Late night giggles, messy games, sweaty students (and leaders), uncomfortable beds, but most importantly Jesus. What do these things have in common? These are all things that you are guaranteed to find at church camp. I don’t know why I am constantly so amazed at how God moves in the midst of all the craziness, but He ALWAYS does. As a student growing up, camp was always a given every summer. I knew that for at least one week during the summer I would be at camp, playing games, making new friends and getting closer to God. I would get home on FIRE for the Lord. I could take on anything that life threw at me. My relationship with God would be strong, I was unstoppable. A few weeks later however, life would be back to normal. I would be back to fighting with my siblings, angry at my parents, and reading my Bible would become a chore. The spark would die out until church camp came around again the following summer. I was not alone in this. Unfortunately, this is a common pattern among students and church camp. When you are in an environment that is filled to the brim with Jesus, it is hard not to leave overwhelmed and overjoyed for the Lord. But, when we get back to the daily grind, that euphoria slowly seeps away and the joy is just simply not replenished.
What do we do to change this? How do we keep the fire going? How do we continue to fill our cup when we are in our normal environment? This is where we, as leaders, mentors, parents, friends, brothers, sisters come in. We need to band together to fan the flames. We need to unite as the body of Christ and kindle their fire. Our students need to know that they are not alone in their spiritual journey. They need to be reminded that the Holy Spirit resides inside them, but also that we are here for guidance, prayer, to listen, and to love on them. I encourage you, all who read this; to reach out to a youth this Sunday. Encourage them with your words, pray for their spiritual growth, and engage in a conversation with them.
David Boyd, in his book “Strong Enough to Last”, talks about 6 common influences that occurred in teens that “”stayed the course” throughout their Christian life”. Interesting enough, one of these influences was that these students had “at least three adult Christian mentors”. Are you one of them?
SHAINA SILVERMAN | CHILDREN'S MINISTRY DIRECTOR