Camp has been a HUGE tradition for our student ministry. Camp has traditionally been one of the biggest highlights of our year. It is a week of fun, intense worship, and life change in our students. That was then, and this is now. Many people who I have talked too have said that camp is not working for them anymore. Many groups have said that it is not working for student ministry anymore. While there may be some truth to some of their reasons, let me give you a few reasons why camp still works for us!
- Camp pulls students away from every day life- My students are consumed with video games and technology, and while at camp, they get away from this to interact with others face to face, and to allow God to speak into their lives. They leave many distractions behind so that the Spirit can speak to them more freely.
- Camp allows students to build new relationships- This was always one of the coolest things for me growing up. I loved going to camp to meet new students (mainly the girls). You build new relationships at camp.
- Camp has a deeper mission than fun- Camp is one of the most fun places to be, but their mission is much deeper. They are missional in their attempts to draw students closer to the Gospel.
- Camp brings students out of their comfort zone- This coincides with #1, but still it is very important. Not only do they lose technology, but they are immediately pulled out of their comfort zone.
- The Lord uses camp to reach students- We saw 2 of our students last week at camp accept Jesus into their lives! Now, you can argue all you want that camp is not working, and it may not work for your group that much right now, but just think of the life change that is happening, and that may happen in your group through the camping ministry. It is something to consider.
[Question]: Where do you take your students to camp?
It is Thursday here at camp. Well, it is Thursday back home as well, but you know what I mean! Thursday for camp means the next to the last day of camp. This is the day that we begin to pack and prepare for home with the hope that the next day and a half will go by very slow, because this week has been so good. I have loved watching our students make decisions for the Lord and worship Him during the services. They have come out of their comfort zone, and made life change decisions. I wanted to share a few photos with you today so here they are:
International Teens Involved (ITI) is a program sponsored by Word of Life to help train students to develop their gifts and abilities for the church and the Lord’s glory. Union Grove has been involved in Teens Involved (no pun intended) for many years. It has been a great ministry and we have seen the Lord use this program to develop our students. We always remind our students that it is not about a competition, but about the perfecting and developing of our gifts. We had a great group participate, and here are the entries that placed in ITI:
Sr High Praise Team (5th)- Anna Worley, Emily Worley, Jessica Hege, Chase Pollard, and Austin Jordan.
Sr. High Video Presentation (1st)- Chase Pollard and Austin Jordan
Jr. High Large Vocal Group (1st)- Vanna Ruth, Kaci Miller, Jennifer Salernitano, Elaine Michaels
Sr. High Large Vocal Group (2nd)
Now, if your student was not mentioned above, they still did a great job, and we are proud of them. There were a lot of students involved this year, and not as many placed as a whole, not just from our church. If your student did not participate, I encourage them to participate next year. Honestly, as a parent, I would encourage them to get involved in this program! What a way to spend your students’ time?
Good afternoon! It is Tuesday afternoon, and I am sitting here reflecting on camp and what God has already done. Many of us leaders have said that this has already been one of our best years of camp. First off, we have a great group! The group has gone with the flow through everything, and we have not received any complaining which is awesome. We were not sure how many of our students would react to camp considering many of them are first timers here at camp. Many of them are younger as well, but they have adjusted very well. Second, God has already done big things. Many times at camp, it takes days for God to get through to students. Our students have come into camp with an open spirit from the get go! Once again, we have had 2 students saved out of our group, and 16 total here at camp. Then, we have had 1 receive assurance of their salvation. God has worked in all of our hearts though here at camp. I have heard some students give testimony about God dealing with them for the anger/temper problem. God has dealt with some about being thankful for the many things that God has done for them. Some about holding nothing back when it comes to their personal relationship with God. God has spoken to our group in so many different ways, it has been amazing. Third, the week has gone smoothly. We have had no discipline issues, physical issues, or BUS TROUBLE! That is always a major plus
Here are a few of the quotes that I have written down from camp so far to give you a glimpse of the Bible teaching that they have received:\
“What you believe determines how you behave.” – Chris Finchum
“Grace is not about you; grace is all about God.” – Rick Garland
“Faith is the outstretched arm that receives the gift of God” – Dr. Charles Ryrie
“God will never love you one ounce less than He does right now.” – Rick Garland
“We don’t do quiet time to get God to love us more. We do quiet time to teach us to love Him more.” – Rick Garland
“God does not approve of everything that you do, but He still unconditionally loves and accepts you in spite of what you do.” – Rick Garland
“What have we missed out on because of our disobedience? Moses missed out on the Promised Land.” – Rich Andrews
“Jesus died to save us from the penalty of sin! I died at Salvation to be saved from the power of sin.” – Rick Garland
Obviously, I have tons more, but those are some highlights that I chose to share with you. Hopefully, when I get back, I can take the time to post all of the sermon notes and outlines on the blog to share with you. It has been some incredible teaching.
