Ja Cook, the campus pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina, posted a blog entry about the problem with Christian summer camps.
In that piece, titled, “When I Don’t Care for Christian Camps,” he explains that there are three negatives that can happen when kids are sent into the “protective” environment of a Christian camp.
Check out that post here…it’s short, but definitely worth the read.
One of his points is this:
“It takes all of the Christ-following kids out of the place that needs them most…a camp filled with kids who do not know Jesus.”
It should go without saying that there are plenty of Christian kids who don’t go to Christian camp, so it’s a bit of a stretch to say that Christian camps take all young Christ-followers out of the equation.
Still, I think the overall point is reasonable: even if those kids aren’t actively preaching to the kids around them, there are still opportunities there where those conversations could happen between other activities.
This is part of my objection — but only part of it — to churches that try to pressure parents into having their kids participate in their “fall festivals” rather than Halloween.
As Cook points out, “kids who are passionately in love with God are the greatest instruments” for reaching unsaved peers. Christians ought to at least consider looking for ways to encourage that kind of interaction.