As summer approaches youth camps across the globe will commence. From sports camps, band camp, church camps and many in-between. For those thinking about attending for the first time there
can be some intimidation. Sometimes even the question, “Why should I go?” As an experience camper, camp counselor, and camp supervisor, I can tell you there are plenty of reasons to go. Especially to church camp. Here are five quick reasons to go to youth camp.
Getting Out of the World’s Current
Going Beyond Yourself
How to Handle a Full Plate
A lot of people have asked me how I can get stuff done with as much as I have on my plate. Most
of the time I am not given a chance to answer them before they are off on another subject or down the road. I really don’t consider myself a over-stretched individual even though I realize that there is quite a few hats that have found themselves on my head.
I am not boasting in what I am about to say. Just want to give you my life as an example. I’m a Christian first. Personal devotion and dedication to God is always at the forefront of my mind. Pastoring is a primary calling in my life but at the same the same time there is also primary to my life, the calling and duty of being a husband and father. My time is also devoted to ministerial training as the administrator of Faith Bible Institute and youth ministry as the vice-president of the Christian Baptist Youth. Put on top of that, I have another year on my second Master’s degree and will hopefully be putting the finishing touches on a Doctor of Theology by the end of the summer into next fall. That’s my life in a nutshell and I still feel that I could do more. That is because I’m an not doing this on my own strength and accord. This is how God is working through me.
These are some of the steps for you take to handle a full plate by the help of God.
Seek God’s vision and grace for your life.
I am not able to accomplish much, if anything, on my own. The same goes for you. God’s grace is the enabler of all things in our life. By God’s grace we are saved. By God’s grace we live and it is by God’s grace that we move. Seeking God’s face through prayer and contemplation throughout the day is incredibly important. Sometimes we start mindset of seeking God and attributing praise and dependency on Him by learning to speak, “by His grace” when we are planning.
It is also important to seek God’s vision for your life. The apostle Paul had his and it filled him with passion and pursuit. Paul in his recorded trial of Acts says to king Agrippa as he shares his about his conversion, “Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19). Paul had a personal and God-given vision from God. It provided passion and direction for his life. I know what I can do and what God is leading me to because of a personal and God-given vision on my life. What is God’s vision for you life?
Take advantage of a calendar.
I thank my mom and dad for teaching me the importance of using a calendar. They worked full-time jobs and made time for family and ministry. They knew what was important in their life and their calendar reflected it. There are two good thermometers for our discipleship life in Christ. Our budget and our calendar. Both can point to our focus and our faith.
Be urgent but not rushed.
Since I know what God has for me to do there is an urgency or an importance about getting it done. Yet, not at the expense of hurting myself or my family. Balance is still running its course through this. Jesus never hurried but was always steady. Historical leaders in the church called this a “holy leisure.” We are not doing God any good if we rush through His will for us. We make mess ups bigger and, well, messier. We are not slothful or lazy. It is important to move about the things God has put us to with desire for precision and excellence. Which again is only achievable if we go in the grace of God.
Several times I have encouraged my congregation to share their “Jesus Story.” It is simply how they were before they met Christ, how they came to faith, and their life now. In order to testify of Christ we do not have to have all the theological terms and nuances firmly set in our mind. We do not have to have a repertoire of scriptures memorized in order to share what Jesus has done in our life. We just have to be familiar with our own story, our own transformation brought about by the grace of God. Look at the trust Christ put into one mans testimony to impact one town from Luke 8.
26And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
If you take the simple request, “What time is it,” and switch the order of the words you can get a deeper question, “Time, what is it?” It is one of the most precious possession that we have but squander it as if it is an infinite supply. For some, time is simply a quantifiable measurement using units of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. Others mark it by the “moments that take your breath away.” What is time and more importantly to believers, how has the church observed time? Since it really does seem obvious to me that we go straight from Halloween to Christmas anymore, even though the calendar has two major American holidays in-between the two.
- Ordinary Time
- Advent: Starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Anticipates Christ’s first advent (coming).
- Christmas: December 25. Celebrating the birth of Christ.
- Epiphany: December 26-January 6. Reflecting on Christ’s presentation at the Temple, visit of the magi, and His miracle at Cana.
- Lent: 40 days before Easter. Preparation is made by identifying with Christ’s agony to the cross.
- Easter: First day of the week (Sunday) and by calendar the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover. Resurrection!!!!!!
- Pentecost: Sunday after the 50 days from Eater. The birth of the church.
- Valentines days over lent
- Mother’s day over Easter
- Memorial day, Father’s day, and Independence day over Pentecost.
- Halloween (especially) and Thanksgiving over Advent.
Something that I have observed in many churches and individuals is what I would like to call, “Catch-Phrase Christianity.” I have no problem with sermons and Sunday school lessons that have to deal with a word study or a nice little phrase out of a scripture. The problem though is that many times we see this done as purely motivational. Disregarding any context in the scripture.