Dear Christian Teens,
I think I’ve finally figured out why we love church camp.
You know. The retreat that so many of us go on once or twice a year.
We all bring terribly bad-for-your-health junk food, money to order pizza at midnight, and tissues to cry into when we have those heart-to-heart conversations.
And more importantly, we bring our Bibles and those journals that we dust off to use once or twice a year.
And with many other things, the memories are lovely things that we visit often after it’s over.
And we look forward to the next one that’ll come up next year.
But why do we enjoy this so much? And why is it so different than our normal lives?
I’m not going to talk about the goofiness that goes on (or why we play Do You Want to Buy a Duck? After the clock turns 12:00). I’m here to talk about the fire that is sparked in our hearts.
Dear Christian Teens,
You know that feeling. You know how it feels to raise your hands in worship with sincerity. You know how it feels to regularly read your Bible and just get it. You know how it feels to enjoy listening to the chapel sessions. You know how it feels to connect with your small group after.
It’s that fire that sparks in your heart after hearing compelling messages.
That fire to live out your faith no matter what.
But sometimes, we get home from church camp, and the fire burns out.
You’re ridiculed at school because you’re viewed as intolerant.
You come to the realization that you’re imperfect…and life is hard.
And then there’s a lot less motivation to read your Bible, so you kind of don’t do it.
Church camp becomes just another experience, and we see it as completely separate from normal life.
But it shouldn’t be.
I think I know why we love church camp. We love it because it sparks a fire inside of us. Our faith becomes even more real to us.
But seriously, when we go home, it shouldn’t end. Even though life gets harder when we aren’t surrounded completely by Christians, we can’t just give up.
Jesus isn’t the Savior of Youth Group Excursions.
He isn’t the Savior of Summer Camp.
Jesus is the Savior of our lives, and His love isn’t any different for us when we are at camp than when we are at home.
We love church camp because we feel God’s presence. We hear His voice. Things become clear to us.
But that doesn’t mean that the other 51 weeks of the year need to be boring.
No. Those 51 weeks can be the best weeks of the year. Wanna know why?
Because we get to live it out. We get to read the Bible on our own free will. We get to pray about things in our daily life, not just out loud in front of our friends. We get to trust God in tangible ways. And we get to grow in Him, which takes much longer than five days out of state.
We get to see God work things out in our lives.
So Dear Christian Teens,
We love church camp because it’s a great experience and we are on fire for God.
However, real life is the experience that we’ve been given for the rest of the year.
Let’s take that fire in our hearts and bring it into our daily lives.
For this is what we’ve been given. Let us not let our fires burn out.
And if we let ourselves be under the control of the Holy Spirit, we will not burn out.