Monday, July 6, 2015

7 Reasons Why I'm a Fan of Camp

I know I've written on this before, but I wanted to take a second and explain why I'm a fan of Preteen Camp, Youth Camp, and various expressions like it.  Here are some of my thoughts...

1.  The "Away" factor helps kids and students grow up, or at least show them where they need to do some growing up.

2.  The "Away" factor helps limit distractions so that heart-level work can be done that, while not impossible, is more difficult in the normal rhythms of life.  Moses was away in the desert when he saw the bush ablaze (Exodus 3).  Jesus drew away to pray (Mark 1.35).  I'm not saying youth camp is the desert, Mount Sinai, or the empty tomb.  I am saying the principle of drawing away is often an important part of people's spiritual journeys.

3.  The "Away" factor helps people hear from different [human] voices.  I get to preach most Sundays to our church.  They deserve to hear from God through different people.

4.  The "Away" factor provokes an intentionality about their lives.  They intentionally invest in discussion groups, taking sermon notes, Bible study, purposeful recreation, meaningful conversation, and so forth.  In the best possible scenario, that carries over and lingers through the year.

5.  The "Away" factor often (certainly not always) puts them in situations and settings where ministry is done with a level of excellence that is not reached and cannot be reached in a local church setting.  Every Sunday isn't like camp.  That's what makes camp special.

6.  The "Away" factor is often a locus of prayer for those 4-5 days.  Beforehand people pray.  During people pray.  That's helpful to those sent and those staying at home.

7.  The "Away" factor puts our people in touch with other Jesus-people and the rub off is a reminder that the Kingdom is bigger than Heritage Park.  It helps our people stay focused on the command that we seek the Kingdom and Jesus builds the church.

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