Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back from Camp

Well I just got back from the weekend speaking at Alpine for their Jr High Winter Camp Week 1. Overall, it was a good time. The speaking seemed to go well. It was fun playing in the snow with Grace and hanging out with Bea. The band were some cool guys from all over Orange County, but the leader was from First Baptist HB/FV where Ashdown used to work and Steve Gioelli and Bill Staffierri work now. They were pretty good - maybe forcing some dancing and stuff that was cool, but sometimes I just want to be able to worship without some dude telling me what to do all the time.

As for the whole camp as manipulation or brainwashing thing, I feel pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish up there. We didn't do the whole "come forward and cry because I have emotionally charged you up to respond to Jesus" thing. I gave kids an opportunity to pray about believing in Jesus and wanting forgiveness for the sin in their lives. This was just quietly and privately in their minds and hearts - not out loud, no standing up, no coming forward. Then I immediately dismissed them in a discipline of silence to their cabin time where they were to talk with their leader about any decisions they made. A few leaders came up to me at the end of camp today and thanked me for not doing the whole emotional thing. They really appreciated it. I think that sometimes the altar call is more for the speaker than for the student. It feels good to see a bunch of people come forward. But the scary part is that you start to think that it's because of you somehow - instead of from the Holy Spirit.

So yes, I do think that camp can be brainwashing and manipulation, but I also think it doesn't have to be. More thoughts to come...

1 comment:

kevin said...

I tend to agree with you on the brainwashing thing. Check out my new blog: thehistorygeek.blogspot.com