As children arrive at camp, they bring with them the entire package of their physical, mental, social and spiritual backgrounds. Each camper comes as an individual child with special needs and each has accomplished various growth tasks in each area of human development. The camp staff needs to be keenly aware of, and sensitive to, where each individual camper is in the growth process in order to enable the staff to encourage continue development.
In order to assess the spiritual decisions made by campers at summer camp (the focus of the follow-up program) it will be important to consider the various capabilities of religious understanding and the growth standard for each age of camper that attends camp. As mentioned above, each camper should be and deserves to be considered individually. There are, however, certain characteristics that are generally agreed upon to accompany the spiritual growth and understanding of children at various ages.
AGES 7 - 9
AGES 9 - 12
AGES 12 - 14
AGES 14 - 16
The implications for the camp and the follow-up program of the above summary are immense. The entire integration of the spiritual aspect of camping into the total camp program must be planned with the needs of the various age groups of the campers in attendance in mind.
Counsellors and other staff, including the camp pastor, should be sensitive to these general characteristics when inviting campers to make spiritual commitments each week. When an 8 year old makes a decision to commit his life to Christ during a Friday night campfire, it may be different in motive and the concept of commitment than when a 14 year old makes the same decision. While it is important to understand the capability of the camper to understand what commitment is, it doesn’t necessarily change the realness of that decision to the camper, nor does it change the fact that a commitment is possible at every age.
It is possible that a young child’s commitment may be based on a personal loyalty and desire to please the Counsellor and it may be possible that the group-oriented teen camper may make a decision due to the fact that others in the peer group are making decisions, it can, however, still be a valid and meaningful decision as long as the camper realizes what they are deciding for. They must be aware of what is expected of them after making that decision and what the camp will do.
Children are capable of expressing commitment and love for God. They express this within their capacity to understand and to decide. We cannot expect them to express themselves or articulate their faith and beliefs in adult terms. However, the decisions made at camp can be complete for the camper at that time and it is essential for the camp staff, through a strong follow-up program, to let the camper know that they recognize the importance of the spiritual decisions that the camper made while at camp and that they are committed to seeing the camper grow toward spiritual maturity.
When a student is studying a subject, does he/she not have to attend class, do his homework, and read his/her textbook out of school and in his/her own time in order to do well in that class? If he/she doesn’t do all three, he/she may have a difficult time with getting a good grade in the class.
You may do some of the key principles for being a Christian, go to church and pray, but without being in God’s Word, you will not mature and grow in knowledge. You must do all three to be a complete and God-blessed Christian.
In the same way, you cannot attend church and do devotions, and then hope to be blessed by God. Yes, you are doing 2 of the 3 key ideas of being a Christian, but you are not communicating with God. Ultimately, you cannot be a mature Christian unless you have all of these concepts.
We must work in harmony together and build each other up for the kingdom of God.
Moving a conversation around to spiritual things can be the most difficult part of witnessing. We can talk freely with our friends about many subjects, but we are at a loss when we want to bridge the gap between everyday life and the Lord. Turning a conversation around to spiritual things is not a gift. It can be learned if you are concerned enough about the salvation of your unsaved friend to practice thinking through your own everyday situations and plan ahead what you would like to say in each situation
The process for spiritual conversation:
Ask the Lord to guide your thoughts and comments as you approach a person. Ask Him to work in your friend. It is God who does the work. You just have to begin the process.
2 Surface talk
This level of conversation is the perfect starting place for an evangelistic conversation.
Talk about the weather, the slow service in the shop, the sports, etc. Mention something that opens your life up just a little. Then, casually ask the acquaintance about that same area of his or her life. Example: I’ve lived here for [it doesn’t matter how long], and I think that the weather is [it doesn’t matter what you think about the weather]. Have you lived here long? Be sure that you really listen to what the person has to say.
3 Personal talk
You will never run out of things to talk about: ask questions about the person’s birthplace, hometown family, education, work, vacations, retirement, interests and hobbies. Once a subject has been mentioned, ask a question about it. Attempt to establish some common interests with the person. Be a good listener and use their name in the conversation. Check their body language to see if the person is comfortable
with the direction of the conversation.
4 Religious talk
The first levels of conversation are pre-evangelism. They build rapport. Don’t assume
that a stranger or acquaintance doesn’t want to talk about religious things. Even atheists like talking about their views of God and most people appreciate having someone ask them about themselves and listening to their ideas or their problems in life. Talk about religion, churches, or church activities. A listening ear may be the very thing that causes a person to seek God. Example: On Saturday mornings we usually go to church and then go hiking. Do you attend church?
If the friend is not interested at this time, retreat to step three. Don’t push the gospel on anyone. Don’t feel guilty or become discouraged and quit witnessing altogether.
Leave the results to God.
5 Spiritual talk
Ask yourself; does this person’s actions and attitudes indicate that he or she wants to talk about spiritual things? If you sense openness after the religious talk, you can do several things:
One of the privileges and responsibilities of Christians is to share with others our faith in Christ. Although many methods and plans can be used to communicate our faith, none is more effective than sharing how the love, grace, and mercy of Christ has changed our lives.
