Back From Camp

Category: By Christian
Well howdy. After a 10-day hiatus I am back from a rousing time at camp. It really was a fine week. We took the kids to Kids Across America, which is essentially the urban extension of Kankuk Kamps. They absolutely loved it, and a lot of them were bummed to have to leave at the end of the week. I was happy to get back to my family, though I was glad that I got to spend some time connecting with urban youth workers from across the country. We certainly are a diverse bunch, and we learned a lot from each other.

My only complaint about camp was that I thought it was pretty emotionally manipulative in respect to how the Gospel was presented. The very last thing we did our last night there was have an awards ceremony. It was great for the kids to get recognition for their hard work, and it was also very entertaining. However, at the end (around 11pm) the director came up to settle all of the kids down. They then put on an 8-minute clip from The Passion of The Christ, which was essentially a montage of some of the movie's most brutal scenes. They spliced some verses between clips, and at the end asked kids to come forward if they felt as though they wanted to make a decision for Christ.

Problem 1: I've seen Passion twice, and my biggest beef with it is that it spends 2 hours focusing on the death of Christ and 30 seconds celebrating the resurrection. Not a good balance, especially because I consider the resurrection to be the "Good News" part of the story. So we cut the ration down to 7 minutes vs. 30 seconds, which still isn't acceptable to me.

Problem 2: I think that Passion is best viewed in groups where you can talk about it and dissect it. As a fly-by method of evangelism, it's pretty gruesome.

Problem 3: Considering the audience, I feel it's irresponsible to show such a violent film. Kids from the inner city witness and experience some of the worst acts of violence one could imagine. So when you hit them with a clip like that at a point where they are exhausted, and then ask them to come forward to accept Christ, I doubt many of them are actually coming forward to accept Christ. A more likely scenario is that they are feeling very strong emotions based on horrible personal experience and are really in need of something other than people presenting them with some verses. They need counseling and comfort.

So I am pumped about the first 6.5 days of camp, and bummed about how it ended. But, I did learn some good lessons in camp ministry and will be better prepared to do some work with our kids on the front end next year.

Fair Dinkum

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