Next Camp Day 1

With great excitement, campers arrived at camp just before 4:00, greeted with ecstatic camp staff members! Campers were then debriefed in the worship center about all of the rules and schedule for this week of camp. Following that, we all ate a delicious dinner. With full stomachs, campers took some time to be still, studying some scripture. We then gathered for our first worship session of the week.

Session 1:

Connect Pastor, Johnathon Cliff spoke tonight. Although many of us fear Heaven, we shouldn’t. We learned that Heaven is a beautiful place where God rules over us, sharing his blessings with us. Relating to the topic of Heaven, we read over Revelation 21 (A New Heaven and a New Earth). Specifically Revelation 21:3, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.'” This verse illustrates that if we put our faith and future in Jesus, our future will be marvelous. Additionally, we learned that Heaven is not just a thought, but a promise for the future. In verse 4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” While we face many trials and tribulations here on Earth, Heaven promises a bright future with more pain. Although there is still pain on Earth, there is newness inside all of us. Verse 5 says, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” This promises us that heaven is a new earth.The bottom line of tonight was, We live for Heaven when we know where to find it. The right now is in Next Camp; we get to live in the new. 

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

Following Worship and Gathering, campers split into their divided small groups and discussed questions regarding tonight’s message. Then, everyone collected around the snack shack for a 9:30 nacho snack. After their snack, it was time for Late Night! At Late Night, teams competed in Minute-to-Win-It, where the Pink 8th grade girls dominated and walked away victorious. After a fun Late Night, campers continued their competitive spirit, battling it out in Gaga Ball. The 8th grade guys won the Gaga Ball championship. It’s now time for bed.

Next Camp Day 2:

Students woke this morning bright and early to eat a tasty breakfast at 8:00. Then campers took some time to be quiet and prepare for their day. At 9:30 Campers gathered in the Worship Center for an awesome morning session. Now campers are diving deep into the message in their Small Group.

Session 2 :

In this morning’s first session, we learned about reading God’s word. The truth is, we struggle with listening to God’s word. When we don’t listen to God, people and things around us become silent. We don’t feel tension when we don’t pursue our relationship with Jesus, like we feel in a friendship. Communication is key in a relationship. The truth is, we’re more fortunate than any of the people in the bible. We have it all of the tools to communicate right in front of us – the word of God is accessible anywhere we want. The biggest obstacle in our relationship and communication with God is us; we are the worst enemy. When we look at the bible we learn who God is, what He has done, and what He calls us to do. This is central to our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” John 1:1-5 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”We hear from God through our surroundings. He communicates through his word. The word of God is true because we can trust Jesus. The word is how we hear from God. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” There is a better way to respond to scripture than listening to the lies of our world. The question we must ask ourselves is: How should we respond to the Word?

  1. Make time for reading the word
  2. Start small
  3. Do your homework
  4. Know that it’s always relevant

The bottom line: We live for Heaven when we hear from its King.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

Following a delicious lunch, campers gathered for a memorable first day of Rec. Today was water day, where students spent an hour and a half rotating among 4 different games. All teams were ferocious in their competitions, but the 8th grade boys dominated, claiming a 1st day Rec victory. Exhausted campers then set off to their Track A and B where they partook in arts and crafts, then spiritual lessons. With a busy day thus far, students then had an hour and a half for some free time. Many students were relaxing in the pool or competing in Gaga Ball games. Then, hungry campers collected for a delightful dinner. Following dinner, campers gathered for the night session.

Session 3:

We learned about prayer. Frankly, talking to God is like picking up a phone and knowing that he is always there. Unlike actual telephones, when you call God, there is no busy signal; he always answers the phone. The problem we face is that Sin makes it hard to talk to God. Sin destroys, but prayer becomes fascinating to us. We studying Matthew 6:5 tonight, where it tells us, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” We shouldn’t pray only to feed our pride, but if you really want to know the kingdom, go somewhere where it is just you and him. What we should pray is The Lord’s prayer. The fortunate truth is, we get to talk to the king because we are his family. The bottom line of the night is, when we pray, we can trust that anything we ask for forgiveness will be forgiven.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

After the night worship session, campers divided into their small groups and spent 30 minutes learning deeper about the lessons from the worship session. Following small group time, campers enjoyed a hard earned ice cream snack from the Snack Shack! Then everyone gathered for tonight’s Late Night which consisted of a riveting game of Finish-The-Lyric. Campers are now ending their night with a passionate tournament of Four Square.

Next Camp Day 3:

After a nights sleep, campers rose this morning with hungry stomachs! They enjoyed pancakes and sausage for their breakfast before they spent 30 minutes in Quiet Time. Then, it was time for an exciting morning worship session, where campers are currently listening to the message.

