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Crossroads Summer Camp 2016
Celebrating 21 years of Summer Camp.
CKM Collective Blog
I cannot say I am the most authoritative figure on this subject, although at 22 years old, I have made enough mistakes to learn a few very important lessons. The topic that pervades the lives of so many people my age, almost to the point of obsession, has another voice among the crowd: me. But my experience is not your experience, and I hope that my failures (and lessons learned) can bring about someone else's successes.
Like many others, I struggle with the fear of being alone. I'm talking about forever alone. Like, old man with a pet hermit crab as his only friend alone. You know those fears, the ones that say only a fool would want to end up with me. This, of course, comes from a misguided view of who God is. But He makes clear in the Gospel of John that He is my friend. Jesus also calls the Holy Spirit my comforter. In Him, I have someone who promises to never leave me nor forsake me! What more do I need?
Do you spend a lot of time dreaming about your life, wondering when Jesus is going to fulfill your dreams? I think about his plans for me when I go to sleep, wake up, when I’m driving, and sitting in the doctor’s office along with every other minute of the day. After all my thinking and surmising, I’m still not sure how or when he will make things happen. But still I can’t resist planning and figuring things out so I can give God my suggestions. But, when I give him my proposal, I usually only receive vague instructions like: wait, go, pray, listen, be patient, believe, have faith, or step out.
When it comes to Crossroads Summer Camp there are pretty much three main roles you can take: camper, chaperone, and counselor. Well friends, I’ve done them all! For every role I’ve had here at camp I’ve been in a different season of life and the Lord has taught me different things. I’m grateful to have this unique perspective on camp and even more grateful for the way the Lord has moved in my life.
Simply put, I’m task oriented, so this was one of the biggest challenges Jesus has ever asked of me. I thought it was a test (and maybe he was testing my obedience), but as I write this almost a year later, I see He was protecting me from myself. I have a tendency to give until I burn out and don’t have anything left. I was not thinking about the 6 weeks of summer camp we had coming up. I was not thinking of the 4600+/- teenagers we would be hanging out with all summer. I was not thinking about having to speak every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning on the hardest subject I’ve ever had to live out.
Camp is such an important week in the lives of so many students. We see hundreds of teenagers week after week give their lives to Christ, answer the call to ministry, and form long-lasting relationships with their youth group and our staff. But we know that we can't do that alone. We believe strongly in the power of prayer and we know that the Lord has been faithful to answer our prayers, but we also know that God is far from done and that we must continue to be faithful to him in prayer. We ask that you join us in what God is doing by praying with us as we enter camp season.
Sadly, we live in a culture that believes you can enter into the kingdom of God without having “dropped your nets” to follow Him. Specifically, the students who have sacrificed a year of their lives (through Crossroads Discipleship Home) to be with Jesus, to learn from Him in community, will not be disappointed in the outcome. My role will be to fan to flame, the only way I really know how, and fix our eyes on Jesus together.
I’ve experienced my fair share of relationship break-ups. When it happens, it seems like life will never be able to replace the devastation in your heart. It seems like an impolite hurricane ripped through your heart without permission. Maybe you find yourself lying on the ground, looking up at the bare limbs and smelling the decaying leaves as feelings of loneliness enter your heart and mind.
But, before you go there, could I speak a little hope to your heart?
For many of you reading this the thought of Malaysia is distant and unsure, but the images of children and a land that not many have traveled probably excites you. It was the same for me many years ago. Stories of monkeys walking telephone lines or waterfalls in the jungle, those are the stories you love to hear. But I promise you this - when you come back, it will be the people who will be burned into your heart forever.
When I’m upset, I want Him to fix it, to make it better, or to change my situation or circumstances. And if He doesn’t, I wonder if He’s still good or if He still loves me. Do you do this too?
I call this the Blame Game. When I get hurt, I blame and run AWAY. I’m not talking about losing my faith, I’m talking about feeling like it’s His fault my life isn’t turning out like I wanted, and so I pull back my trust, put up my guard and decide I could do a better job. This may have been fine when I was a toddler in my faith, but at some point, Jesus wants me to learn how to grow up in my disappointment. Instead of withdrawing, His hope is that I’ll learn to re-examine my attitude, repent, and run TO Him instead of AWAY from Him.
I am not asking if you attend a church service once a week. I'm asking if you doing life with other followers of Jesus. I truly believe that our relationship with Jesus becomes more consistent when we engage in and maintain healthy community with other believers. God simply designed us this way. He wired us for friendship and community. We weren’t made to do life alone and when we attempt to, we ultimately suffer as a result.
But how do we maintain healthy community? Let’s just be honest, sometimes authentic friendships can be downright messy, especially when we decide we are going to take off our masks and be vulnerable with other people. The enemy loves to stir things up within the body of Christ because if we spend our time fighting each other, we aren’t going to be focused on working together to impact our world. So what can we do to create a culture of healthy relationships?
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Go & Make
We believe that part of the calling of all believers is to Go & Make disciples of all nations. One way we do that practically is by partnering with various missionaries across the globe. Whether you're called to pray, give, or go, there are opportunities for you to partner with Multiply Global.
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The Clayton King Ministries podcast is a platform for church and youth leaders and passionate believers with a hunger for leadership and discipleship. Hosted by Clayton King, we feature a variety of conversations and sermons on important topics, challenges, and trends that matter to today’s church and its leaders.