As I write this, we are halfway through our Camp Araminta experience. For those who don’t know, Camp Araminta is our diocesan camp for rising 4th– 10th graders. This week Megan and I have been leading one of the disciple groups for 7th & 8th graders and leading various other camp activities throughout the week. They put us in charge of science activities and we haven’t burned down the whole camp yet! Hopefully by the time you read this, the camp will still be standing and so will we.
When I came to Camp Araminta my prayer was that Megan and I would have an impact on the students from our church and the students in our discipleship group. I’ve seen some of this take place. We’ve watched students’ faces light up as they discover new insight in the Scriptures in our discipleship group. I’ve had deep conversations and times of prayer with students who come from broken families. We’ve been able to help some of our students process some of what they are learning and struggling with.
But more than anything we’ve done, I have observed students ministering to other students. I’ve seen “cool” high schoolers intentionally sitting with middle schoolers who were sitting alone at meal time. I’ve overheard middle schoolers explaining something in the Bible to elementary students. I watched as a college student knelt down in front of a young student and told them how much God loved them. This morning I watched as students from elementary to college stood together as one body and sang praises to God with all of their heart and might. As I observed all these things, one verse kept echoing in my head: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).
If you have been around Trinity for any length of time, you have probably heard me say something about how our first call is to pass the faith to the next generation. I have a confession to make. Somehow I had started to think that just meant us “adults” passing the faith to our youth and children (which is definitely true and important!). I had forgotten my own story. I wasn’t lead to Christ by adults, but by two other youth. The people who first taught me what it meant to live as a disciple of Jesus weren’t adults. They were older youth. Next generation discipleship doesn’t just mean adults discipling children; it is every generation discipling the next.
Camp Araminta is all about re-creation: providing time and space for students of all ages to be re-created by the power of the Holy Spirit. The primary method for making this happen is one generation commending the creative work of God and declaring God’s mighty acts to the next generation. I’ve learned my lesson. Let’s become a church family where EVERY generation is empowered to proclaim God’s amazing deeds in their life to the next generation.