During the summer months, teenagers all across the United States fill up church vans to trek to their favorite student camps. My testimony contains personal pivotal moments I experienced along my journey while I was at church camp. That’s why I loved serving at Fuge Camps while I was in college and even now by preaching a couple of weeks a summer.
While these moments can be an incredible spiritual markers, surviving life after church camp can be extremely difficult for the unprepared.
- What do you do when the youth group worship sway has ended from camp?
- What do you do when you don’t have that spiritual greenhouse growing you up?
- What do you do when you get back to the routine?
Here are some ways to ensure you can survive and thrive after church camp concludes:
- Establish the Credit – If your life truly changed, give Jesus the credit for that change – not camp. He is the only one who can change us (1 Cor. 4:7; 2 Cor. 5:17). A staff or an event can generate excitement, but only Jesus can create transformation. So don’t sulk once you leave thinking that your change agent was left at a resort somewhere.
- Commit to Church – Your home church probably doesn’t match church camp exactly. It’s not supposed to. You need to come to an important realization (sooner than later) that growth does happen after camp and church does happen after youth group. You can’t be in the youth group forever (well, you aren’t supposed to be in the youth group forever). Realize that there are people older and younger than you that are helpful for your discipleship (Titus 2:1-7). You need the church in the building and in your home (Acts 2:46; 20:20).
- Identify the Dangers – Acknowledge the weak areas in your life and make preparations to combat them. The enemy is stalking you in order to devour you (1 Pet. 5:8). Bad company will corrupt good morals (1 Cor. 15:33). Don’t get so prideful that you esteem yourself unable to fall (1 Cor. 10:12).
- Create a Plan – Much of the change happened due to the exposure you had to God’s Word. I have great news – the Bible goes home with you! It is the source of your sanctification (John 17:17; Josh. 1:8). The only problem is you won’t have preachers and teachers sharing it with you numerous times a day. You are going to have to find a Bible study plan that works for you (if interested, here are the 3 things I do every day). Don’t just assume it will happen – plan for it!
- Find a Partner – Don’t try to make it alone. Iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17), and we need each other to study each other to inspire each other to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). Who is someone who you will be around that pushes you closer to the image of Christ? Talk with that person and commit to running this race together (2 Tim. 2:22).
Church camp is great, but make sure it serves as a catalyst rather than a monument.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.