Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Camping Ministry Evaluation

(please make sure you read disclaimer at bottom before leaving page)

Positives of Camping Ministry:
Away from distractions and some temptations
Focus on God in nature
Time for relational ministry
Awesome camp staff who love students and care for the youth pastors
Quality time for worship
Fun

Negatives of Camping Ministry:
So much focus on "hooking up" by kids
Annoying 19-year-old camp lead counselors that think they know more about youth ministry than the youth pastors (and sometimes act like they know your kids better too)
Kids get so tired that they are almost too moldable
Rec and program leaders create a mob mentality through cheers and competitions
Speakers and worship leaders push for an emotional response instead of allowing the Spirit to work in His time
Too much focus on decisions and not long-term commitment
Decisions don't last down the hill

I think many of these negatives can be placed on youth ministries as well. I think the biggest thing in here is the push and shove for an emotional "altar-call" response. People need an opportunity to make decisions, but sometimes these camp altar calls are all about feeding the ego of the speaker and aren't really even about the kid as much as the mass of kids coming forward.

If any of my friends from Alpine, Ponderosa Pines, Forest Home, or Hume Lake read this I am sorry if this feels like an attack. As I process this, it is less an attack on camping ministry in general as it is a challenge to certain speakers, worship leaders, and camp programmers - including myself.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I just did a random blog search on Hume Lake for the fun of it 'cause it's where my brother spends a good deal of his time . . . I've heard him talk about just such things. He works with kids in Tijuana and he says he sees the same kids "accept Christ" week after week. Hmmmm . ..
Anywho - I wasn't even going to comment or anything till I noticed the books your reading. Dune is one of my favorits, like a mini-voyage for me to a desert planet.
;-)