Session 4:

We learned about worship. The truth is, worship is more than just singing. Worship is first your identity before it is ever your activity. Worship is who you are.  We have to ask ourselves, What are we worshiping? Worship defines our identity, purpose, and well being. There are two types of worship: Horizontal and Vertical. Horizontal worship is worshiping everything and anything around us. Unfortunately, horizontal worship never truly satisfies because we always long for more of something else. Vertical worship is worshiping the One above us – the only worship that will truly satisfy. Isaiah 12:5 tells us, “Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
    let this be known to all the world.” When God is the center of our worship, we find a better identity; we find real life. Genuine vertical worship is the center of real life But, How do we do it?

  • Know that it’s more than a gathering
  • Prioritize what matters most
  • Be Genuine
  • Be courageous

Bottom Line: We live for heaven when we celebrate its king.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

After a great lunch, it was time for Rec time! Campers had a blast competing in various games. Then students divided into the track A and B. After an exciting day thus far, the campers were ready for some free time. For an hour and a half, campers had the opportunity to swim in the pool, play different ball games, or even just took some free time for his or her self to relax. After free time, everyone gathered for a tasty dinner. With full stomachs, campers gathered in the worship center for the night session. The students are now listening to Pastor Michael Bayne speak, then they will head to their small groups and dive deeper into the message.

Session 5:

Tonight, we learned about salvation. The question of the night is, how do I take a step toward the light when I am uncertain?
Many of us feel trapped. Romans 5:2 tells us, “Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Salvation is about Jesus and his worth and work not your worth and work.  The truth is, He is worth everything. Salvation always begins in darkness and overcomes the darkness. Our selfish desires destroy us. Salvation begins in darkness, but overcomes the darkness. Romans 5:6 , “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Salvation is a way of life; we always need this hope. In the midst of darkness is the perfect time to accept Jesus. The steps for Salvation

  1. God is with us
  2. God is in us
  3. God wants all of us

Salvation brings us back to God. God wants to be our friend.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

Day 4:

Session 6:

In our morning session, we learned about each of our spiritual gifts and that each is just a part of how God has made us. The question we must ask ourselves is : What actually is a spiritual gift? Spiritual gifts are gifts given to followers of Jesus; all followers of Christ have a spiritual gift. We are given these gifts too usher the kingdom of heaven to Earth.  With our gifts, we can build God’s kingdom. For further exploring spiritual gifts check out: Romans 12:1-8 and

Spiritual Gifts:

Romans 12:6-8:

  • Prophecy (the ability to receive a spiritual message and deliver it to others)
  • Serving
  • Teaching (ability to teach the bible)
  • Exhortation (encouragement)
  • Giving
  • Leadership
  • Mercy (patient & compassionate to those suffering)
  • Administration (an organizer who can direct a group of people towards a plan)
  • Discernment (easily know right from wrong)
  • Faith (confident, trusting…)
  • Pastor (looks like what a sheppard does to sheep)

The Holy Spirit is all knowing. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to know your spiritual gift.

Bottom Line: Our gifts from heaven allow us to usher heaven to earth.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

After a delicious breakfast this morning, campers heard from Mrs. Chelsea Bayne who spoke about our spiritual gifts. Following a beautiful service, campers discussed the message with their leaders in small group. Students were then pumped up for their final Rec time. Today was relay day! Exhausted students then had some time to wind down and enjoy their Track A and B times. After that, campers enjoyed their hour and a half of free time. It’s now time for dinner!

Following a delicious dinner, campers dispersed for their alone time to deliberate on God’s word. Now students are listening to Michael Bayne speak about the Church.

Session 7: Tonight we learned about the unity of us within the church. The truth is, our faith is connected to places where we are surrounded by people just like us.  Right now we are apart of movement that is actually bigger than we are. The movement we are apart of is the church. The church is God’s plan A and there is no plan B. God united people in the church, so we could unite around Him and His mission, not ours. His mission is that everyone would know how great He is and how Jesus sacrificed for us. When it comes to uncomfortable things, we run away. It’s important for us to be around people who are different from us. When you get to heaven, there will be different people, but everyone is united. Why not make heaven a reality here? We will not all go to one, same church. We are helping to create a place where everyone is welcomed.

Bottom line: We live for heaven when we unite with the church.

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

Session 7:

This was the last session of the week and we learned about Evangelism. Evangelism is sharing the Gospel.  With Evangelism, it simply takes one friend, one moment to change eternity.

Truth about evangelism:

  • It’s personal
  • It’s scary
  • It’s a command

Mark 16:15 tells us, ““Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” This commandment is a direct correlation to our purpose with Evangelism.  Mark 8:37-38 says “Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”” There are so many people that don’t know Him and all they need is someone to go to them and share the gospel. We should follow the Lord with kindness and an open heart.

How do we evangelize?

  • Initiate a conversation
  • Listen to them
  • Share God, man, and Christ
  • Invite them to take the next step
  • Love that person

Evangelism is not just a moment, it’s meant to be a life-long relationship with eternity

Bottom Line: We live for heaven when we invite others in. 

Check out tonight’s worship set HERE

This has been an incredible week with unforgettable moments and memories. Until next year!