5. New Perspectives are Good
As I continue to grow in ministry, one of the things that I’ve learned is that different perspectives are good. One of the funny things about camp is that a person will say the exact same thing that you’ve been saying for years, and the kids will say “Wow, I never realized that before.” Personally, I’ve grown to not care who they learn it from, as long as they learn it. It’s a very good thing for people to hear things said a little differently, because it will cause them to stop and pause, and reflect on what they heard. It’s similar to singing a song you’ve always sung, but just to a different tune.
4. I’m very blessed to have the staff that I do
This year we had three new leaders at the camp this year, mostly because of two of our former staff members getting married and staff being the wedding. We brought one up from Jr High (Stephanie) and brought a college student to help (Justine). And on the Monday night, they put on a Chicken and Waffles dinner for youth pastors and their wives, so I went being eager to learn, network, and ask questions. But after sitting down for a little while, I realized that there were guys sitting there who were doing almost everything themselves. They almost fell of their chairs when i told them that we had over 20 people on our youth staff for Jr High, High School, and College.
I realized that there is just so much need for direction for young youth pastors out there. I have a feeling that they are given little direction, and probably just told to teach and take care of the youth. There were some that felt like they had no idea how to train up staff members and some that felt like they were on a total different page than the rest of the pastoral staff at their churches. It made me appreciate the staff that we have, and that I have three other pastors on staff here at SGUC, all three were youth pastors at this church, and all have the same perspective on ministry. It is a great position to be in to learn the ministry, to say the least.
3. I LOVE RICH BAKER!!!!!!!!!!
Need I say more?
2. Micah is an attention hound that everyone ends up knowing
I guess he gets this from his dad, but it was funny when I’d be pushing him in his stroller throughout camp and people that I didn’t know were saying ‘Hi Micah!’ He started playing with kids from another church that had a ball, and they absolutely loved him. Then he would walk up to other kids his age and introduce himself to them. Then the parents would say hi to him whenever they saw him the rest of the week. The little girls were a little interesting. There was one little girl that happened to be in the family dining area at the same time as us a couple times. whenever she was up there, Micah would just wave to her the whole time, until she acknowledged him. He was very insistent.
Then there was another girl that was the daughter of another youth pastor, and they played “I’ll show you my belly if you show me yours.” He lifted up his shirt, and then she obliged. Then he poked her belly. Once they were adequately acquainted, they decided to tackle together a collapsed table leaning up against the wall. Needless to say, Micah wanted everyone to be his friend.
1. Most of all, the camp was an overwhelming affirmation to what we’re doing here at SGUC.
One of the greatest blessings of camp is to see your students around other ‘normal’ high schoolers. Sometimes you can get so focused on who you got that you forget how much that they have grown. But when you see them around other kids, you realize that what we’re doing is right. For example, during one session there was a question and answer time, and most of our kids were bored with the type of questions. The speaker mentioned Calvinism and you could tell the kids had no idea what it was. It was encouraging to know it was nothing new to most of our kids.
Another example was in talking with one of the kids who had recently been going to another youth group. He realized that he wasn’t being fed there and that things were based on emotion and shallow, repetitive teaching. He then said he plans on coming back because he wants to grow. Music to my ears!
Camps can sometimes be discouraging when we don’t have the massive numbers making an altar call, but really its an affirmation of where our regular kids are. Praise God that we did have four kids make professions of faith, but none of those four kids have had significant ties to our youth program. Its a testimony to our faithfulness to preaching Gospel and discipling them in Christ.