Last week I once again had the amazing privilege to head up to Kintnersville PA and be a part of Camp Melody.
For those of you who don’t know, Camp Melody is a free camp for boys ages 8-16. The Principal of my high school started the camp 14 years ago and the camp has been steadily growing since then. Every year about 20 friends and I head up there as counselors to be used by the Lord and to let Him work in these boys. Most of the boys are from pretty rough backgrounds and for many of them this is there only week to get away from a tough home life.
This year was quite a year, we had 55 campers, 20 counselors, and about 8 people (including myself) on support staff. The facility’s never really change. We rent out a camp called camp haycock so we use their facilities and staff for things such as eating and running the activities.
The most interesting thing about camp is that it is completely bare bones. Our chapel for example is a roof, 8 poles to hold the roof, and that’s it. No walls, no doors, completely open. The cafeteria hasn’t changed in 8 years, the cabins are bare bones essential to sheltering you from the elements and that’s about it. We have no fancy lights, nothing is “professional” about camp. It’s literally 55 campers, 20 counselors and some basic facilites and that’s it.
The best part? The Lord moves every single year. And by moves I don’t mean kids get emotional and sing super loud during the musical worship part. I mean these camper’s lives are changed permanently. Every year the counselors sit back and Jesus grab a hold of these campers hearts. We don’t have any fancy programs to offer them, we don’t have a huge massive game plan with every minute figured out. In fact, Chapel nights were created the day of after spending time in prayer listening to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to what He told us to do.
This year reminded me of something. God doesn’t need our programs, our professional atmosphere, our motivational speaking. He just needs people who are willing to be used by Him, that’s it. I highly doubt anyone disagrees with me here, but the thing is when we look around we see such a huge emphasis put on programs, format, and how good everything looks to “attract” people, but this is not the focus! It never was, it never should be. In fact in my opinion it should be the first thing to go in the trash. Paul doesn’t tell us to build big programs, or to be very professional, and somehow we think that we need to have a “top notch” quality service to really let the Holy Spirit move. But I’m reminded of camp, I’m reminded that God doesn’t really care if our facilites are run down, and simple.
If we started putting the same emphasis on listening to the Holy Spirit as we did on planning our programs, we would have Church Bodies exploding with Jesus gripping people’s hearts, being filled with the Holy Spirit and having a permanent change, not just an emotional high from a Sunday Service.