I love Christian Camps, and have spoken in camps every year since God allowed me to enter the ministry as an evangelist! I spent thirteen of those years working closely with my friend and mentor Evangelist Bill Rice III at the Bill Rice Ranch in Murfreesboro, TN. During those 13 summers of ministry I spoke many times in youth weeks and junior weeks and even in family weeks. I loved all of it and I regularly meet young people (who are older now!) whose lives were touched by the ministry of those summers. I saw hundreds pray to be saved, especially in the junior weeks. And I am sure that the family camps were a bigger help to me than I was to them. I know that as a young parent, I heard preaching from other speakers that dramatically impacted our lives and that is still bringing forth fruit in my own family. Over the past several years I have been privileged to speak at many of the great camps of our day. I have spoken to teens and families at The Wilds in Brevard, NC; Southland in Ringgold, LA; Hoosier Hills Baptist Camp in Dillsboro, IN; and CoBeAc in Prudenville MI! I have spoken to teens at Ironwood in Newberry Springs, CA, Grandview in Eager, AZ; and at Richmond Lake Youth Camp in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I have even preached at camps in other countries! Did I mention that I love Christian Camps? Well, I do. Here are three reasons why:
- The Preaching
Each camp is unique. Activities vary. Philosophies can vary. Standards can be more strict or less strict. Facilities can be nicer or “primitiver.” The staff can be graduates of or students at any number of Bible and Christian colleges. One thing is true of them all: PREACHING. Time is devoted to preaching and teaching the Word of God and that makes all the difference in the world. Souls are saved. Conviction is felt. Repentance and forgiveness are experienced. Life-altering decisions are made. Believers are conformed to the image of Christ. My own sons attended camp with our church this summer. They spent a week at Southland under the preaching of Evangelist Morris Gleiser. My sons came home revived – more in love with Jesus and His Word and more dedicated to following Him. Last year, the boys spent a week with me while I preached at Camp CoBeAc. Thursday night of that week was one of the most powerful services I have ever witnessed. God was present and His Word gripped hearts and brought conviction and a response that brought cleansing. The result was a powerful time of singing and worship that I have rarely experienced. It was so powerful, that on New Years Eve when I asked my children to share a favorite memory from 2016, my middle son, emphatically pointed to that Thursday night service as his favorite memory. It was certainly one of mine too. That is the power of the preaching at a Christian camp!
- The Plan
What makes a camp week so powerful? The entire week is planned around the Word of God and the potential for lives to be impacted! Much prayer goes into the week. The preaching is supported by those who come to camp and by those who are on the staff. The program supports the preaching. The services allow the preaching to be intensive and powerful. The staff are prepared and carefully trained to pray and counsel and impact every person who attends the camp. It is a beautiful plan! Cell phones can be left behind. There is no television, movies, or video games to snatch the Word from hearts. Everywhere on the camp ground spiritual work is taking place. It is certainly a great idea.
- The Power
Simply put, camp weeks are powerful. Souls are saved. Christians grow. Lives are changed. Juniors are helped to get on the right track early in life. Teens are confronted with the Bible’s answers to the issues of their lives. Teens meet other teens who love Jesus. Families are encouraged, challenged, corrected and directed! Teens sense the power of truth and are given hope for the messed up generation that surrounds them. Campers even discover that there are other churches filled with people who love and serve and worship Jesus too. The power of Christian camping is undeniable.
I hope you support Christian camps. Take your teens, juniors, and families. Pray fervently for the ministry these camps have. You will find that the preaching is powerfully able to change lives. You will discover that the plan works. Dramatically and Amazingly. You will see for yourself just how powerful a camp week can be.
Did I mention that I love Christian Camps? I certainly do! And I pray often for all those who are serving the church through the ministry of Christian camping. You should too.
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,