Today we resumed our normal schedule. We returned to our groups and our “Speed Dating” rotations. Many of our team members were quite tired after the 5 hour “American Party” last night. Many campers and leaders are getting sick. Emily has caught the virus that is going around. She is running a slight fever, has a headache, and sore throat. Please pray her her to recover and get back to good health soon.
After 8 days at camp (10 days since leaving Jamestown), we are all a little tired. The schedule can get rather monotonous. We basically do the same thing every day. Please pray for us to get needed rest and finish camp just as strong as we started it.
This trip has taught me a great deal about God’s love and mercy. There is no limit to the ways and styles He chooses to use to make Himself known. The camp has used a variety of media and styles to share the great news of a great savior. From songs to skits to Bible lessons, the Gospel has been the main emphasis of every and all activities.
This experience has reinforced my vision for Missional Student Ministry. Regardless of the country, language, or culture, authentic Relational / Missional Ministry is the most effective way to share the love of God. It is what is modeled in Acts, and it still works today. We must be willing to be “On Mission” where ever we go each and every day. There are several unreached people groups in our world. It is up to us to try and reach them. Barrett and Johnson point out some very unsettling statistics in World Christian Trends,
“More than 2 billion people are still unreached with the Gospel. The unreached or “hidden peoples” have only one missionary working for every 78,000 people, and there are still 1,240 distinct cultural groups in the world without a single church among them to preach the Gospel.”
I believe that one of those people groups, even though they are not recognized as an unreached people group, is the Millenial Generation. We have so many students in our communities that have never heard of Christ’s love. How can that be? In a country that has a church on every corner, homes with an average of 3 Bibles, and hundreds of Christian TV and Radio programming, we still have students who have not been reached by the Gospel. In order for our Student Ministries to be effective, we must begin to view our students as an Unreached People Group and not an entertaining, fun social club. Time is of the essence. We do not have the luxury of waiting. We must act NOW!!!
We must also teach and model the concept of Universal Truth. This is a very important aspect of our faith. It is NOT negotiable. Many people, even people in our churches, believe that truth is relative. We must have a foundation on which to build a life that glorifies Christ. This trip has shown me that the Universal Truth of Scripture is the same regardless of language. Language can be a barrier to communication. We found this out the past few days. It can be quite frustrating to communicate when you are not or can not understand what is being said. The Truth of God crosses all language, geographic, and political boundaries. The thing that I have noticed is that the concept of Universal Truth is very similar to a foreign language. Many people do not understand the concept and many others do know how to communicate it. We must have this common foundation if the Church that Jesus created is to be what He created it to be. C.S. Lewis puts it this way,
“Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. (And) There is no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are…”
We must know how to communicate this concept of our faith to a world that does to understand much less believe it.
We must take the time to invest in this generation and help them speak this vital language of our faith. We must also help them understand what they believe and why they believe it. During camp this week, we really had to break English down to a very fundamental level for the students to understand it. We began with the basics and then progressed as they got a better grasp of the language. Then the leaders would work on the rules of Grammar which helped tie everything together. All this happened in the context of relationships. We must apply the same approach to Student Ministry. We have to go back to the basics and help our students build a foundation on the Universal Truth of Scripture, and once they grasp this aspect then we can build (Disciple) them in the deeper aspects of the faith (Grammar).
We must be strategic, intentional, and relational to build a generation of Christ Followers that will potentially change the world. We have lot of work to do. It will not be easy. We must be committed for the long haul. This is a marathon and not a sprint. We must invest our lives into this generation, and not just entertain them. The mission is great, and we must always keep it in the front of our minds. We can not lose site of the mission for one second. The mission drives our ministry. Mission is EVERYTHING!!!
My challenge to you is this: How intentional are you in communicating the Gospel with those around you? Are there “language barriers” in your life that keep you from communicating the love of Christ clearly and boldly? If so, what are they? Spend some time this week and perform a heart check to see if the language you are communicating to the world is the language of love and grace or selfishness and pride. Our lives communicate a great deal about the condition of our relationship with Christ. The church and Christians are communicating a very foreign language to the world in which it is planted. The world expects and holds us to a higher standard. They expect us to communicate this standard with our lives. Sadly, many of us choose to communicate a different language and message. Whether it is intentional disobedience or passive neglect, the world sees a contrary message. It is up to us to provide a clear and bold translation of the truth we know. We must daily evaluate what we are communicating. What language are you speaking?