How would you describe your chapter camp experience? If you are like me, it is incredible to realize how much God did in such a short time frame. He planted seeds of life in us: Scripture came alive like never before, the chapter grew closer as a community and teams were equipped to step into ministry in the fall.
Our hope is that those seeds will continue to grow and develop this summer. But our best intentions will only go so far. We see in the parable in Mark 4:1-20 that 75% of the seeds that were planted failed! The ground was too hard, rocks kept the roots from going deep and weeds choked the life out of the seeds. The key difference between success and failure came down to the condition of the soil.
My chapter camp experience mirrored the parable like a seed that sprang up quickly but withered when the sun came out. The passionate commitments for God I made at camp shriveled up in the light of summer school, a job, catching up with childhood friends and squeezing in time for family. I returned to campus in the fall discouraged and embarrassed by my summer story. I was shocked to discover others also faced a challenging summer spiritually.
Tired of being part of the 75% seed failure group, our student leadership team crafted a “Good Soil” campaign. We designed strategies to attend to the condition of our hearts and minds so that God’s word spoken to us at camp would bear long-lasting fruit. Our summer testimonies changed dramatically: Janine took risks to share with her family her new-found relationship with Jesus. Tory led a Bible study with a handful of Christians and non-Christians at his job. And I learned some spiritual disciplines like Sabbath and the daily Examen that continue to shape my life today.
Join the “Good Soil” campaign by implementing one or two of the strategies below:
- Take some time each week to reread the Bible passages focused on at camp. Recall what you learned about yourself, others and God.
- Invite a friend who shared your camp experience to serve as a summer accountability partner. Share with one another anything that may choke out the seeds God planted and spend time praying for each other.
- Read a book from InterVarsity Press that reinforces what you learned at camp (student leaders of affiliated chapters can use their 30% discount online).
- Take a risk and apply what you learned this summer like leading a GIG or a Bible study.
May God continue to nurture the seeds that were planted in you at chapter camp until there is a harvest of 30, 60, even 100 fold!