Last week I had the wonderful privilege to t
ravel to Michigan and preach at the request of a good friend. I had no
idea what I would experience. The camp I attended is known as "Simpson Park Camp"
and has help active summer camp meetings for 147 years running. Yes, it
goes back to the Civil War Era. At times, traditions grow stale, people
loose focus and commitment can wane. This happens in business,
communities, religious entities...really all of human life. Yet there
are other times when a living tradition traverses the ages pretty well. I
think of the Christian church at large and I was reminded of this last
week at camp with some new friends. Here are a few things I learned:
There are still people who value faith, family and seeking hard after
Jesus. Many of the leaders grew up at this camp and have been there
literally ever summer of their lives. Yet they still understand how God
works through the preaching of the gospel and how many young people
experience conversion at their gatherings.
- Young people respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ when it is preached. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the middle, high school and young adult counselors at the camp. I didn't water down or dumb down the message but rather challenged us to look to Jesus and follow. Amazing to see God's work last week.
- I'm not a Methodist. Most of the folk at this camp I would classify as theologically conservative Methodists. In many places in the US and abroad Methodism has punted the gospel in favor of popular fads, cultural captivity and theological capitulation. I'm still not a Methodist but man did I love being with these Methodists. The Wesleyan tradition of seeking God in radical commitment still lives on in this world and certainly in America. Fun to learn from and be shaped by these new friends. Now, I'm still praying for the Methodist denomination...fight the good fight friends.
- Finally, there is more than Kid Rock that hails out of Romeo, MI. Simpson Park Camp - keep up the good fight of faith and your labors in the gospel. Stay faithful to his call and guard the good deposit of the faith.
Finally, thanks to my friend Bryan for inviting me and thanks to all the folk from the 2012 camp who embraced me so generously. Finally, thank Jesus Christ, the Lord of History and Humanity who is our great King. Let's give all in his service in the time we have been given.