it begins, in a way, like an old episode of “the real world.”  nine strangers picked to go to camp and see what happens when kidmin leaders get real.  okay, so we were not total strangers. i knew a couple pretty well; had lunch with a few and said hello in the halls to others.  after a week together in the hot jackson, ms sun at centriKID camp, we shared more than just a few ministry moments.  we

prayed together,
ministered to kids together,
laughed together,
sacrificed sleep together,
led kids to Christ together,
celebrated new creations in Christ together,
and we were stretched a bit out of our comfort zones together.

i have seen it happen many times on mission and other ministry trips, but i am smiling as i see our camp community carry-onorange group at home as we continue to minister to dawson kids.  i shared with the kids the last night of camp that they were leaving with nine new “parents” that would be there when we returned home to: guide them, pray for them, encourage them, hold them accountable, and walk faith’s journey with them. we have been home merely days and our group text messages continue full of inside jokes (of course) from camp, but also with conversations about supporting this group of kids we shared time with at camp. with a group i barely knew beyond church walls, i now share a community of concern and responsibility for a great group of kiddos.  what a gift!

to me, a week at crazy camp just so wonderfully provides an environment for us all to catch the vision and be challenged to daily carry it out in the lives of children placed in our paths.  the question i ponder now is, how do i make this a reality not just for special event leaders, but for those that serve faithfully each week in kids ministry? i would love to hear any ideas you have or have seen used effectively!

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