Camping is one of those adventures in life that our family loves. To be able to set up our tents, fill up the air mattresses and ready our selves for a first evening gathering around the campfire, which brings back so many memories of Sabbath and rest.
For us it is and was a time to tell stories, eat camp food and be mesmerized by the flickering red, orange and yellow flames of the campfire.
Our children, who are now in their 20’s and married, still look forward to their own camping trips and make sure to set aside some time each year to get away and enjoy God’s creation.
Monique, my wife and I are camping (and sailing) this weekend in Northern Alberta with some friends and although we are really looking forward to it, in our preparation for this adventure, there is always the checklist that needs to listed, gathered and checked off.
This has helped us be ready even when the unexpected happens, which it always does.
For this weekend there are things that need to done and prepared for before we can begin our journey and this process reminds me of Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV) which says,
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
In our lives like camping, and particularly in youth ministry, we need to start and prepare from a place of solid foundations, build on the rock of Christ or we will crash. Preparation is crucial.
This takes discipline and practice.
As we rest from the busy season that it was and begin to prepare for the next season of ministry, here are a few things we can do to help us build well and be ready.
- Bathe the ministry and your leaders in prayer. Set up your calendar (once per week or month) to intentionally pray for each of your leaders and let them know that you are doing this. If you are looking for new leaders, also bring this to God in prayer.
- Dive into scripture and let God speak to you. Let Him envelop your soul. Be open to Him where He can reveal to you new and wonderful things.
- Take some time to be with your team and assess the past ministry year. From this you can learn, be prepared and build well. You will be surprised how this will help you begin to see the next season take shape.
- Leave room for the Holy Spirit to live in your heart and ministry. We need to leave room and be ready for the surprises that always happen.
Remember; build your house on the rock and not on the sand. Have a wonderful rest and celebration this week on July 1, Canada Day and July 4, Independence Day.