As early as I can remember, church camp was a part of my summer schedule. My parents, who were pastors, took a group from our church every year. Lots and lots of memories were made there. I think I had my first crush there (the camp nurse)! I was baptized in water at the lake and later was baptized with the Holy Spirit! God called me to ministry inside the tabernacle at Camp Courtney in the mountains of North Carolina. Debbie and I actually spent a couple of nights during our honeymoon at camp (we were poor Bible College students). Later, as pastors, we took groups from the church every year.
What made camp so special? Why were so many friendships formed there? Why did it seem like I could hear God so clearly then? Why did the kids always seem so fired up? It wasn’t because we had the best accommodations, or comfortable seating, or resort type food, or world-class amenities. No, it was most likely because something dynamic happens when people set aside time for God and each other. Many of us can say that those camp experiences were some of the best memories of our youth!
Whatever your activities and plans included this summer, one thing is vitally clear, especially as we move into fall—purposing your life to make sure you get some alone time with God and some fellowship time with others will reap huge rewards! Life seems more complicated today. It’s way too busy and much too stressed. Sometimes I long for the days of hard benches, fireside testimony services, talent shows, mail call, water balloon fights, Frisbee golf, and church services that last until after midnight! You don’t have to go to church camp to experience His presence or the fellowship of others… but you do have to make time for it!
“In Your presence is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor