Posts Tagged ‘Youth and Children’

Not about church administration

July 26, 2009

This past week I had the great privilege to be with our church (where I worship, not where I work) youth for their Summer Camp…what an experience!  For several years now my church has attended a Passport Camp at Wingate University near Charlotte, NC.  Wingate has a terrific facility for this venture and it has become a wonderful partnership between the University, its nearby community, and the Passport organization.

I want you to know about Passport.  There are multiple sites and programs for young people from third grade through high school.  I most highly and strongly recommend you consider this camp for your church.  You most likely do not have this responsibility, but your Youth and Children’s Ministry Leaders will thank you if your word leads to their participation in it.

Passport arises from Baptist roots (more Cooperative Baptist Fellowship than Southern Baptist Convention) but is not flavored heavily with any denominational baggage…it is just basic Christianity.   The organization has been around since 1993 and they have developed a program that engages the youth at level that is both high level fun and intensely spiritual.  Aside from a sound biblical curriculum, I saw “creative” done with extraordinary execution…no doubt the genious of the camp’s executives, David & Colleen Burroughs, and their talented staff.

They employ young adults, college age or recent graduates, for all the roles.  Our director  just completed her second year teaching fifth grade; the preacher will go back to his second year at Baylor’s Truett School of Theology; and our worship leader works for the Passport organization in Kenya.  There were about a dozen others, men and women, who led bible study and the half-day Mission or Life-skill activities.  Every one of them was selected to work at Passport because of their passionate love of the Lord and their gifts of youth leadership.

I am pretty sure I did not have the kind of energy these kids have when I was fourteen.  They are full of Real Life and are not the least inhibited about it.  I had a pretty hard time keeping up.  But I was also moved by how the youth responded to this four day immersion in Christian spirituality.  And I heard the gospel preached in a fresh way that had its impact on me too…guess I’m really a teenager inside my head.

If you think your youth leader could use something better than her/his current status quo, pass this on to them.  I’ll bet they’ll go back the next year, and the year after.