Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Touching Base! Part 31

What You Are Won By, You Are Won To!

Recently I attended the Camp IAWAH strategic planning day. It was a great day of looking at the long-term vision and implementation of plans for IAWAH.

One of the statements that stuck was, “What You Are Won By, You Are Won To!” For example, if a person is won to Christ by ministry at IAWAH, then it is that organization that will likely have a profound impact on their spiritual growth - the cabin counsellor, the tight camp community, the amazing friendships all serve to create exceptional experiences and memories.

However, what happens when the camper outgrows the camp experience as a youth? What happens after the summer when they head back home to the regular routine? What happens if they move away and are unable to attend camp the following year? What can happen is that their spiritual passion fizzles. With the absence of the camp experience they may feel like a fish out of water as they attempt to pursue their spiritual walk with God. And with the inability to reproduce the “good old days”, the student simply moves on and leaves God behind.

So what’s was the solution? Glad you asked. It is becoming increasingly important to help camp kids connect with a church in their community. The local church can provide a spiritual lifeline year-round and for the rest of one’s life. Again, what they are won by, they are won to!

And this is one of the reasons why Fred Grendel, our youth Director works approximately 11 weeks per year at IAWAH. We value that partnership with them and see it as a critical link in kids’ development. And here at Bethel, Fred can help kids who attend become part of the church community and thus sustain their spiritual growth.

This principle is not only true for camp ministries but other kinds of ministries that God uses in winning people to Christ and discipling them. The Church plays a critical role in being the long-term sustaining grace in people’s lives. As they learn the value of the local church and become part of the local church community, they can experience a lifeline for life!

So Church, let’s guard the health of Bethel. It is imperative so that we provide the kind of community that will disciple people of all ages, and for many of them, be that vital link of helping sustain spiritual growth through critical life transitions.


No comments: