I believe in camp.
It’s not a conviction for me—as if camp is something I would live and die by—but I believe in it very strongly.
I admit that I am only speaking from personal experience here. Is there youth camp in the Bible? No. Is there a command to go to youth camp? No. Is it right for everyone? No.
But in 2015, we live by principles, not just commands, anyway.
I believe in camp because of several godly principles. Are these principles commands? Some of them, but not all of them. Consider:
- Summer camp is about preaching. Plain and simple. That’s the highlight of the week. This year, especially, we have the power of Bro. Hetzer combined with the wit and humor of comedian Tim Hawkins. Bro. Jason Gaddis (my wife and I were discussing this last week) is the perfect blend of funny and God’s power. He’s an incredible preacher. More than that, he preaches an incredible book—the BIBLE. Summer camp is an intensive week of Bible. There’s nothing wrong with that.
- Summer camp is about camaraderie. The topic of the Youth Winter Rendezvous was friends. The preaching focused on having the right friends and being the right friend. God’s plan for the ages—until the end of the world (Mat. 28:20)—is the use His church to further His kingdom on earth. The Great Commission is about seeing people saved, baptized and disciple to become committed followers of Christ. Friendships should revolve around the church. Your closest friends should be the people who are pushing you toward Christ. Hopefully, our youth group is filled with Christians helping other Christians be better disciples of Christ. Summer camp helps with that goal.
- Summer camp is about clean fun. Many of my fondest memories revolve around summer camp. I always loved camp, and I looked forward to it every year. We should be making memories without regrets, and that’s what summer camp can accomplish.
- Summer camp can be about cleaning up. You may or may not need some deep, spiritual cleaning, but summer camp is a time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and line your eternal life up with His. When you do that, it’s cleanup time, usually. That’s a good thing. Summer camp is purposely a time away from phones and computers, bad friends and boredom, and anything drawing you away from God. You might not even realize how much you need the spiritual cleansing that a week in a new setting can offer. When everything that happens in a week is spiritual, a lot of good comes as a result.
Camp is highly beneficial to your walk with God. Don’t waste it, this year. Be open to His leading. Be willing to listen to God this year. Change when He says, “Change.” Grow where He tells you. Let summer camp be the spiritual refresher that God wants it to be for you.
-Bro. Ryan (951) 719-7191