What could be better than going to church camp as a kid? It is going as an adult. Not much can top preaching on Sunday morning in church; until you preach outside everyday with campers. Camp is a place where lifelong friendships are made. It is my absolute joy that lifelong memories have been made at camp between my daughter and me. My own experiences at Camp Otterbein continue to provide time and space for recreation and re-creation of body and soul. I listened to God’s voice calling and guiding me toward ordained ministry in camp settings as a child. As an adult and pastor, it is a privilege to watch the Holy Spirit work in the lives of campers as they awaken to the calls God has placed in their lives.
For three years, I journeyed with teenage campers attending Go Beyond Leadership Camp. I have spent the past three years as “pastor of the week” and engaged with campers and staff. Without a doubt, lives are changed at camp. I hear stories of campers forming community action groups in college, going on mission trips to foreign countries, planning events and mission collections at home churches, and a few campers even fulfilling calls to ordained ministry. Most importantly, campers invite friends to attend camp next summer. This is sharing the love of Jesus Christ in a personal way: “I had a great week at camp. I know that Jesus loves me. You should sign-up for camp with me next summer.” As a parent and pastor there is no greater fulfillment than to witness the power of God shaping the lives of campers, and I am privileged to have been offered the chance to nurture and witness these lives transformed. Friends, please consider volunteering with WOC camps or being “pastor of the week” during the summer. It will change your life and ministry.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Jay Moyers
Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Mt. Sterling