As a youth pastor summer camp is a must. It provides the greatest opportunity for relationship building and spiritual development and serves as a launching pad for he rest of the year. I have literally seen a youth group go from blah to BAM over the course of a single week of camp.
Summer camps are a dime a dozen. They are everywhere. There are a lot of theories and methods behind how to do summer camp. Some choose to do their own some go to camps that have a lot of structure, some little structure.
But the key thing is summer camp done right is a big deal.
Two years ago today I arrived at summer camp. Specifically at Crossroads Summer Camp a ministry of Clayton King Ministries. it would be the third year I had brought a group to Crossroads but it would prove to be a defining year in the philosophy of how I do ministry and how I choose camps and conferences.
As we arrived at camp, I was a wreck. My grandmother had just been murdered a few short weeks before, there were struggles at our church that had become unsettling and overwhelming, we had just had VBS which meant two solid weeks of 70 hrs of work for me. So I was toast.
I. COULDN’T. WAIT.
You see, I knew that when I got to camp my students were going to be ministered to, they would fall in love with Jesus all over again and they would fall to their knees and worship Jesus in sweet and beautiful tears.
I also knew that I would too.
Many times camps for youth are filled with good quality stuff but, if you have been in church for any considerable amount of time in church, it can seem superficial or elementary.
But, and this is where I have defined my philosophy, Crossroads doesn’t settle for superficial. They dig deep, they challenge students and adults to reflect on the truth of God’s Word.
I will never forget falling to my knees on the second day not able to sing a word sobbing into the shoulders of one of my students as we were led in the chorus of “You Hold Me Now”. As God ministered to my broken heart and I began to heal I realized that camp was as much for me as the students.
And now I know that a camp, conference or service that is going to be great will be great for both your students AND your leaders. And year after year I have experienced that with Clayton King and Crossroads Summer Camp.
And that is why for the first camp with my new church we are in Anderson SC for #CRSC15.
God is good and I already have so much to say. More on that later.