Here are some pics for you:
Its Monday evening here in Florida! It’s raining, and we had to leave the pool so I figured that I would throw down a blog post. It has been an entire day since I have updated you do you must be dying for an update. Let me fill you in what is going on. We have seen 2 of our students get saved this week. We have seen one get assurance, and seen many other decisions for Christ made. Teens involved went great and our students did a fantastic job. I am always so proud of them! Let me just say that if your student didn’t come to camp or participate in Teens Involved, I would encourage you to get them involved next year for sure. The Lord really is using this camp in our students lives!
Last night, we had a “talk back” time. This is where we as the leaders get to hear personally from our students on what God is doing in their lives. They were a bit quiet, but opened up a bit to what God has been doing. Vanna had to give them a bit of encouragement to get them to open up. I loved hearing the hearts of our students.
The speakers have been great. Honestly, it is tough to find a camp that teaches as much doctrine as Word of Life to the campers. Our students have heard the Gospel, been taught on how to approach God with the right perspective, and a challenging and convicting message on justification.
Everyone is having a blast! You know, the team you have will dictate how your week may go in the long run, and let me say, we have a fantastic group that is dictating how amazing the week is going. Please keep us in your prayers, and I will update you tomorrow with some pictures!
Good Sunday morning everybody! Josh here giving you all an update on Word of Life Camp. What an amazing week it has already been. It started with us leaving at 1 am on Friday morning. We drove through the night (12 hours) without breaking down! Anytime you are in a church bus, that is always a plus ! Most of our students stayed up all night which was interesting, but they were all great. I will say no more energy drinks on these trips! Just kidding, I love the energy and excitement that these students bring. We stopped at Cracker Barrel which has become a tradition to eat. The food is good, but I get excited because my family in Jacksonville meet us there. Then, we made the rest of the trip to Hudson, FL for camp. We checked in, and everything went smoothly. Only two of our students have lice. Just kidding once again. Everyone got in, and camp begins!
Our first service was with Chris Finchum. He did a fantastic job speaking on who Jesus was. I felt that it was a great start, and one of the best messages on Jesus’ that I have ever heard. Then, SLEEP! Well, before sleep, Mark and I had to show the young guns how to play basketball. Okay, they showed me, and Mark taught them. He was on fire.
Then, Saturday came, and we did all of Teens Involved on this day. Everyone did great, and handled the pressure well! We find out the results this Tuesday evening at the banquet. The only entry of Teens Involved left to do is this afternoon with quiz blitz. Pray for our students to remember everything that they have learned and studied this year. Last night was an incredible service! Rick Garland spoke on, “What does it mean to be saved?” It was amazing, and many students accepted Jesus. One of ours got saved! It was the coolest thing. Then, one of ours got assurance of their Salvation and some things finally became REAL to her about her relationship with Jesus. What a start to camp?
Stoked for the rest of the week. Please be praying for our group. Here are some highlight photos for you: