Activating Faith After Summer Camp
by Stacie Hoppman on August 26,2014 in
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Summer is slowly coming to a close as we put away our swimming suits and sandals and trade them in for textbooks and gym clothes. As kids head back to school, their memories of summer camp start to fade away, too, and it can be hard to continue the momentum of those kinds of “mountain top experiences” where God seemed so close and the world so simple. The rush of school activities, sports, and homework clutter your schedule and make it hard to remember to include those faith-forming experiences that every child needs.
We don’t want your child’s summer camp experience at Camp Wyoming to be a one-week memory that gets put up on the shelf until it’s time to dust it off next summer. Faith needs to be cultivated and activated if it is going to stick and make an impact in the life of your child. So, here are 4 ways that you can make sure to engage your child in faith topics and conversations and ensure that everything they learned at summer camp stays with them even after they’ve returned to school.
- Perhaps the simplest and easiest way is to set aside a time every day to pray together as a family. A good way to do this is before bed, as you are tucking your child in at night. You could do it during the car ride from one activity to the next or before or after a meal. Take 5 minutes to pray about the concerns you have, celebrate your joys, and even pray for friends or other family members who are struggling.
- Get connected to a church that has a strong children’s or youth ministry. This will ensure that your child meets other Christians their own age and also gives them a time to learn and interact with curriculum that is geared toward their age group.
- Do a devotional or Bible reading together as family daily or weekly. You want your child to see that faith is important to you, just like it should be important to them. Studying the Bible together ensures that you can engage in spiritual conversations and focus together on applying them. For example, read through the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5-7 and talk about how you can take Jesus’ words and live them out. Or, find a family devotional and let it guide your conversation and study.
- Find a “Faith Sponsor” for your child. Sometimes, kids, especially as they become teenagers, don’t want to listen to their parents. A Faith Sponsor is a person who can walk beside them throughout their spiritual journey and be another voice, outside the home, that points them to God. This person might take them out to lunch once a month just to talk or might reach out when the child is having a hard time. Faith Sponsors help build a community around a child who are there to help them develop a relationship with God and remind them of all the people in their lives who are encouraging and praying for them.
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