2018 YEAR IN REVIEW

 

 

2018 was by far my favorite year at camp since I started on the board. This year was more than a success; it was a shining example of God’s kingdom overlapping the everyday activities of camp. It wasn’t that we finally found the template that allows us to harness God’s power and Spirit like a tool. No- All I can say is that God showed up and the staff were faithful. I wish I could claim responsibility, but God is working and all I can do is smile and tell you about some of the ways God worked;

Discipleship

First and foremost, this was a year of discipleship. There was a very significant shift in our attitude towards the staff from ‘Labourers’ to ‘Disciples.’ Our Staff were all given the freedom to teach one another, and the board took a disposition of teaching rather than telling, too. The results from this kind of culture were significant and observable; when we gave people the freedom to operate in their gifting and to listen to the Spirit, God was faithful to do His work in the staff and camper’s lives. The fact is, Camp is an expression of the church, and allowing the whole body to contribute to the mission gave everybody a sense of God-given ownership and passion.

Obstacles are Opportunities

Late in the summer we were having trouble finding a speaker for our youngest camp. Rather than treat this as an obstacle to overcome, we decided that perhaps it was an opportunity to do camp differently. We did. We decided that we could teach our staff to speak in chapel to the children rather than inviting an outsider to come in and speak; the result was that relationships were built even stronger and staff had the opportunity to grow outside their comfort zones. We trusted the staff, and they did exceptionally well, too. Our theme this year for chapel was that “Every story points to Jesus,” and the staff did an exceptional job of pointing to Jesus with several old testament stories. The hope here was that the relationships with staff would help the staff point the kids towards a relationship with Jesus too. As far as I know this was very successful; several kids came to know Jesus as their King this year.

 

People want more Jesus

There’s this idea out there that labour equates to discipleship. I asked Steve Roadhouse, the coordinator for Gull Lake Centre, and he said that this kind of thinking is actually a heretical leftover from the modern era; it’s very hard to shake the idea that we need to make ourselves right before God! the truth is that Jesus working in our hearts is what matures us, so it only makes sense to get people closer to Jesus. We saw that Steve’s advice was true this year at camp; our new LIGHT (Leaders in God’s Holy Training) program was a hit as we moved the focus from Labour to Discipleship, and Students felt like they really grew from being in it- or more, they really grew from getting to know Jesus.

Cross-training everyone

This year we also discipled leadership for future years at camp. There were new people leading as directors and program directors who had never done it before, and they did exceptionally well. As we look forward to future years at camp we’ve come to realize how imperative it is that we see the urgent nature of discipling new leaders to take our place rather than finding ourselves in a last-minute scramble to fill positions. By working ahead in preparing leadership, we’re ensuring that Faith Bible Camp has Godly leadership for years to come.

All in all, camp is bearing good fruit because God is working there. I’m so excited for the future and to see how God works next. In the next year we’ll be looking at how to connect better with local churches so we can enhance their congregational discipleship, as well as opportunities to grow and expand our camper base: we’re excited about what God’s doing and we want to share it with more people!

Here’s to seeing you next year.

-Jesse Kane

 

Our Vision

 

“At Faith Bible Camp we desire to connect and grow relationships with people for the purpose of helping them create and grow a relationship with God.”

Faith Bible Camp has been running a two week camp every summer for over 70 years. Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to redefine who we are and what we want to accomplish through camp. When we thought about it, we came up with three things we would like to see happen;

  1. We want to see kids meet Jesus.
  2. We want to build relationships with kids to help them meet Jesus.
  3. We want to disciple youth so that they can know Jesus in a deeply affecting way.

Here’s a little bit about each of these goals;

We want to see kids meet Jesus

At our core, we’re a Christian summer camp. We care about Jesus, and we care about kids, so it’s a no-brainer to want them to meet up. We believe that Jesus is going to change kids lives in a positive way, far more than we ever could on our own. In fact, we believe that Jesus is going to change kid’s hearts and minds to be loving, faithful, and hopeful.

We want to build relationships with kids to help them meet Jesus.

