I’ve been haunted by a question lately: do most people’s most pivotal spiritual experiences happen with their family or without their family?
The more and more I talk with people, the same answer I continue to get. Most people’s most pivotal spiritual experiences happen when they are not with their family. It happens at youth camp or youth group. It happens off at college with a group of peers. It happens in a one-on-one conversation with someone outside the family.
While I praise God for all of those programs and people, I also find that a disconnect from the family serves to have long-term negative effects. When youth group becomes your place for spiritual growth, those people have a hard time growing when they aren’t in the youth group anymore. That student moves to college, that student pastor has new students to watch over, and unfortunately, that person no longer has a spiritual mentor in his or her life.
But, they should. Dad and Mom should be the primary evangelist and disciple-maker in that child’s life.
Most people’s most pivotal spiritual experiences happen without their family.
And we need to change that.
Through a series of events, conversations, and times or prayer, I am partnering with some great folks to address this situation. What we are talking about is a consecrated time to bring the family back together. We want to serve as a catalyst to make the most critical spiritual environment to be the home.
That’s why I want to invite you to something that might be the best thing your family does next year: family camp.
It’s not youth camp. Not kids’ camp. This is a spiritual camp planned for the family unit. Together.
We are in the planning phases for Family Camp 2014. We have a date selected. It is July 28-Aug. 1, 2014. We are narrowing down on a location. It’s going to be a week for your family to have a vacation with a purpose. Part rest, part fun, part spiritual renewal, and all with the goal of having your family closer to Jesus and to each other by the time you drive away.
It’s going to be on a campground setting. There will be lodging options. Food will be onsite. Activities will be onsite.
And I forgot one of the best parts: every family gets a family helper for the week. Someone who helps you get the food ready for the kids. Someone who watches over your kids when you might need some time to discuss with your spouse something you are learning.
We are working hard to make this an affordable, fun vacation. We are working diligently to provide a great location to be conducive to a memorable week for your family. And even more so, we are praying that this week will be some of the greatest moments for your family’s life spiritually.
I am wanting to put this date on the calendar because I know many people start scheduling vacation way in advance. I know some of you probably have vacation traditions, and I don’t want to take away from that. But I do want to see if you would give Family Camp one shot. I don’t know if we will do this after next summer. I personally hope so. I think it could be great. But I would love for you to consider joining us next summer for what could be a life-changing week with your family.
I will continue to give you details in the weeks to come. We will actually have signup available probably in the next month or so with limited spacing. But go ahead and put that date down and pray about it.
Whether you join us or not, let this post at least be a reminder that every force in this society seems bent on separating your family from one another. Be a catalyst to bring your family back together.