People to whom we witness may evade issues, attempt to discredit biblical and historical facts, or blame their condition on others. But it’s hard to discount the authentic testimony of a believer whose life has been transformed.
That’s the reason for this lesson. Completing the worksheet will better equip you to give a logical and organised presentation of who Jesus Christ is and what He has done in your life.
PAUL’S ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS BEFORE HIS CONVERSION
Read Acts 26:1-23
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING PAUL’S CONVERSION
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15
CHANGES IN PAUL’S ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS AFTER HIS CONVERSION
Read 1 John 1:5-9; 2:3-6
What evidence of Paul’s repentance and conversion can be found in the following verses?
• Year in school (or age)
ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS BEFORE I BECAME A CHRISTIAN
if appropriate, include family or church background. Avoid naming religious denominations, since this may alienate some of your listeners.
CIRCUMTANCES SURROUNDING MY CONVERSION
Consider time, date, place, people, motivation, etc. This is a natural place to summarise the gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
CHANGES IN MY ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS SINCE MY CONVERSION
The Creation and First Sin - Genesis 2:4; 3:24
The First Murder - Genesis 4:1-15
The Flood - Genesis 6:1; 9:17
The Tower of Babe - Genesis 11:1-9
The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah & of Lot’s Wife - Genesis 19:1-28
Abraham’s offering of Isaac - Genesis 22:1-19
The Story of Jacob - Genesis 25:19; 35:29
The Story of Joseph - Genesis 37-50
Moses: In Egypt - Exodus 1-14
With the Israelites in the Wilderness - Exodus 15:22-30; 26-31; 18-34; Exodus 35; Numbers 20:1; 21:16
Farewell & Death of Moses - Deuteronomy 31-34
Balaam and His Ass - Numbers 22-24
Rahab, Red Cord & Flax - Joshua 2
Joshua, Military Strategist - Joshua 3; 6; 8
The Defeat of Sisera Joshua 4:4-24
Gideon, Conqueror of the Philistines Judges 6:11; 8:32
The Parable of Jotham Judges 9:7-21
The Daughter of Jephthah Judges 11:1-11; 29-40
The Story of Samson Judges 13:24; 16:31
The Story of Ruth Ruth 1-4
The Story of Samuel I Samuel 1-3; 7-10; 12; 15; 16:23
Saul, the First King of the Hebrews I Samuel 8-11; 13; 15
David, the Shepherd King I Samuel 16-27; 29-30:25; II Samuel 9; 11; 12; 15:1-18;18; I Kings 1:1-31; 2:1-12
King Solomon I Kings 2-11
Elijah, the Great Prophet I Kings 17 - 19; II Kings 1-2:15
Elisha, His Successor II Kings 2:1-25; 4:3-37; 6; 13:14-21
Naboth’s Vineyard I Kings 21
Jehu’s Triumph over Jezabel. II Kings 9
Naaman, the Leper II Kings 5
Nehemiah Nehemiah 1; 2; 4
The Heroism of Esther Esther 1:10; 7:10
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego Daniel 3
Belshazzar’s Feast & the Writing on the Wall Daniel 5
Daniel in the Lion’s Den Daniel 6
Jonah, the Reluctant Missionary Jonah 1-4
John the Baptist:
His Ministry Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-20
His Execution by Herod Mark 6:14-29
The Life of Jesus:
The Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:18; 2:15; Luke 1:5; 2:40
Young Jesus Luke 2:41-52
The Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:21-22
The Temptation of Jesus Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
The "Sermon on the Mount" Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49
The Miracles of Jesus:
The Healing of the Leper Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-15
The Centurion’s Servant Matthew 8:5-13
The Healing of Peter’s Wife’s Mother Matthew 8:14-15
The Calming of the Tempest Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
The Demoniacs of Gadara Matthew 8:28-34
The Man with the Palsy Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-20; Luke 5:17-26
The Daughter of Jairus & the Woman with an Issue Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
The Two Blind Men Matthew 9:27-31
The Man with the Dumb Spirit Matthew 9:32-34
The Man with the Withered Hand Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11
The Demoniac Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-23
The Feeding of the Five Thousand Matthew 14:13-23; Mark 6:30-46; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15
The Woman of Canaan’s Daughter Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30
The Feeding of the Four Thousand Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9
The Boy Possessed of a Devil Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43
Two Blind Men Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43
The Fig Tree Matthew 21:28-22, Mark 12-14
Another Demoniac Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:31-37
The Deaf & Dumb Man Mark 7:31-37
The Draught of Fishes Luke 5:1-11
The Widow’s Son Luke 7:11-17
The Woman with an Infirmity Luke 13:10-17
The Man with the Dropsy Luke 14:1-6
The Ten Lepers Cleansed Luke 17:11-19
The Ear of Malchus Luke 22:49-51
The Water of Canaan John 2:1-11
The Nobleman’s Son of Capernaum John 4:46-54
The Infirm Man at Bathseda John 5:1-9
The Raising of Lazarus John 11:1-46
The Draught of Fishes II John 21:1-14
The Parables of Jesus:
The Grain of Mustard Seed Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19
The Sower Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:1-15
The Tares Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (requests)
Adoration (or worship)
(a foreign concept for most 21st Century Australians)
How to Adore (or worship) God
(A forgotten art)
(probably the most neglected area in personal prayer)
(Too often we begin our prayers with requests)
Here is a few ways to approach God:
But if you have other plans, far be it from me to get in the way.”
