For the past 10 years my family and I have attended Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. During this time we’ve watched God do amazing things through the church and in particular, the youth ministry. Our daughter grew up in this ministry (check out the LHSM FB page), so we’ve seen first hand how God used this ministry to positively impact her life.
Brian Mills is Long Hollow’s student pastor and he is passionate about reaching young people for Christ. In a previous post, I covered Brian’s 5 keys to selecting a location for your church youth camp (read here). In today’s post I’m going to share his thoughts on how to program your youth camp for maximum spiritual impact.
- Build around evangelism – It all starts with the speaker. They should be good communicators and passionate about sharing the Gospel. It’s also important to remember the kids (and adults) need a fresh face, a fresh voice. Not one they’ve heard on Wednesday night for the past year.
- Worship – Select a worship band that’s humble and willing to do what is asked of them. Their focus should be solely on leading kids in worship.
- Keep the program fresh – Don’t fall into a rut each day. Interject games, videos, laughter and other ideas to get the kids relaxed and more open to the Gospel when your speaker takes the stage.
- Be intentional creating groups – Camp is a great opportunity for students to play together and get to know each other. This can make a huge difference when they get back to school in the fall.
- Keep them busy – Students don’t like to get bored. Keep the schedule moving and engaging. The more free time you give them, the more opportunity for them to get into trouble.
Remember, camp is day one in the youth ministry year. It sets the stage for all that will happen the next school year. As a result, don’t procrastinate when it comes to planning camp. The longer you wait, the more you run the risk of camp being haphazard and not as powerful as it could be.
For camp to be successful, students need to have fun, enjoy fellowship and be impacted by the Gospel. What are you going to do today to help make it happen?