Last week I was privileged to serve as a dorm leader at the Texas Church of God youth camp. We’ve been back for a few days, I’ve caught up on my sleep and now I am going to share some things from camp as well as how to keep the camp fire burning.
First and Foremost I want to say thank you to Bishop Caleb and Hannah Crooms, Pastors Eric and Michelle Horton, all the camp staff, rec team, cafeteria team, worship team, the other dorm leaders, our speaker, Pastor Brent Christensen and all who helped make camp a success. You people are awesome.
The theme for camp was Unveil, God unveiling Himself to us and us unveiling ourselves to others. 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”
There is a lot in that verse and it was unpacked for three nights. Thursday night was, (I think) the most powerful night of camp. Holy Spirit just began moving during praise and worship and many things were mentioned and youth received breakthrough, healing, chains coming off, bondage’s broken and so much more.
Thursday night in the dorm I was leading as we began our devotional time Holy Spirit just walked in in a very unusual way so we just sat with Him and followed directions as He gave them. A couple guys fell asleep as this was going on (what better way to go to sleep), others sat and watched, and a couple made comments and asked questions. The head dorm leader came in at lights out and asked us how the devotion went, I smiled and said it’s still going. It was truly a powerful night.
I would love to tell the stories but they are not mine to tell. I can say that seeing students be touched by God is a powerful thing and I was emotional all week watching this.
As many things that there are to reflect on; amazing worship and altar services, great word and Bible studies, fun during the day and of course what goes on in the dorm room stays in the dorm room. None of this matters if we don’t keep it going.
It is so easy to get close to God in a camp environment, it’s when you go home to various situations that you have to purposefully put in the effort to have more of God and His Word unveiled to you.
We all know we need to read our Bible and pray, there is no magic formula to develop a passion for that. Many still have the fire from camp burning so here are my suggestions to keep growing. In the morning read a verse from Psalms and a verse from Ephesians and think on those verses during the day. At night before you go to bed read the verses again and ask Holy Spirit to reveal truth even as you sleep.
Prayer is simply talking to God. We talk to our friends throughout the day we need to do the same thing with God. We need to talk to Holy Spirit. The Bible says He is our teacher. In order to learn and know where we are going we need to talk to the one who has the directions.
Something we tend to forget during the week is worship. We know we’re going to worship on Sunday but if we worship during the week we will develop a closer relationship with God. If you’re not used to worshiping during the week it can be strange at first. Start off with a song each day and worship. The more you worship the more it will become a part of you. You will eventually make sure you have that time during your day, even if its laying in bed with your earphones in before you go to sleep. Worship is not clapping or raising your hands. Worship is an attitude of the heart, physical motion is just one expression. if you’re not familiar with worship songs or bands look up Jesus Culture and Hillsong United on YouTube.
I know the three things I mentioned are talked about all the time but they are essential to growing in our relationship with God.
My prayer for all those who go to camp this summer regardless of which one is that you will encounter God in a new way. I pray in Jesus name that what you get at camp you take home. That you are filled with a desire to read your Bible, pray, and worship. I come against discouragement in Jesus name and declare that each of us will continue to grow even when it gets hard. In Jesus name, Amen.
I want to say one more thing. If you went to the altar for something and feel like you didn’t get it, don’t be discouraged. many times we can’t see what God is up to. If you asked to receive Holy Spirit but didn’t receive tongues, don’t be discouraged. Holy Spirit is more than a prayer language and that will come when you need it.
At the end of the day, take the experience you had at camp and keep it going.
Teen Camp by the numbers:
Baptized in the Holy Spirit: 81
Called into ministry: 83
Baptized in water: 64