Here are a few cautions:
Take heart, even Jesus prayed to God for something that God refused... and just as well (While on the cross Jesus cried out, ‘take this cup from me?).
In the mean time, remember “PUSH”
Pray Until Something Happens.
More than anything, God seeks PASSIONATE believers.
Remember that Satan is still the prince of this world, everything is not yet submitted to God. Satan causes much suffering and often seems to have the upper hand . . . his years though are counted and his end is sure.
Ps.. 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
1 Pet. 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Prov.. 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us --whatever we ask --we know that we have what we asked of him.
John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Mark 11:23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Paul: Eph. 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge --that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Elijah: 1 Kings 18 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
PRAYER TIME ACTIVITIES
The following are resources you can use for prayer time with your cabin or team. If you need any supplies ask Alicia in the office. Let’s connect with God in prayer and make this camp a real spiritual time
Things you need:
“As far as the east is from the west, so far he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12
Things you need:
A psalm of praise, such as Psalm 103 or Psalm 136
“Shout for joy and gladness” Psalm 35:27
Things you need:
A pot of children’s bubble liquid (See Camp office for this)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1
Things you need:
Plain Paper & Pencils/Pens
Purpose: Prayer to affirm group members
“We always thank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” Colossians 1:3
Things you need:
Alphabet Praise Worksheet, a Pen, Creative Minds
“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you… according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 1:12
What you need:
Plain index cars, Pens, Three coloured cards with the words ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’ on it.
This prayer is called the Teaspoon Prayer because it uses the letter TSP for the words Thankyou, Sorry and Please.
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone” 1 Timothy 2:1
What you need:
A real tree outside
Use different parts of the tree to help you pray
As a group, pray while focusing on one part of the tree at a time, perhaps even touching that part of the tree, and let the functions of the tree parts inspire your prayers.
“All the trees of the field will clap their hands” Isaiah 55:12
You will need:
Pens and Paper
J- Jehovah God, my Father, I come to worship you
O- Over and over I want to praise You for your Love
E- Even when I make mistakes and hurt you, you still love me
L- Lord, help me to share your amazing love with others
Choose one of the many names of God given in the Bible and use that as the acrostic name.
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High” Psalms 7:17
You will need:
Pencils, Paper and Matthew 6:9-13
“My Daddy who lives in heaven, here I am, I am your Child. I just want to come and sit on your lap awhile and talk to you.
I want to praise you for everything that you are- Almighty, Creator, Savoir, King and Friend- all the different names you have that are special.
I long so much for you to come again and take me to be with you.
But while I’m here on earth, I want to be a channel of your love to those around me. Wouldn’t it be special if they could know your love as clearly as the angles in heaven know your love?
Thank you for all the gifts you shower on me each day. Today I need your help as I face a particular challenge…
Please forgive me for the way I have hurt you so badly, and those around me by…
Help me also to forgive those who have hurt me…
Please protect me when I am close to being tempted. Help me to be strong and make the right choices, and keep me safe in your arms today.
You are my King, ruler of my life.
You are my strength, making up for my weakness.
You are all glory. It’s wonderful to spend this time with you in your shining and glorious presence.
May your will be done in my life, through the grace of your son and my brother, Amen.”
You will need:
A body & a praising heart
Feet- Thank you, God for my feet. I praise you that I can stand and move around and explore the beautiful world you have created. Help me to use my feet to go where you want me to go. Help me to be the feet for those who find it difficult to walk
Knees- Thank you God for my knees. I praise you for the gift of prayer. Thank you that I can pray to you and worship you in prayer.
Hands- Thank you God for my hands. I praise you for the way they are made and all the wonderful things they can do. Help me to use my hands to show your love in the world.
Ears- Thank you God for my ears. I praise you for the many sounds that they can hear. Help me to listen to what you are saying to me.
Eyes- Thank you God for my eyes. I praise you for the incredible creation of my eyes/ I praise You for the beauty of the stars, the delicacy and variety of a million different flowers, and the comfort of seeing the familiar faces of those I love. Open my eyes to see people the way you see them, and to love them as you love them.
Mouth- Thank you God for my mouth. I praise you that I can speak and express myself. Help me to use my words to spread your love and encouragement in a hurting world.
Think about other parts of your body, praising and thanking God for them, and asking Him to help you to use that part to share his love with others.
“Now as always Christ will be exalted in my body” Philippians 1:20