We started praying back in the Spring of 2014 for God to give us some direction for this coming year. We were coming off of the theme and core value of “Community” and we were trying to figure out what came next. “Community” exposed a lot of things to us as a youth group and were crucial for us to go through as a ministry. It revealed to us that we (individually & corporately) were more self-centered, self-consumed, and self-reliant than we wanted to admit. When you have a theme that consistently reinforced being together, sharing your lives with one another, and loving others more than yourself…yeah, it starts to reveal things about where you are.
So as the summer came and went, we tried to observe where God was taking this youth group. We knew there was going to be huge changes in the demographic of the youth group with a huge senior class leaving and a larger 6th grade class entering. So we took to our knees and prayed. We’ve said this from day 1 that our ministry, budget, and events better be led by prayer or else we’re doomed. So we had 2 separate meetings - adult leaders & youth leaders, and just prayed for vision. The praying led to our theme and vision for the 2014-2015 year.
I’ve been approached by many students who are either going to college or are already at college about staying faithful to the church while away. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by their question because it shows that they’re heart is in the right place and hopefully they want to remain consistent in their understanding of the Gospel and church membership.
But practically, this is what I would say to you college students who are members of a church back at home:
Vision & Direction: As the camp board was praying through camp 2014 our hearts were burdened for our students in many ways. Ultimately we are begging the Lord to be gracious and converting the hearts of the students with the Gospel. Our prayers then turned to where our students were at this year and we realized that many of them have lost their sense of joy in their relationship with Christ. It has faded into a dull, passionless halt that have led many of them to run and chase after meaningless false gods. We want our students to see that Jesus is the source of all joy – better than games, relationships, and success. We want them to find unexplainable joy in knowing Christ and following him. This is our prayer for our students…not just for camp, but for their entire Christian journey. Join us in this ministry.
DCamp Theme Verse: 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Joh 8:12 ESV)
Camp Impact Passage: 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1Pe 1:8-9 ESV)
You take what is broken
You redeem those unclean
You heal the hurt and the pain
This is me…all of me
I thought I had strength
Fooled into trusting in me
My pride has blinded my entire being
But I need you to help me see
My darkness has been my light
And I love the warmth of my sin
But it only betrays me
Heal me Jesus from within
You are better right?
The Bible did tell me so
Why can’t I feel you anymore?
What’s wrong with my soul?
I trust you. I trust you
You’ve proven to me time and time again
You’ve saved and changed me
I trust you. I trust you.