Friday, December 29, 2006
Outdoor Ministry Affects on the Church
Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry reports "We give thinks to God for the number of VLM staff members who have heard God's call to ministry. A number are already serving as clergy and youth directors. Of course, many more do ministry within congregations as active lay members. However, at this time,VLM has an astonishing 14 former staff in seminary study. We give great praise to God for touching their lives and calling them to service in the church."
As a child and teen camper, I looked up to my counselors and aspired to be one of them one day. It didn't happen. I certainly didn't have the right personality and verve as a young adult to do that work. But I know so many young people who got interested in Christian service and became counselors. Or maybe it was the other way around.
It is hard to attract counselors because the camps can't provide pay that is competative to what the young people really need to finance their college education. And camps struggle with attacting enough campers due to all the competition out there for kid's attention. Camps also struggle with fund raising, since in many areas with a high concentration of Lutheran churches there is declining/aging population.
The church as a whole needs to continue to subsidize camps because of the fine Christian support and friendships developed there for the campers and because of the seeds that are planted, both in the campers and in the counselors.
Nurture these seeds. May God bless us with a big crop of pastors!