Institute: What’s the Point? (5 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

I am unable to deny that there are some positive outcomes to Institute. I was still left with the question, What’s the point? It could have been:

  • Provide a safe place for students
  • Offer freely given love as part of a Christian community
  • Create a place where people are always accepted
  • Meet new people
  • Move forward on the journey of becoming a deeply committed Christian.
  • Have fun and play games
  • Create a culture of hearing God’s call to ministry

After a week, I am not sure what is the driving purpose of Institute. Those who come to camp become part of the leadership team that plans the next year. Students come year after year. Adults come to serve because they came when they were young. It has been going for 99 years…

I gained some additional insight from Notes on Camp and commend it to you as a great listen and insight into summer camp of all sorts.

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Institute: Prayer Squares (2 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

Part of the practice of the week at camp was to share a prayer square. Here is the practice of the prayer squares:

  1. Choose a strip of cloth from the cross as a part of morning worship.
  2. Write your name on the square and carry it with you throughout the day.
  3. Return the strip of cloth to the cross as a part of evening worship.
  4. Repeat the next day and continue to be in prayer for all those whose names are written on the cloth.
  5. On the last day, take one home with you.

This is a cool practice. In addition to the opportunity to be in prayer, I was struck by the power of the entire camp moving forward to the cross. These pictures are from morning worship. You can see the cross in the front covered with green prayer squares and the students moving forward to the cross.

In what ways is your local church inviting people to the cross?

How are people equipped to pray for one another?

Institute: The Clique Where Everyone is In (1 of 5)

I spent last week at a youth camp, Institute 2010: God’s All Stars, which is a ministry of the Conference Council on Youth Ministry of the Kansas East Annual Conference. This post is part of a series reflecting on the week and making applications for the local church.

On the first day, I realized that Institute is a clique. There are insider language, traditions, games, jokes and expectations. My first response was negative, do high school students really need another clique? As the week continued I realized a significant difference in the clique that is Institute and others which exist in the world:

Institute is a clique where everyone is in.

If you are present at the camp, you are in. You can be part of the exclusive group, learn the traditions, language, games, jokes and expectations. Everyone is accepted into the clique.

What about your local church? Is there there insiders and outsiders? How do the common words and practices of your local church seem to those who are new? Is everyone in?

Institute 2010: God’s All Stars

Today begins my first experience of Kansas East Youth Institute. From a promotional poster:

For almost 100 years, young people have come to Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., to attend United Methodist Youth Institute. Institute is a tradition of the Kansas East Conference Council on Youth Ministry. Institute is a unique week of spiritual formation and discipleship for senior high youth. At Institute, youth are taught to both receive and give care as taught by Jesus Christ.

Youth who have completed the eighth grade through graduating high school seniors are eligible to attend Institute.

The 2010 summer theme is “God’s All-Stars.” The Institute Vision Team selected this theme with you in mind. We will consider how people whom God calls upon for leadership are often a different type of All-Star than those the rest of the world calls upon for leadership.

Here goes something…

LifeChurch.tv Internet Campus – Not (3 of 8)

Over the life of the internet campus at LifeChurch.tv there are several things that it has not done.

  • No children
  • No youth
  • No funerals
  • No weddings

Resources provided at Open | LifeChurch.tv have and are being used for children and youth programming for groups that gather to worship on the internet campus together. Brandon, Internet Campus Pastor, said that he had never received a request for a funeral or a wedding.