Posts Tagged With: student ministry

The Power of Summer Camp

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.

BUT

I. COULDN’T. WAIT.

FOR.

CAMP.

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.

Categories: Everyday Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

HELP!! I WANT MY KIDS IN CHURCH!!

I get asked this a lot and was telling someone just today what my standard answer to that question would be. So I thought it would make a good blog post. So here it is

How does a parent get their child involved in church?

First and foremost the parent has to model the behavior that they want their child to adopt. If you want her in church consistently then you have to be in church consistently. This will show them that it is serious to the parent and that it is more than an extra activity but a part of the way of life.

 

Secondly, you must be find a church that is supportive of the values and goals that you want for your child to absorb and commit yourself to that church and that church alone for a substantial duration of time, in your specific case I would say the remainder of her High School career. Children of all ages need consistency and in this world it seems that everything in their life changes so fast they can’t count on anything. When the church becomes a constant they are more likely to latch to it.

 

Thirdly a teen is going to be drawn where their friends are. If the youth group does not have anyone in it that the teen can or will connect with then they will feel isolated and alone and not want to go.

 

Fourth, it is important for any parent to realize that the principle influence in a child’s life will always be the parent. In turn that means that the one who must be discipling the child in Christ is the parent as well and that the youth minister and youth group are only there to support and enhance what the parent is already doing, which is why number one is so important.

 

Finally there as to be some lines drawn. If the previous four statements are applied first then this is an easier task. Not to say that it is at all easy but if placed first in the list it is almost impossible. The parent is the parent and makes the decisions if the parent decides that the family is going to start attending and participating in church then that is the rule and is enforced. Many times parents will tell me they don’t want to force their kids to come to church because they are afraid it will turn them off to religion. But the fact is that we force our children to do many other things and yet never consider to apply that principle. They go to school, eat their supper, go to the doctor, go to bed, have a curfew, etc etc etc. Again when the previous four are applied this becomes easier.

 

Categories: Everyday Thoughts, family, Life, Ministry, parenting, Philosophy, Religion | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: