When I wrote this article, I was sitting in a dorm room in Oklahoma City at a camp called Camp Genesis. Every year kids from all over the south central US come to Oklahoma Christian University to grow in their faith with God as they study, fellowship, and serve in the greater OKC area.
This camp is like no other I have had the opportunity to work with as it takes all the aspects of a normal church camp (classes, worship, games, etc…) and combines them with service week activities.
During the week, thirteen teens from Bay City along with 120 other teens spread out in the OKC area and did service in various forms. Some played and visited with the elderly at assisted living facilities as they opened their minds to the wisdom of the generations. Some worked at soup kitchens like the Salvation Army or the City Rescue Mission. Some worked with inner-city churches or other inner-city ministries in various capacities. Some went to a place called
“Special Care” where they interacted with handicapped children (physically and mentally). They boxed food at the regional food bank and weeded and watered at a community garden. Each teen had the chance to grow in a variety of ways as he or she experienced things outside their comfort zones.
It is the hope of Camp Genesis that these teens will spread this zeal for humanity around the world as they grow in their relationship with Christ. They want the teens to learn about Christ, but they also want them to practice being like Christ.
In an age defined by an entitled mindset, these students are going against the stream as they seek ways to serve. They’re catching the fire.
It is my prayer that this is merely a starting place for them. I hope that they go back to their respective towns and spread they fire they’ve found to the members of their churches as they discover ways to serve and evangelize the people in their communities.
This is what church is supposed to be about. It is not supposed to be a place where Christians meet to celebrate a secret, members-only ritual. It is not supposed to be a group of people that leave that event and speak no more about it until the next week.
The church is supposed to be the hands and feet of God in this world. Jesus encouraged his followers to show the world that they are the disciples of Jesus by their love for all the people.
The disciples in the first century could not hold in the message of salvation through Jesus. Does this describe the Christians of today? Does this describe you? Has anyone ever had to ask you to stop talking about Jesus? Have you ever had a chance to refuse the way Peter and John did in Acts 4?
It is fine for churches to have their meetings where they can catch up on family life and stay closer together as they prepare to go out in the world, but if the passion is all about how well Sunday morning was and not about Monday’s activities, then our effectiveness as the church is null.
I am extremely proud of all these teens. They’re pumped up about sharing Jesus with the world – not just with their mouths, but with their hands and feet as well. We would do well to learn from them.
May you be busy ministering to those around you – meeting their needs and sharing in their lives. May you be the hands and feet of Jesus in your neighborhood and workplace and school. And may the kingdom of God grow like a wildfire because of your passion.
If you’d like to comment or ask a question about this article post your thoughts at http://www.mrdobbs.org. If there’s anything I can every do for you, please feel free to call me at 245-1611 or email me at jddobbs@Verizon.net. God bless you all in Jesus Christ!