i went to camp

as per my job description, i went to camp this summer.

now, i want everyone to know the following:

I AM NOT ANTI-CAMP. I DO NOT HATE CAMP (ok, i hate the fact that i always have the cabin at the top of the hill and the bathroom is where? at the bottom… that really sucks!).

now that we got that out of the way, let me explain:

although i do not hate camp, it’s not heaven on earth for me and there are several reasons. the first is that i was never a camper, so i don’t have great "mountain top experience" memories that take m back to a zen place-time-with-Jesus-among-the-trees when i drive up  Calvin crest road. no, it really is not a zen place, it called motion sickness!
second is the bathroom factor. at this point i have no problem wising it up about the bathrooms. if i have to go in the middle of the night, i need to wake-up enough to put shoes on and go down the hill without taking the express route down. now one morning, this past summer, i did take the express way down while going down to shower, and i ended up twisting my knee and i am now paying for it!
third and probably the most legitimate reason is my genuine concern in tow areas: are the kids who attend year after year being stretched enough to grow their faith? and, are the kids who have that "mountain top experience" going home with hope and a sense of longevity that they will be able to continue walking with Jesus no matter what their home situation is?
bottom line… are we really ministering to the needs of all the kids who come to camp, or go on a mission trip or to a conference, etc?

here is the really sad part of all this: I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS! i know, that really sucks, but i would rather enter into years of conversation and study to formulate a conclusion through the guiding of the Holy Spirit, than just come up with something on the fly that was really just blowing smoke.

so here goes the beginning of this:
i am truly afraid that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to camps, retreats, short term mission trips, etc. i think that too many times we spin our wheels "creating" an experience that will at best just be mediocre. we try to do too much, then we fall on our face. (i know i am walking the plank with this, but please stay with me.)

i truly believe in relational ministry. what i see in scripture is that Jesus had relationships with strategic people and God had relationships with strategic people. now this does not mean that they just ignored others outside of these relationships, on the contrary Jesus and God only embraced many other people. because of those examples, i am constantly asking myself how i can improve my relationships with people. how can i improve my relationship with students? with the parents?  with my congregation? with my friends? with my family? with God? (funny, my most important relationship is listed last.)

i not only want to improve my relationship with God, but i also want to be a model of what a great relationship with God looks like and the only way that can really, truly happen is to have students in my life. then need to have access to my life in as many appropriate ways as possible. they need to know that i hurt. they need to know that am a sinner. they need to know that i do my best to live the life that God so desperately wants us to live, yet i am a sinner and not only do it often, but do it well as well. i need them to know and understand that i am not perfect and am as flawed (or more) as they are. when God is looking down on us, there really is no way to seperate the difference between between us and the world.

more to come later… really tired… bed time… good night!!!

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