A Day at CBS
Last week we welcomed over 220 kids for VBS. This week, our Middle and High School students are on Catalina at Campus by the Sea for a week of summer camp. Different settings, to be sure, but the same goal.
I had the pleasure of visiting Campus by the Sea on Thursday. I got to ride along on a ski boat that pulled our youth around on an inner tube bouncing in the waves of the Pacific and hike up to the cross and toss try to toss grapes in each other’s mouths from across the table at dinner. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
I think a couple of the students weren’t quite sure what to do with me. Their looks could be interpreted as asking, “Isn’t this the stuffy pastor who always wears a suit and tie on Sundays even in the summer time?”
Maybe not exactly, but you get the point.
I hadn’t thought of going along on a summer camp trip since my days in youth ministry. “I don’t want to intrude,” I thought to myself. Until I read our Summer Book Study offering, Growing Young. In it, authors from Fuller Seminary describe six core competencies that “help young people discover and love your church.” One of the six is “Empathizing with Today’s Young People.” It was really convicting to me. Unconsciously, I think I moved out of youth ministry years ago and allowed Josh, Elizabeth and our Youth Advisors to take the reigns, without understanding or empathizing with their current challenges in life. Have you ever done something similar? Like, “Hey it’s someone else’s job, now.”
It was fun reading Growing Young, but even better spending a day with the incredible kids who are a part of our church. I’m sure that I got more from interacting with them than they got from me. But isn’t that how it often goes in Jesus’ Kingdom? “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9.37)