BY RICH DOUGLAS
As a Youth Pastor, I have the privilege of leading groups of students each year to different camps, some last just a couple days, or even a full week. Sometimes these camps are at a huge conference, where we’re among hundreds of students, and sometimes camps are just a dozen of us together in the wilderness. But after being in youth ministry for more than six years, I’ve started to see the same people at each camp. Maybe you remember these people, or you were one of these people…
1. The “Snack” Man
This was the guy you wanted to sit next to on the church van. With a snack bag he borrowed from Mary Poppins, he brings a never-ending supply of Pringles, Twizzlers, and any other food you could imagine. Sure, he always had Doritos on his fingers, but you didn’t care (as long as he didn’t wipe it on you in the church van).
2. The “Church” Kid
You know the one I’m talking about. This was the guy or girl who knew all 66 books in order, who wrote each one, and what kind of sandal each disciple of Jesus wore. They always made you feel spiritually inferior (hopefully unintentionally). They would ask the camp speaker to sign their Bible, then buy all his books.
3. The “Worship” Guy
This was the guy who treated every worship service like it was the concert of the year. First to stand up, last to sit down. His claps could move mountains. When he lifted his hands in worship, he went beyond the traditional “give me a sandwich” pose. He went full-on “touchdown” motion to let everyone know, this is how you worship.
4. The “Ladies” Man
He was so cool. At least he thought he was. He knew the best place to find cute Christian girls was at church camp. He would tell them he was going to be a youth pastor one day, then while the girl swooned, he would sweep her off her feet by saying, “Hey girl, I was reading through the Book of Numbers and realized, I don’t have yours”. What followed was usually a baptism of water all over his face.
5. The Christian Kid
You went to camp hoping that God would do something incredible with your life that week. You stayed open to what might happen. Maybe your life changed, maybe not. But after coming back from that “camp high”, real life set in. Honoring your commitment you made to God became harder and harder, until it eventually faded away. You looked forward to camp again next year, hoping things would be different.
Youth camps and other “mountain top experiences” can be great. Many people find their life truly changed at one of these events, while others don’t. Remember that our walk with God rarely happens in a series of experience “highs” like the ones I mentioned. It comes through the daily choices you make to follow Him. God can work the routine and mundane, just as much as he works through the miraculous. I hope that wherever God may take you, you’ll follow Him with an open heart.
Rich Douglas is a Youth Pastor in northeast GA. He loves spending time with his beautiful wife and baby girl. He enjoys good stories, especially ones found in graphic novels and films. He also has an incredible amount of useless knowledge when it comes to superheroes (pushes up nerdy glasses). You can find him on Twitter @RichDouglas4.