The summer camp season has come and gone for the students here at Second Baptist. I can honestly say that I have never seen so much spiritual growth come out of camp like I have seen this year with Student Life Camp and Global Youth Camp. The students have come home on fire for the Lord like nothing I have witnessed before. Along with all the spiritual growth, we saw three students go from death to life by giving their life to Christ…Glory be to God! The challenge these students now face is coming home and keeping this fire burning.
For the middle school students they have learned the importance of God’s Word to their daily lives and the role that it plays in their spiritual growth. The stories that I have heard from the students and parent alike are amazing and encouraging. One student put it this way, “God really set a fire in me for his word. I've come to realize the truth of how important it is to stay in his word to keep me away from this world's struggles. Now until forever I hope I can maintain this fire with word, worship, and prayer.” This is just one of many that have expressed to me personally how God has changed their perspective on the Bible and its importance in their life.
The high school students studied the book of Daniel this year. They spent a lot of time looking at the many ultimatums that Daniel faced in his life and they were faced with a much different challenge this year at camp: Why are they not leading our youth group? They were faced with the reality that our younger students have stepped up to the challenge of being leaders while the high school students have just set to the side as spectators. They have come home with a passion and desire to change their role in the Upper Room from spectator to leader. This is encouraging to me because it is their youth group not mine. They must own their youth group with commitment, leadership, and discipling younger students. Once the high school students understand this, the culture of our youth group will begin to change.
Therefore, adults, we have been tasked with the responsibility of helping them keep this fire burning. What are you doing, if anything, to encourage your child to keep the fire alive? Camp does not have to be just one great week out of the year for these students. Camp could be the stepping stone they need to change the world around them. You see, the challenge is not just for the students. We all play an important role in the spiritual growth of our students, but none more than their families (mom, dad, grandparents, etc.). Discipleship starts within the four walls of your home and that includes keeping that camp fire going strong. You never know, what your child learns at camp could impact your walk with the Lord as well. Let me encourage you to fuel the fire and not to smother the fire that has been ignited in our students and let’s see what happens.
“It was great camp made me understand why it's so important to read the Bible and use it like a sword and as a bridge to get closer to God. And my expectations came true to get deeper in his word and to get closer to God with out the distractions.”
“When I first got to church on Wednesday I hardly knew any other people. Then I got there and the first night at church gathering I learned some peoples names then I spent some free time making friends with them and others. I could tell at first night at worship that God was going to do something. Before camp I was questioning everything except my salvation. And as camp went on a lot of my questions were answered and I realized the importance of Gods word and actually reading them. I'm very grateful for this opportunity and would like to be a part of it next year.”
“My camp experience was great and I enjoyed growing as a youth group and I'm glad I'm part of this youth group. I loved the worship and just feeling free and open. Learning about having my quiet time was great also because lately I've just gotten so use to not doing it that it just gave me that kick start I needed! Today I woke up and I was about to grab my phone then I remembered, don't pick the phone up instead, go pick ur bible up. Since you took our phones, I got unattached and I know that I don't have to have it in my hand 24/7 and now that I've been to the camp, when I look at my phone it's cool cause instead of thinking about like Instagram or Snapchat I think about my bible and that I can be reading it instead. So thank you for just helping me to realize the only person I need to worry about impressing is God and that I don't need to spend all my time on the phone. Ive also been attached to listening to not the best music and with camp it just got me wanting more of the praise music and just helped me to think do I really need to be listening to this not so good music because there's kids that look up to me because we were the oldest in our group. Thank you so much for the awesome experience of student life and I will miss it greatly.”
“The Student Life camp made me think of how I needed to change my life and get closer to God. I talked to people i never have before, and I have became closer to everyone in our group. I felt less afraid to open my arms and close my eyes while we sang, and I felt more comfortable praying out loud to a group.”
“My camp experience was AMAZING!!! For the past couple of months I have been struggling with my salvation and at the beginning of the week I asked God to break me down until all I see is Him and he did that!! Taking ALL the decisions away really played a big part in focusing on God so thank you so much!!”
“I had a great time. It was really interesting to see why you need to get into the word.”
“Before camp I didn't really go to church that much. I knew I needed to but when I went to camp it really changed my life around. I do quiet time everyday from now on and I pray more and I just think that I believe in the Lord more and got in his word a lot more and learned a lot more about him also. I was really nervous at first when I got on that bus to leave to go to camp but on the last two full days or so of camp it felt like I became more free with God and I'm just so happy I went.”
“Camp has completely changed the way that I think about the Bible. I never used to think of the stories in it as things that actually happened, I thought of them as more like fairytales.”
“Camp made me completely rethink and change everything I was doing before.”
“I want to become a real leader in my youth group. Pray for guidance and become the role model that expresses God.”
“I want to get a lot more people involved. Talk to them about the Bible and what satan is trying to do to our group and what we should do about it. Try to communicate with each other more.”