In November I announced I would be leaving my ministry at Sooner Baptist in Midwest City. It was a tough decision. I love those students. I love the leaders that helped make the student ministry what it was, and I love the church. I also loved the unity of the student pastors involved in the Oklahoma Youth Ministers Association (OKYMA). I was involved in Super Summer from 2007-2014 as a student, TL, and most recently Exec staff. I was involved in Falls Creek from 2002-2014 in all capacities.
I say this not to boast but to show that I love these camps. I love their leadership (Todd, Andy, Nick, Evan and the gang) and believe in the mission that they serve. But I also believe repentance may be in order, I included. I believe these camps have morphed into something outside of their intention, or better yet, their ability.
This last week the Davis area was impacted by the remnants of a tropical storm that came through the Gulf of Mexico. It impacted the abilities of some of the Falls Creek utilities and caused camp to end early, and also to be cancelled for this week.
In the aftermath of these announcements I saw posts on social media about the impact that “would have” been made if only these ears had heard the Gospel. I do not argue the fact that many ears would have heard and by faith believed and been saved, BUT, what is keeping these ears from hearing? It is not the speaker at Falls Creek, though he may not be speaking. It is not the leadership not leading in the morning sessions. It is, Youth Pastor, Youth Leader, Youth Parent, and Student.
This God-given, God-blessed facility, has been taken for granted. We rely too heavily on things like this-events- to connect people with the Gospel. But then, the students go home, even those that made professions, or calls to ministry or missions. They Go Home. Not to Falls Creek, but to you. You have their contact information. You have a mouth that can, for this time, proclaim the good news to them. You have the Spirit inside of you declaring to you that you are a child of God! You have a regenerated heart that will passionately speak of the change Christ has made in your life. You have 51 weeks to impact those lost students for the Gospel.
I understand. Falls Creek is a big production. I’ve been there. I’ve been in your shoes. I got swept up by the consumer culture and put on some amazing events. But don’t. Don’t spin your wheels for Falls Creek. Don’t let up on the other opportunities.
When I left Sooner in December it was to go to Seminary. In a place I wasn’t familiar with surrounded by people that I didn’t know and a culture I was unaccustomed to. It has been incredible and eye opening. I hope this post isn’t received as a disconnected person in his ivory tower. That is not my intention. My intention is to ask this question:
Are you relying on anything other than yourself, The Spirit and God’s word to share the Gospel?
If so, we must repent of our lack of trust in the power of the Gospel, and not rely on camp. Paul says, “the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation”. This power is not of fancy lights or projection devices, it is of the power of God! When we see it as nothing more and nothing less we will proclaim without restrictions or hindrances. “Proclaim the Gospel in season and out of season” in camp and out.