Camping and retreat leaders don’t know who they will serve or how their lives will be changed. Camp Ministry Leaders sow seeds in a variety of ways – from genuine love and care, to hospitality, to creating a welcoming environment, to sharing the message of God’s love.
I have mentioned many times over the years that three or four of my life’s forming moments happened at camps and retreats. 1) Deciding to really follow Christ at camp when I was in eighth grade 2) Being inspired by a speaker at a retreat when I was in tenth grade 3) Really thinking that two of our music leaders were amazing during my high school years at camp and wanting to be like them and 4) Sensing a call into ministry at a camp, the summer after my senior year.
In all these years of mentioning these moments, I have never really given thought to the fact that there was a whole team of people working behind the scenes to create these opportunities for me to clearly hear God’s voice. The leadership teams that put the program together, invited me to attend, got the details moving as far as the grounds, the food, the lodging, the adminstrtive task and much more – all had a hand in my life being formed and shaped in this way.
(To thank those people, in case they read this – anyone from St. Matthew who helped in youth ministry and put together a retreat with Hule Goddard at Little Grassy Camp in November of 1987; anyone who helped with Beulah Youth Institute during the summer of 1986; John Fischer and Jim Weber were the two music guys; and anyone who helped lead the McKendree College Weekend Camp – which I think was held only one time).
We are approaching the summer season and people will be coming to you. Sow seeds in the kingdom by being ready for them, praying for them, and using your gifts and resources to create a place that students might hear from God in a new, fresh and life changing way. These powerful moments are not always known to the leaders who are working behind the scenes. But be faithful, trusting that God will be at work in the hearts of children, students and adults through your ministry this summer.