I just got back from attending the Christian Camping & Conference Association’s (CCCA) national conference. And I’m all pumped up on ideas and dreams!
Surrounded by 700+ other people in camping ministry was an incredible thing. Camp people are a unique breed, those who have a contagious enthusiasm for working with youth, who have the ability to lead crazy games, who know what “the blob” is, who love the Lord and desire to see youth impact greatly by Jesus Christ. It was an encouragement alone being a part of the crowd during our group worship sessions, praising the Lord for the big “what ifs” we all dreamed about during the conference. The theme was IF.
“We are not limited by our if onlys and fears if we believe our what ifs are as limitless as the promises of God”
This could not be a more appropriate theme for the current place of our camp. It is so easy to build a mountain of daunting “if onlys” … if only we had more staff, if only we had more time, if only we had more money, if only fuel wasn’t so expensive, if only…
If we believe the “what ifs…” how big does our faith grow? How big do we let God be in our life? How much more can we live in rest and move forward in confidence of his abundant, timely provision!
What if God broke my pride to shape me as a humble servant leader?
What if God provides financially more than we expected?
What if God brings exactly who He wants to see impacted by camp…counselors and campers?
What if God changes my role?
What if we had more Leadership Center students than our facility could hold?
What if I actually believed God will do far beyond what I expect or dream… would this change how I dream about my life? My role with Tanalian? My vision of what He can accomplish through this ministry?! Absolutely! This is exactly what the Lord has been teaching me this fall. To not have doubt in my prayers, in my speech, in my actions, in my faith. How much do I subconsciously pray in a small way, not daring to ask for something big and miraculous. It’s easy to only ask for what our human brains can comprehend… what we’re used to seeing happen…but what if I actually started praying and believing that God will move in ways that only point to Him. Wouldn’t that be amazing!? I believe He’s all ready doing this… I’m beginning to see the fruit of this in my current role change. I have been given more than one person can physically handle… it’s so big it’s out of what I can control. If it was even a little smaller I would try to control it, but it’s SO BIG, I can’t even try! So I have to trust in God for his miraculous provision. And I believe He will come through in ways I can’t even comprehend. I can rest in this, rest in the overwhelming waves that wash over me because it’s a God sized problem that will require a God sized miracle.
Dude. We got super spoiled by the royal treatment at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. And FYI, there is one man who hung the 350,000 strings of lights that blew this place up like an airport runway. It took him 3 months.
The conference was filled with incredible teaching, valuable networking and lots of fun. We had inspiring worship and group sessions each morning and evening. I took classes on foundations of camping ministry, the power of the transformational ministry of camp, women in leadership, aligning your ministry to your vision, IRS regulations (yawn), development, and more. It was fun to be there with my co-workers Mark & Andrea. We would get out of sessions and excitedly share what we’d taken away and how we can implement it within our organization.
I also got to show off my vast knowledge of Lamentations and Taylor Swift. *cough, cough* We played a game in the morning general session “Is it Lamentations or a Taylor Swift lyric?” A quote would flash on the big screen and we would guess which one it was and then sit down if we were wrong. Soon I found myself among 100 people still standing, then 20-ish, and then 4. He called us to the front and we arm wrestled for it while quoting Lamentations. Just kidding. We continued the game and somehow I WON! The only other thing I’ve ever won was a North Face backpack at a Warren Miller Ski movie in high school. I still use the thing. Anyway, it was awesome. I was famous all day. Lots of fan followings began… Thanks CCCA! We won a year membership to Download Youth Ministry. The next morning we played “Is it Psalms or a Justin Bieber fan?” Only at a camp conference!
This is a photo of one of the big screens showing my three minutes of fame as I confidently claimed the prize for my vast knowledge of Lamentations. Maybe it will land me on Jeopardy some day.
One night we got to visit the Olympic Training Center and hear some testimonies and demonstrations from the athletes. It was really cool to see where these athletes train and more fully comprehend their dedication to training. It was a treat that most people don’t get to do! Thanks CCCA!
I posted the above photo on Facebook with the caption that “They chose me to carry the torch in the next Olympics! WOW!” It’s amazing how trusting people are. Seriously people, unless I won the Nobel Peace Prize or cured malaria or invented a jet pack or became thew Olympic champion in full-contact origami would I be chosen. But it was fun to see how many “likes” I got!
I also got to enjoy the beautiful Garden of the Gods on my first day. It was a beautiful, crisp and sunny Colorado day.
It was a full, fun, exhausting week. I am so grateful to have been able to go and look forward to next year… in sunny Orlando, Florida!! Woohoo!