I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. (Mark 11:23)
I serve as the Vice President of Nexus International, a mission organization focused on equipping and encouraging indigenous youth leaders in their work to proclaim the Gospel to every young person on the globe. We come alongside catalytic local leaders who are the evangelists, the thought-leaders, and the social entrepreneurs that our world desperately needs. We train youth in every aspect of relational evangelism, including the all important skill of how to get kids to camp, where they can hear the Gospel through adventure, relationships with leaders, and winsome proclamation of the Gospel!
WHERE TO START? ADDRESS YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH AND YOUR TEAM’S SPIRITUAL FITNESS FIRST, THEN CREATIVITY, STRATEGY, AND PRODUCTIVITY WILL COME
Before I helped start Nexus International, I was on staff with Young Life for 15 years in Tucson, Denver, Fort Collins, and New Zealand. From my early years with Young Life I learned the importance of leading with vision. From my work and relationships in 59 countries, I am grateful to have an international perspective on leadership. My philosophy of visionary leadership is that if you want to be a catalyst for transformation in any culture, you need to first figure out what it means to be healthy spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Then from a place of spiritual fitness and close abiding with Jesus, you will become the creative, strategic, and productive leader that God has created you to be. So what I’m saying here is that if you want to tackle the problem of getting kids to camp, you have to first start by abiding in Christ, and prayerfully discerning how Jesus would have you break down the strongholds that are keeping kids from going to camp.
A YEAR’S WORTH OF RELATIONAL EVANGELISM CONDENSED INTO A WEEK
In this post I’d like to highlight some wisdom from Young Life about how to get kids to camp. Did you ever realize that in a week-long camp with a group of young people you will have more time to invest in them than in a whole year of typical youth ministry. The hours you have together in a week-long camp are incredibly strategic which is why I think God uses camping ministries so powerfully in so many young people’s lives.
Recently, the Young Life Leader Blog provided a very helpful series to help youthworkers overcome the 5 most common obstacles that keep kids from going to camp. These are five mountains that youthworkers can move through faith and a little ingenuity and bravery. I recommend all youth workers to spend some time looking at these obstacles and prayerfully figuring way to overcome all of them.
IN WESTERN CULTURES ESPECIALLY, WE ARE COMING AGAINST THE IDOL OF ACTIVITY | IT’S A SPIRITUAL BATTLE
We live in an increasingly busy and distracted society which idolizes activity. So it’s not going to get any easier to woo and persuade young people to commit to a week of camp. We know how powerful outreach camps can be, and so does the devil. It shouldn’t surprise us that Satan would try to put up obstacles and strongholds to try to hold young people back from experiencing something as powerful as a Gospel-oriented summer camp. So let’s get at it, tearing down those barriers.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor. 10:4
HERE ARE THE 5 MOST COMMON REASONS WHY YOUNG PEOPLE DON’T GO TO CAMP
- Mountain #5 | Fear of the Unknown
- Pray with a fellow youthworker or partner in ministry about this list of obstacles and prayerfully make a plan to start addressing them one by one. Pray in faith that these mountains will be moved and that your whole trip will be filled without one seat empty!
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