Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Links - July 26, 2014

We've had a busy week at church camp, so not as many links for you today. Meanwhile, I've got to catch up on the laundry (SO MUCH LAUNDRY) and get our lives back on track so we can start strong on Monday.

Spiritual / Inner Life

Marriage / Parenting

Writing

In the News

If you want to know why my family thinks church camp is so important - even though it's exhausting and disruptive to our family life while we get ready for it and recover from it - see this series of posts: What's So Special About Church Camp?

What caught your eye this week?

Linking up with:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's So Special About Church Camp? Part 4

P - Camp is the chance to Prepare.

Camp is kind of a unique thing. There's a unique emphasis on spiritual things and doing the right thing. Sometimes it's easier to feel like a Christian at camp, surrounded by other Christian kids, or at least kids not exactly opposed to Christianity.

But that's not the way life is the rest of the year. We do our best to equip kids to face the real world. We teach a biblical worldview. Not just what we believe but why we believe it. Kids are not too young to learn apologetics.

Some kids need the time at camp to realize they don't need their phones every second of the day.

Some kids need camp to learn how to make friends with a new crowd of people.

Some kids need camp to learn how to lose gracefully.

Some kids need camp to see how they can push themselves and feel pleased by their efforts.

Some kids need to see what a godly man or woman act like, how they respond to difficulties or trouble.

Some kids need to be reminded that commitment to Christ is not just words we say, but a life to live.

Camp, done right, is a way to prepare a child for the other 51 weeks of the year.

Part 1: Choose
Part 2: Achieve
Part 3: Minister

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What's So Special About Church Camp? Part 3

M - a chance to Minister.

Some children receive this benefit - a chance to minister to others - as well as the adults. A popular child will reach out and include a new kid. A child will sit with a hurt friend since she can't go on the hike. Someone will help a friend make her bunk before inspections. They'll work together on projects and during group activities.

But in spite of those things, this one is primarily why church camp is good for adults:

A chance to unplug (although maybe not as completely as we enforce this rule for the kids. Counselors with spouses back home have to check up every once in awhile)

A chance to learn patience.

A chance to sacrifice your own desires (MORE SLEEP!) for the good of others

A chance to benefit from truth, simply explained

The staff from our church does not pressure children to make a decision about Christ. We never - not ever - ask a child to pray after us or say some words.

We listen.

We teach.

We try to answer their questions (and children have a lot of questions) as best we can with the Bible.

And we pray, a lot.

We aren't trying to make a quota of professions of faith (real or imagined). Instead, we pray for the Holy Spirit to do what only He can do and awaken these young spirits to their need for a Savior. The joy of it is we get to be part of that.

Part 1: C is for Choose
Part 2: A is for Achieve