This last week I have been in Bolivar, Missouri for Fuge Camp. Fuge Camps are an amazing ministry to thousands of teenagers throughout the summer and winter months. I have had the great privilege of serving as Camp Pastor this summer for 3 weeks of camp. I miss my family and kids terribly. I miss worshiping and being with my church family The Journey Church. Despite how much I miss both my family and my church, this last week (as I'm sure the other weeks will be) has been an opportunity for God to work in my life. I have been amazed at how God has placed hundreds of students, youth pastors/workers, and camp leaders in front of me, that I did not know prior to this past week, and has given me such a deep and profound love for them, to pastor them. I would love to think that I am just an all-around good guy who loves people naturally, but I am not. It is truly the work of God to perform this act in my heart towards these people. It has brought me such joy to serve the students, youth pastors, and camp leaders with the Word of God. I have been filled with a love that started, not with me, but with God, for those God has brought me into contact with through Fuge.
I have also been reminded this week that it is the power of God's Word that changes lives, not gimmicks or stand-up comedy routines. I feared at the beginning of the week that I may not be what people at camp had become used to getting. I struggled internally with whether I should try to be something I am not. In the end, God lovingly reminded me that it is not about me being accepted or approved of, but to fulfill what He has called me to do - faithfully preach His Word. For a guy used to preaching upwards to an hour on Sunday's with my church, I was not sure Fuge Camps was ready for me. But praise be to God, His Word never comes back void. The Lord blessed the ministry done this week in powerful ways. I was reminded not to conform to what I believed won the applause of men, but to keep the pleasing of God as my ultimate goal.
I pray this coming week, as well as the week of camp I have in July, will serve to further the glory of His great name. I pray that He will continue to amaze me with the work He is doing in my own life. As we plant and water, He brings the growth.
It's funny; I thought I was coming to do the ministering at camp, but it is me that is being minister to. God is teaching me that ministry has less to do with specific age groups or areas of ministry, but it has more to do with being open and willing to minister to whoever God has put before you. The goal of all ministry is to exalt and praise God and His glory. It is all about the glory of His Great Name.
Leave a comment below around these questions: Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever walked into a situation where your preconceived ideas were completely uprooted by God? What kind of lessons did you learn from those times?
Tomorrow on the BLOG: We will take a look at the difference between the true gospel and the therapeutic gospel. What are the differences? How do we cling to the first, and avoid the trap of the latter?
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