As Christians, we believe that Christ dwells within us; that means that whenever we love somebody like Jesus would, that person has a tangible encounter with the person of Christ. Because of this it’s very important to us that we love youth by teaching them, taking care of them, and having fun with them. This is not a camp where campers will be left to fend for themselves; our hope is that through building connections with Campers by feeding them, relating to them, and caring for them, we would help them encounter Jesus in an impactful way.

We want to disciple youth so they can know Jesus in a deeply affecting way

Camp doesn’t stop when kids turn 14. They’re welcome to join us as Jr. Staff, where they will be taught all about how Camp runs and given the skills they need to serve effectively at camp and beyond. In addition to camp skills, we want to empower youth to pursue Jesus after camp too; we accomplish this by training them in the overarching story of the bible, as well as by teaching them spiritual disciplines (Like prayer, fasting, silence and solitude, etc.) that will equip them to pursue a relationship with Jesus after camp is over. We love youth, and our hope is to see them develop into mature and godly believers with a faith that perseveres, not because we made them that way, but because Jesus did.

 

When God speaks at Camp

I remember finding the entire church experience to be quite boring as a kid. I didn’t connect with other kids, and the adults were all too happy- happier than I knew they were outside of church. It all became part of a monotonous dance we all partook in every week- at least, from my perspective. I was young, but I knew that church had become vapid. I clocked out, and I didn’t care. This was not only my experience, but has been the experience of dozens of people in my millenial age bracket. What made matters worse was the fact that people would actually comment on my lack of engagement to my face: they would ask why I wasn’t a church very much anymore, or why I didn’t go to youth group. It was all very off-putting, so I was content to feel myself slipping out of their tightening grasp through the power of apathy.

Of course, this is not the churches fault. Let me be clear that this is not another tiresome article expressing how the church needs to change so that it can attract youth. The Church has done nothing wrong; it has faithfully lived and proclaimed the gospel since I was a child. Plenty of other people have profound experiences with God at church. The issue was with me, and more broadly, my human condition. I was unconvinced I needed the gospel, and unconvinced that the church had anything to offer me: There was no way that the rhythmic life I had been raised in could open my closed ears to hear God speaking, which of course He was.

The Gospel had fallen on deaf ears.

But then, Something happened.

Camp happened.

Like a child ripped from the muted comfort of a womb, I was thrust into the presence of God. Nature was blaring. People were foreign. The cabins rugged. I was uncomfortable… but my curiosity was piqued. As I began to lean into the words that were said during chapel, I found myself strangely disarmed. I was caught up in the mystery of God.

And of course, I became a Christian.

As I’ve spent my summers at camp ever since, I think I may have caught on to it’s secret: Camp helps kids own their faith by giving them a place that is all theirs. Camp is an experience away from the familiarity of family and the comfort of routine where youth are forced to forge new paths of friendship and faith. It’s in the context of this untamed community of believers and seekers that youth gain the capacity to listen for and hear God.

So if you’re like me, you’ll find this revelation completely underwhelming; Camp helps kids hear God in a new and relevant way because it is outside their normal life. Yet there’s something refreshing about this: It is not our responsibility to make children hear God. It is not even within our own power to make children hear God. It is by releasing our children to the spiritual wilderness of camp that they’re free to listen to God on their own terms.

And then of course,

God speaks.

Summer 2017 Review

This summer was full of great stories and adventures. In ministry, it’s easy to get caught up with numbers and programs, but the fact of the matter is that stories are what we take with us after summer camp. Sometimes those stories are happy- they’re stories of kids being taught to ride bikes, or making lifelong friends, or even meeting Jesus for the first time. Sometimes those stories are sad, like having to leave camp early because of an injury, broken friendships, or even broken hearts.

The common thread through all of these stories however, is that they’re all our stories, and they will carry on with us for the rest of our lives. It’s this experiential punch that makes camp so dear to us; camp means something to each us individually, uniquely.

The uniqueness of camp is also what makes it such a powerful means of conveying the Gospel. Camp, in all of it’s glorious, local, specific nature, is where children (and staff) can meet Jesus in a personal way.

We’re excited to take what we learned this summer and apply it next summer in ways that really impact the way we do camp. We’re even more excited to see you next summer!

Blessings,

Jesse Kane, Social media and promotions coordinator