Hello Hello! Anyone else missing those hot summer days? Winter, here we come.
Today I wanted to ask you one question: have you ever really thought about Jesus’ big plan to share the gospel?
If history and contemporary life tell us anything: the mission, starting with Jesus, has had a world-changing impact. Nations know the name of Jesus. We have Bibles accessible to more of the world than ever. Churches on seemingly every corner. The Mission has been a success by any standards…
But how did it start?
Well, of course, it started at the cross with Jesus but then he left. And really he left behind the twelve. Twelve disciples with whom Jesus had lived and breathed and taught in order that they would become the people who would shape the early church.
Now if I was planning a global movement with hopes of reaching all of humanity I would aim bigger. I would want hundreds if not thousands of committed people. But Jesus chose to start with twelve.
Why start so small?
Jesus in Matthew 13:31-32 tells a parable of a mustard seed that starts tiny and grows to be the biggest of trees. It gives us insight into Jesus’ thinking: one person has the ability to effect change in the people around them. One committed and passionate person is enough to make a difference.
For the disciples, the twelve left with the story to tell of God’s redemption that would slowly take over the entire known world at the time. These twelve would go on to spawn believer after believer and each of those believers became committed, passionate, sharers of the gospel and all of this snowballed into the world we know today that has been dramatically shaped by Jesus and the difference twelve disciples made.
Let’s think about it in another way.
This past summer we all committed to serving campers and their families. Our passion for Jesus became a wave of love and care over the thousands of campers who came through our camp. Together we impacted these lives in a powerful way and we cannot even begin to imagine the long term implications of the name of Jesus being shared in this way.
A few committed and passionate people (you and me) will have planted the seeds of faith throughout the next generation and that is amazing.
And how about this?
Think about your own experiences this summer.
Actually, let’s take it a step further: take out a pen and paper or open a document on your phone.
Write down two columns:
- Over the first write: How I grew at camp?
- Over the second write: Why I grew at camp?
Start brainstorming about the person you are today because of your experiences at camp and write the words down in the first column.
Maybe you are a more patient person. Did you (even way back before you served) come to faith or grow in faith in some way at camp? Are you more confident? Have you learned something about yourself? Were you tested? Did you gain insight?
List as many things as you can think of or just focus on the big things that come to mind but I am confident you grew this summer so write it down.
Pause here to do just that.
Now with that list written think about why you were able to grow at camp and write these things down beside each of the things you wrote.
- If you became patient was it because you had to deal with that one kid who never listened?
- Maybe your confidence came from the trust of your leader or your friends.
- Maybe you grew in your faith because you had a chance to be in community with fellow passionate believers.
Think about the reasons why you grew and write them down.
Pause again to do it.
Take a look over your list:
I’m going to guess that your camp experience has had a huge impact on your life. If you are anything like myself these experiences will inform your life for a long time. A short season of serving will have a dramatic impact on the journey you are on. It is our hope, and we’ve seen it over and over again, that this season will have set you on a path to being a Christian leader; a committed and passionate follower who will shape their community for years to come.
Now my point in all this is that if we believe that one committed and passionate person can make a huge impact: like Jesus believed and saw in his disciples, and like we at camp believe about our impact in the lives of our campers and the impact on your life. If we believe that one committed and passionate person can make a huge impact and if you can see the positive, life-changing outcome of your experience serving at camp: how can you leverage this opportunity to have an even bigger impact on the future?
The short answer is this:
Share the opportunity you had, in growing as a leader at camp, with someone else.
The greatest gift you can give someone you care about is the encouragement to be shaped by serving at camp just like you did.
Let me leave you with a final thought: who in your life could benefit from serving at camp?
Could benefit from having a chance to be in community with fellow believers? Who could be inspired by the passion of your friends at camp? Who is one person you could share Camp with and make an impact on their life?
There is no telling how far your invitation to serve at camp could go towards shaping them for the better. You could by inviting one friend to apply to serve this summer be creating another committed and passionate person changing the world for Jesus.
So think of a friend. Stop listening to this. And share with them the unique experience that is serving at camp mini-yo-we this summer.
It always feels a little self-serving to encourage you to find people to serve at camp. We need people like you to make camp possible but that doesn’t mean that that is what our friendships and purpose is all about. Camp exists to develop tomorrows leaders through life-changing adventures in God’s creation. We want to be a part of that development in your life and in the lives of your friends. Let us know how we can help you as you go about your day. Let us know if we can come to talk to your friends, or youth group or church about Camp. We believe it can be powerful and life-changing we see that in people like you.
You can reach me for prayer, hangouts, important chats, or to help you however by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are the best example of what God can do through camp. You are a committed and passionate leader who gave so much for our campers this summer. Thanks for doing that. Let’s keep doing it together. Keep being awesome.
This post is part of our Leap of Faith Audio Check-ins. We want to encourage you to leap into your faith and continue to grow at home, at school, and in your church. These audio check-ins are meant to encourage you as live out your faith every day.
Want to keep growing?
There are more episode of Leap of Faith and other resources for you to grow in your leadership and faith here.