Is God Calling You to Serve at Summer Camp?

01.24.24 | Homepage | by The Rev. Katie Gerber

    This past week, we read about Jonah and the calling of Jesus’s first disciples. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through both passages regarding summer camp. Poor Jonah tried running from God’s call. He ended up in the belly of the whale where he spent 3 days and nights. During his time in the fish’s abdomen, he remembered and cried out to God. God caused the whale to spew him out on dry land. Pulling himself up amidst what I imagine to be a substantial stench of literal fish guts, Jonah is once again at God’s mercy. God is persistent and unrelenting. This time Jonah listens to God and heads out to Nineveh. What actions have you taken to avoid God’s call? Probably none that took you into the dankness and darkness of a fish’s innards, but running, hiding, and denying were most likely directing your energies.

    Jesus is walking along the sea of Galilee and looks out seeing these fellas in their fishing boats. Simon and Andrew were fishing while James and John were mending nets. I know there’s lots of thought about the ages of these guys. One of my bible study resources says that because Andrew and Peter were alone in their boat, they were a little older; young men perhaps. However, since we find James and John with their father, they might have been younger; maybe young teenagers. And what does Jesus do? He calls them!  Just as they are. “Immediately, he calls them…and immediately they left what they were doing to follow him.” What does this tell us about who God calls? Age is not a limiting factor. Our campers are range in age from 8-17 years – rising 3rd-12th graders. This act of Jesus calling the young fisherman leads me to envision connecting with the young souls at camp and inviting them to follow Christ. The opportunities! The impact! The excitement! The unknown. But, God calls folks of all ages to camp.  All ages experience inclusion, transformation, joy, purpose, belonging, and His love.

    God is going to call us no matter who we are, where we are, what we’re doing, and what skill set we think we either do or don’t have. These fishermen saw and heard something powerful because they immediately left what they were doing to follow him. Will you? Follow him… to camp?  Amen.

    Deacon Katie is available to visit your churches to talk more in depth about summer camp. Reach out to schedule a visit.