totally full this summer and you haven’t worked in a summer camp or mission trip, rearrange something. As parents, we must help our children learn to give priority to things of faith!
There are countless great camps and these are some where I will be this summer:
Church of the Brethren High School Camp
FCA Bike Camp
On a side note, we’re inviting children from our church to attend Quest Camp and we’re inviting middle school students to attend Jr. High Alive.
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Church Camps: How to Engage on Social Media