Following the Camp Model

This week was LHIM’s annual family camp, though I was unable to attend, the event itself brings wonderful memories to mind.  The camp takes places in Silver Bay, NY on Lake George (which in my personal opinion is one of most beautiful places on earth).

While you are at Family Camp (or its youth version, Teen Camp as well as other similar events and retreats) you will experience something very special.  Lives are changed at events like this.  People become committed to the LORD at events like this.  People develop habits of daily Bible reading and prayer.  For those who have been, I bet they would tell you it is the highlight of their year and perhaps even their life.

So then what do you do if you can’t go?  And what about if you do go but then have to come back to normalcy?  That’s why I’m writing on this today.  I believe that it is possible to experience the same things that you did while at a camp by reproducing the things from camp in your own life now. 

Obviously we cannot all move to Lake George or build a huge lake in our backyard – and that’s okay!  Though the setting helps make this experience so wonderful, it is only a minor aspect in the break through and deliverance that results from the time at the lake.

Here are some of the things that the retreat/advance provides:

  • Fellowship with like-minded believers.
  • Time in prayer.
  • Time to listen to Bible Teachings and talk about the Bible with other Christians.
  • No Television, movies, or other secular entertainment.
  • Time for praise and worship.
  • No Telephone in your room.
  • (Perhaps I am forgetting other aspects you could include in comments)

Though we cannot perfectly re-create this environment, which of these things could we not continue when we return home?  We have to return to be in the world, but why do we have to return to being of the world?  Why couldn’t we keep reading the Bible?  Why couldn’t we continue in prayer?  Why couldn’t we continue to fellowship with believers?  Why couldn’t we continue to listen to Christian music and praise God during our day?  Why couldn’t we keep the Television out of our rooms?  Why would we have to stop listening to sermons and teachings?  Why could we not entertain ourselves with evil?  Certain we could do all of these things.  None of these things really have to change when we leave the lake!

I can remember leaving camp as a child and stopping at the grocery store in upstate NY for some things before we returned home.  I was shocked at the difference between where I had just been and where I now was just in the first aisle of the store.  The world is harsh, aggressive, and selfish – but we don’t have to return to that.  So often though I would go to the camp and get inspired, charged and motivated and then it would die out in the weeks and months after camp – Christianity is not supposed to be this way.

Take the time today to think about what you do while you are on a retreat/advance like Family Camp – what can you reproduce in your home?  I think you’d be surprised how much you really can take home with you.  So much of the Christian life is about timing – so for all of these things, make the time, don’t waste the time, save the time.  The time completely separated from the normal routine in the world is precious – but the real time when what you have done while away from the world counts is when you head back home.  Don’t leave your devotion behind.

  • What else can we keep with us when we leave?
  • What other elements are apart of a time away like this what we can include in our list?
  • What challenges do you face when you return home?
  • Is this a realistic proposition?
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4 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Victor,

    You raise some good points, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the same stuff lately. I’ve been thinking about how many times I’ve heard “I need to get away for a vacation”. Why is that? Did the Lord ever take a vacation? I think He took one daily – very early while everyone was asleep He would rise and go to a quiet place to pray and be with His Father. That’s how He got re-charged and re-energized.

    Now in a place like the Family camp at Lake George, we can get away from the here and now, from the distractions of everyday life, and that’s commendable. The problem is that we usually ride that “high” for a week or two and then crash. The Lord wants us off the roller-coaster of highs and lows. He wants us up on the mountain-top every day, whether it’s at home, work, in a quiet place, or a busy place.

    Here’s a link to 7 keys to overcoming on a day-by-day basis. 7 basic things we can do. 3 of them are done once. 4 are done day by day. If we did these 7 things, it would make a difference. And the beautiful thing is we don’t have to travel anywhere to do them and it won’t cost a cent – just time and a will to do them.

    http://www.holyspiritguidedministry.com/50_Remeber_The_Basics.pdf

    Reply

  2. Its amazing to think that if one reads the Bible for just 15mins/day you can finish the entire Bible in a year – most people read faster than that too! If you just take 20mins/day for 2 months you can finish the entire NT (just 4 chapters per day). And yet so many have not read the entire Bible – yet are very proud of being apart of the church for years – something is wrong here.

    I enjoyed reading the following:

    II Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT) – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

    If we neglect the reading of the Scriptures we neglect that which enables us to do what God is asking of us.

    Reply

  3. You’re right about reading the Word – 15 minutes daily is a fraction of the time we spend in other pursuits. Besides time spent reading, we also need to cultivate a time spent in prayer. I know God is blessed when we make time for Him.

    The 7 steps I linked could be considered a basic “formula”to growth. I put that word in quotes because there is no one formula per se, but we do need to build habits that are Godly and if a formula is what it takes to get us started, then let’s have at it.

    I was reading something the other day that impressed me in the spirit. Paul said that all run in a race, but only one receives the prize. Not many – one. The ‘one’ is Jesus. If we want to share in the prize, there’s only one way – by abiding in the one who will receive it. To abide in him is to obey him and follow him, being one with him. If we call ourselves disciples, then discipline is needed to abide, lest as Paul said we also be castaways.

    Reading the Word and spending time in prayer are the minimum we do to abide in him.

    http://www.americaslastdays.com/?page=unetsec

    Reply

  4. […] Contact Us Following the Camp Model […]

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