This Summer will be my 15th year involved in leadership in Camp Ministry. I believe in Camp Ministry. Last summer I spoke at a Middle School Camp at Camp Gilead and then 2 weeks later led our High Schoolers on a 3,000 mile journey to attend Camp Regen. Our Middle School Ministry is preparing for its’ second backpacking trip this summer. And I’m getting ready to do it all again.
I guess you could say Camp Ministry is in my blood. My grandpa, who used to be a pastor in Bellingham, was innovative in Camp Ministry in the 1960s. He helped Camp Gilead continue as a Christian camp, and he led backpacking trips with youth from his church and the community when churches were not used to this type of ministry. There are reasons that I love Camp Ministry and pour out my time and energy for it that tie into my biblical philosophy of ministry. These reasons are deeper than tradition but tie into the same biblical reasons that my grandpa believed in Camp Ministry 50 years ago!
God Goes To Camp Any time a group of people–any age–stop the busyness and extra noise of their daily lives and spend concentrated time in God’s creation, seeking Him through His Word and worship, God meets them. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Camp Ministry is a Gospel Ministry I had the joy and privilege of preaching the Gospel & teaching God’s Word in chapel last summer at Camp Gilead. Almost always, at any camp, there are people who have never heard the Good News of Jesus. What an opportunity! Last summer when I spoke at Camp Gilead 5 Middle Schoolers professed Christ as their Savior for the first time. The Middle School Coordinator I now work with is married to the director of a Christian Women’s Shelter who was saved at Camp Gilead as a Middle Schooler. Need I say more about why I love Camp Ministry?
Christian Children & Teenagers Experience the Larger Body of Christ at Camp Teenagers need to know that Jesus is bigger than their church, and even their local community. Time spent in fellowship with believers from other areas can strengthen their faith and challenge them in their walk with the Lord. I have friends today that still encourage me in Christ, who I only know because I went to camp in high school.
Camp is Purposeful Fun Camp Ministry embodies what I believe a Youth Ministry should be: Bible-centered, Gospel-centered & Christ-centered while having a blast! Bringing youth to Jesus through the Bible and time spent in creation meets their need for salvation and worship of the living God, and fellowship through outdoor activities meets their social needs while helping them to experience true fellowship in the body of Christ.