The Proper Attitudes For The Summer Camp
Thank God! This Wednesday marks the beginning of our 12th annual Summer Camp. The number of applicants also reached the highest of any year. We should all pray of one accord, so that the name of God shall be glorified because we know His word, and His pleasing will shall be manifested within the church because of manˇ¦s obedience.
Summer Camp is a time to come close to and get to know God. In those few days of living in retreat, we lay aside our busy jobs for a while, and listen to the Lordˇ¦s words by His feet. We meditate and pray, and communicate with Him. There are occasions to interact with other members, and enjoy the camaraderie in the Lord. These are very precious opportunities. I hope the brothers and sisters will treasure these chances given by God and experience Him during the camp. In order that we will not miss the grace of the Lord, the writer would like to use this space to encourage everyone to adopt certain attitudes when attending the Summer Camp.
Strictly speaking, the churchˇ¦s Summer Camp is a spiritual nurturing event, and is different from a Gospel Camp. It is not suitable to bring non-believing friends to attend. On the one hand, those members wanting to wait patiently for the word of God can focus on listening to the sermons, and will not otherwise be busy evangelizing. On the other, since spiritual nurturing messages are intended for believers, friends who have not yet converted mostly cannot accept the truth being presented because their spirits have not been awakened, and they will only feel bored and irritated. Furthermore, Summer Camp is not a recreational type of camp. Everything goes according to the timetable of the organizing committee. Periods of sermons and devotions are frequent. Non-believing friends and those who come with expectations of a vacation will be greatly disappointed, and their desire to listen to the next sermon will thereby be eroded. (By the same token, not all gatherings at the church are suitable for non-believing friends. We must have the wisdom of assessment before inviting them to attend.)
Things to be aware of before camp: Before attending, members should examine their spiritual lives. Remove all rocks and impurities from within your heart; rid it of all sins and evil desires hidden in the dark. Be determined to tackle the flesh that will not submit to the rule of the Holy Spirit. Pray with a pure and honest heart. Ask God to permit further revival to your spiritual life through the Summer Camp. Wait earnestly and crave to see the glorious face of God. Pray often for the whole church, so that the Lord will speak to all of us in both the Chinese and English gatherings, and the Holy Spirit will work greatly upon every one of us.
Things to be aware of during camp: If members desire the spiritual banquet, they should attend the full camp; donˇ¦t be late or leave early unless itˇ¦s absolutely necessary. Get everything settled down as soon as possible after arrival, and maintain a tranquil environment and inner peace so that you yourself and others will have the opportunity to meet God. Arrive 10 minutes early for each assembly, pray and wait earnestly and intercede for the Lordˇ¦s servant, yourself and the church. Be of one mind in open prayer; be emotionally engaged when giving praise in hymns; be focused when listening to sermons. Let your eyes connect (concentrate and fix your sight on the speaker or the Bible); ears connect (listen carefully to the words of the Lordˇ¦s servant); mouths connect (read out Bible passages together when necessary); hands connect (take sermon notes); and hearts connect (immerse whole-heartedly into the meeting). Use your personal quiet time to meditate more on the sermons heard. Seize opportunities to share with and extol each other. Join together in prayer and intercession after sharing. Donˇ¦t stay up and chat all night with other members, so that you lack energy for the sermons. Follow the directed time of the committee to go to bed and get up. Parents should teach their children to obey the committeeˇ¦s rules. Be punctual when dropping off or picking up your children, and assist the members serving in the childrenˇ¦s groups whenever possible. Be orderly when taking meals, and do not waste food.
The writer believes that everyone understands the aforementioned principles. May everyone greatly experience God during this Summer Camp, and many will receive blessings so that your lives will be renewed, and you are willing to offer yourselves fully in service, and follow the Lord all your lives.
By: Daniel To