As we continue unpacking the thought on “Why Summer Camp Matters” (you can read the first post here), so many things keep coming into my head on the importance of camp. Today, I give you two more personal thoughts on this. (ps: Our camp didn’t involve shotguns…but the inner redneck in me wishes it had.)
- It’s an opportunity for church buy-in: When we began the process of planning and executing our own summer camp, we decided that it was essential to get the entire church involved in camp. In our body of believers here at The Summit, we took this in several different directions.
- Staff Departments: Our student ministry team can’t create amazing graphics/videos, production/staging, etc. So we went to those departments early on and got them to buy-in to the vision of summer camp. When more than one ministry department works in rhythm with each other, they begin to take ownership over those areas even more. This is a great step in keeping your Student Ministry from being isolated on a very practical level in the day-to-day operations of your church. Do this throughout the year!
- Leadership: When we go to camp, we take a lot of students. When you take a lot of students, you need a lot of leaders. One of the great blessings this past year at camp was seeing the different people from our congregation that do not normally serve in our student ministry come to camp and jump right in. We had staff from other campuses lead with us for two weeks, administrative assistants, bankers & military personnel from our congregation, etc… Think strategically and outside the box when you recruit leadership for camp. As a result of their time at camp, they are all interested in finding out what long term investment they can make into the students at our church. That is a win in my book.
- Continued Partnership With Families: At The Summit Church, our Family Ministries exists to “Partner with Families in raising up a generation that will love Christ and his mission.” Our summer camp is no exception to that partnership. We recruited parents to serve with us at camp that would have never considered going on a trip….and they loved it…and so did their kids! On top of that, we gave our parents that stayed behind at home a daily prayer guide while we were gone at camp. That prayer guide contained the topic for the day, prayer points that they can be praying over their student very specifically for that day, and some discussion questions that they could use for their debriefing of camp with their kids when they got home. This has proven to be a huge tool for us over the past few years.
We’re incredibly thankful for the ways that God worked at camp, but we’re expectant that the things we saw do in the lives of our students at camp is going to continue as they grow as disciples when they get home.