Guest Post: Worth the Effort
By interlinc Editor Ken McCoy
The buses pulled into the church parking lot and were greeted by cheers from teenagers and their parents. Their arrival was the climax of two hours of pre-game programming – a bluegrass band was playing on the porch of the Longhorn Lodge; Dirty Bert and his gang rode in on horses and staged a gunfight in and around the Lodge; our leaders were dressed in cowboy boots and hats; and dads were cooking burgers and hot dogs on massive grills out by the ballfield. All that, just to “check in” the kids going to camp.
“Desperado” was the theme of camp that year, and we had worked hard for a couple of months to set the tone for what would happen all week. We were already worn out before we even boarded the busses, but we were fired up!
Why? Camp was going to be when we experienced the results and rewards for months and months of daily ministry with teenagers. We worked hard going into camp and were expecting that God would let us see some of the fruit of our labor: changed lives. We could hardly wait to see what He would do!
We weren’t disappointed, and I’m still thrilled about what He did that week. I know that some of those kids are in full-time ministry today, and dozens of them are now godly parents and volunteer ministry leaders. I know this because many of those people have found me on Facebook and have filled me in on what God is still doing in and through them.
Camp is a lot of work. If you do it well, you can count on being exhausted, wasted, irritated, and completely spent by the time you get home. You can also count on being thrilled, fulfilled, and motivated to take advantage of the momentum that camp can provide your ministry.
It’s worth the effort!
Article: In Defense of Summer Camp by Jeremy White at Valley Church in Vacaville, California
Resource: The Definitive Mission Agency List (PDF)
Resource: Festival Survival Guide: Everything you need to know to take your youth group to a Christian Music Festival (without going crazy!) by Dave Weiss