Institute: What’s the Point? (5 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

I am unable to deny that there are some positive outcomes to Institute. I was still left with the question, What’s the point? It could have been:

  • Provide a safe place for students
  • Offer freely given love as part of a Christian community
  • Create a place where people are always accepted
  • Meet new people
  • Move forward on the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
  • Have fun and play games
  • Create a culture of hearing God’s call to ministry

After a week, I am not sure what is the driving purpose of Institute. Those who come to camp become part of the leadership team that plans the next year. Students come year after year. Adults come to serve because they came when they were young. It has been going for 99 years…

I gained some additional insight from Notes on Camp and commend it to you as a great listen and insight into summer camp of all sorts.

Institute 2010: God’s All Stars

Today begins my first experience of Kansas East Youth Institute. From a promotional poster:

For almost 100 years, young people have come to Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., to attend United Methodist Youth Institute. Institute is a tradition of the Kansas East Conference Council on Youth Ministry. Institute is a unique week of spiritual formation and discipleship for senior high youth. At Institute, youth are taught to both receive and give care as taught by Jesus Christ.

Youth who have completed the eighth grade through graduating high school seniors are eligible to attend Institute.

The 2010 summer theme is “God’s All-Stars.” The Institute Vision Team selected this theme with you in mind. We will consider how people whom God calls upon for leadership are often a different type of All-Star than those the rest of the world calls upon for leadership.

Here goes something…

The Kingdom of God at CaMMp Sonflower

On Monday this week, I was blessed to have a small part in CaMMp Sonflower, a 4 hour day camp for people of all ages with special needs. The camp is a part of Matthew’s Ministry here at Resurrection. Here is a quick overview of the ministry:

As I watched the campers and volunteers gather in Wesley Covenant Chapel, I thought of some of the first words that Jesus proclaimed,

The kingdom of God is at hand.

I felt God present in that time and place in a profound way. Thank you to all the volunteers, leaders, and participants of Matthew’s Ministry and CaMMp Sonflower for sharing God’s kingdom here on earth.