For the next six days I'll be gone in Forest Falls, California with some of the guys from our Middle School Youth Group for summer camp at Forest Home. This'll be my first experience with Middle School camp (at Creekside) but last year at Senior High summer camp (Lakeview), I discovered their staff to be an incredibly tight knit and missional community. It wasn't the traditional church camp experience where the program is mostly geared toward offering an individual spiritual experience, culminating in emotional alter calls. At Forest Home it is much more about offering a corporate experience, an experience that will enhance the growth of the individual groups and give momentum to diverse ministries of each church group represented there. Somehow, at least at Senior High camp, they managed to do this with an emergent flair (appealing to groups like ours), creating space for students to ask tough questions of their faith, while still appealing to their more conservative/fundamentalist audience. For us, being a more progressive/mainline (although still quite evangelical... perhaps this makes us "emergent") church in comparison to our context in an extremely conservative church community, Forest Home is the perfect program. It teaches our students to ask tough questions of their faith while keeping their commitment to Christ as the foundation. I'm hoping to find the middle school ministry to be just as helpful.
Pray for the kids of our group. Pray that they have an amazing and transformational experience and that they'll return with new energy and authenticity in their faith. Pray also that their experience together will give new momentum to our ministry as a whole.
I don't think I'll be able to blog for the next few days so, if that's the case, look for new posts in about a week. Thanks.