Monday, 8 June 2015
I can’t remember the first time someone brought up the concept of Grand Camp to me. I do know that it was in the first few weeks after I had started and so we weren’t quite ready to do anything about it. Several weeks ago I was approached by some of the members of one of our local churches asking if there was something we could do. The main reason behind hosting a Grandparent – Grandchild camp is to create and environment whereby the next generation will have the opportunity to experience the presence and glory of God in a non-traditional setting. The weekend is designed to be fun and interactive for the grandparents and the kids while also allowing relationships to build and grow.
The concern that seems prevalent amongst many of the grandparents in our congregations is that their grandkids are exposed to so many different influences today, yet somehow they are not exposed to God’s love. There is a hole in our congregations. The congregation is aging and the youth are voting with their feet. Sunday School classes get smaller and the classes for the older kids get cut. Some Sunday school programmes are even asking the question of whether or not they should continue. If ever there was a need to expose our kids to the love of God it’s now, but the traditional recipe does not appear to be working.
This is certainly not the case in all congregations as some churches are thriving and growing. Is it a question of theology? I don’t think so. The church has grown and evolved over the last 2000 years and now it is time to think about what we are doing and how we are doing it. So what does this have to do with Shekinah and Grand Camp? Well this is an opportunity to look at things with new eyes. Do you want your kids in church but you don’t know how to get them there? Do you want them to want to go and get involved? What does a church filled with engaged and excited youth look like? These are some of the questions we want to explore this weekend amongst the grandparents. By no means is that the focus. The focus of this weekend is the grandkids. Let them have fun with each other, with their grandparents and in the presence of God. This is not a weekend to do church but rather a weekend to allow kids to come and have fun and get exposed to world they may be missing out on.
One thing to think about is what happens when we return to our congregations, to the routine? How do we follow this up? Well that remains to be seen, but if we want to achieve something and make a positive impact we need to take the first step.