Just hanging out for the weekend, how on earth is that genuine and profitable ministry?
Scruffy has been hoping to schedule more events for our summer staff and the opportunity presented itself recently. On the weekend of February 27th through March 1st he was able to plan a weekend for staff to come up to camp, free of charge. It is true that they will be working hard for several hours on Saturday to provide a tubing day for local youth leaders, but the rest of the time is for them to hang out, at camp, together. What is the point in that?
Our staff forge friendships through the fires of a difficult and demanding summer of service. They give all summer long. They push on through fatigue and lack of sleep so that children can have a fun and safe time at camp learning about Jesus. We train the staff, we push the staff to go beyond where they imagined they could, and we also want to encourage and support our staff. That is what this weekend is all about. We want to inspire them in their walk with the Lord. We want to show them that they are loved and appreciated. We want to give them a place to come to where they are an integral part of the body of Christ.
Think back to when you were a teen or college student. School is full of deadlines and pressure and kids who are so much cooler than you. Work is busy and all about how well you can fit into the adult workplace with efficiency and skill, even though you are in many ways still a kid. At home you do hours of homework and learn not to be snotty to your parents on the day that the cat caught fire when it jumped up on the counter to investigated the gas burners on the stove and the sink clogged and overflowed all the way down the hall.
Now think about that one place where you felt safe and at home and able to be yourself. And not just yourself, better than yourself, because you had someone encouraging you and urging you forward. Is it a park where you went jogging in the evenings? Is it that first restaurant you worked in where the owner took you under her wing? Is it the kitchen in your old house where your Mom let you pull up one of the tall stools to nibble cookies while she worked? Is it the garage where you and your dad rebuilt that Mustang convertible? Is it that quiet pocket of forest where you would take a book and a quilt and sit quietly to read?
For many of our staff, that place is Camas Meadows.
And that is why weekends like this are so vital. During the summer, our staff work their tails off, day and night. They haul wood during work retreats and they learn and grow during the Summer Staff Winter Retreat. But once in awhile, we want to just invite them up. We want them to be able to come to a place where they are welcome, where they are at home, where they can be themselves and maybe even more than what they thought they could become. We want to be the body of Christ to them.
So much ministry is going on, when you are doing nothing more than showing love to the brother or sister beside you. So simple, and yet vitally important.