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A Vision For Camp Quest: We are called to train up and instruct youth to “become God’s mimics, like children who are dearly loved.” (Eph. 5:1 Cotton Patch Version) We are called to train up and equip youth for one-on-one and small group ministry just as Jesus’ focus was on one-on-one personal ministry relationships. We have been called to challenge kids with “What are you going to do with Jesus?” We gotta focus on “just one more” kid sold out for Jesus and in His service. Let’s give the youth that God sends our way all of the Jesus they can possibly soak up, for they’ll need it for the journey in His service. 

Several years ago with our camp staff and Board of Directors I shared a vision for camp that God had placed on my heart --one that I was pursuing for camp. Until then I had not verbalized that vision per se. Sure, camp folks had heard me talk about camp many times but never had I point-blank given to others God’s vision to me for this ministry. I realized that I had to assume responsibility for a perennial problem of zealous volunteers coming to camp, using a week of vacation time, and feeling it was OK to come with their “own agenda” since many of them never attended a staff retreat, and I had not insisted they understand our vision with a unified spirit. As a result, I and the board spent endless hours and still at times have to deal with personal agendas that show up at camp, most often, accompanying folks with good intentions but nonetheless attitudes and plans that are not within the camp plan/agenda or within the scope of the vision God gave me for our ministry. From time to time God directs me to tweak our vision. 

At one time Camp Quest was, by another name, a camp that focused on developing a music ministry that fed into a year-round youth music ministry. We found spiritual needs of the youth and staff were not being addressed and we had to make those changes There was a music focused group lacking basic, genuine God-given and anointed ministry and integrity was lacking. We eventually dropped the music focus and went to a camp that had a fun-summer-camp focus with a little spirituality, a little musical, a little witness training but it still lacked spiritual depth and integrity. 

In 1992 Camp Quest came out of the closet and lifted a vision of ministry to youth with a strong spiritual base, with empowerment from the Holy Spirit. Camp Quest has been called to train up and instruct youth to “become God’s mimics, like children who are dearly loved,” Ephesians 5:1 (Cotton Patch Version). We are called to train up and equip youth for one-on-one and small group ministry just as Jesus’ focus was on one-on-one personal ministry relationships. We have a primary focus as part of this vision to minister to youth and families from the main line church that they, too, may surrender to the empowering of the Holy Spirit and minister the full Gospel to others. We are to assist youth in grasping the realization that if they have been crucified with Christ then they have the promise of sharing in the fullness of walking in His resurrection power, His righteousness (Rm. 6). We have been called to encourage youth “to walk in a way becoming to the calling with which you were called” (Eph. 4:2). This entails instructing youth to realize the urgency and mandated priority of a vertical orientation or Godly relationship in lieu of getting caught up in earthly, horizontal orientations or relationships. We have been called to challenge kids with “What are you going to do with Jesus?” They must deal with Him now or later and the urgency of the now relationship, serving in the kingdom here on earth is priority stuff. With the magnitude of the sinful world about us we are challenged to express boldly to youth the urgency of getting into Jesus as early as possible-- “Get up, you sleepyhead, And arise from the dead, And God’s Son will bathe you in light,” (Eph. 5:14) so that you might be His light bearer to all nations. Otherwise. youth will fall prey to the wiles of the devil and his dark, evil world. 

In the movie Schindler’s List we recall the climatic scenes as Schindler tells the Jewish people there in his plant that the war is over and they are free to leave and return to their homes. He relates that he’ll be leaving, himself, at five past midnight to avoid capture. In the next scene we witness the love of the Jewish people so grateful that Schindler risked his life for them, that they have taken gold dental crowns from their people and made him a special ring engraved in Hebrew, “For he who saves one life saves the world entire.” He’s so touched by just their appearance there that he starts weeping. Schindler looks at his car and says, “I could have gotten more out....I could have gotten... I threw away so much money. You have no idea. I didn’t do enough....This car, why did I keep the car. Ten people right there.... 10 people, 10 more people. [Looks at his gold lapel pen ] The pen...two more people. This is gold....two more people. It would have given me at least one more...a person who is dead...one more person for this....” I saw this as part of an illustrated sermon in Phoenix when we were there for pastors’ conference. And God immediately stirred in my spirit that this was what Camp Quest is all about--Just one more youth for the kingdom, just one more youth that God can impact through Camp Quest and train and equip them to be God mimics. O God send one more kid to direct to you, to win for service in the kingdom, just one more soul winner, just one more worshipper, just one more praiser, just one more Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Assembly of God, Church of God, unchurched kid for the kingdom....to train up to demonstrate the Kingdom of God Whever they are, to step out boldly exercising the authority Jesus gave us to operate in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Let’s commit with one spirit--to one Spirit, God’s, to pour ourselves into the youth God sends our way and give them all of God they can soak up and take home....cause a majority of them are going to need it to survive for the kingdom. God tells me, “Gerald, I’ll send the kids and you keep an eye on the big picture I have entrusted to you of planning and staffing for more, and I send pure, holy people to do for Me, ‘one kid at a time.’ “ Do it for the kingdom, one kid at a time by challenging them, “What are you going to do with this man called Jesus?” Catch the vision. Get the kid saved, baptized with water, and baptized in the Holy Ghost! Then challenge him with, ‘Whatcha’ you goin’ do for this Jesus? The greater the cause or challenge you present them, the greater the level of courage that I will rise up in them to life’s situation or conditions. Stay clear of disputes and entanglements for they will come if you’re about my business. Rebuke when you need to but Camp Quest must go on. Don’t be fueled by the embattlement of controversy or the ministry will suffer. Remember, the battle is Mine.” 

“Know your empowerment."  Jesus knew His! Jn. 13:1-3. Use it! Jesus did! One kid at a time! Show ‘em how to do it! Reproduce yourself! Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” “Demonstrate My Kingdom!” 

Points for Focus; For the Board and the Staff of Camp Quest, God would have us to concentrate our life on: 
  • 1-Remain Holy--sins will sap the anointing, get right with God. He will not bless an unclean spirit. ( Eph. 6:10-11; 1 Thes. 2:4; 1 Cor. 6:12; Js. 1:14; 1 Cor. 10:31-33 
  •  2-Stay Humble—Col 3:12; Js. 1:14; 
  •  3-Stay Hungry--Is your shadow healing the sick? If not you need more of God. (Eph. 6:10-11; 
  •  4-Hustle--Stop being average. Set a standard that scares you. Move from competence to excellent! Be efficient, effective and congenial. Do great work! Remember people’s names. Look into people’s eyes—eveballs to eyeballs. Learn to anticipate—be one step ahead and embrace pushback. Demand and expect to give feedback. Be solution oriented. Reward excellence. Excellence is about being the best. Want consistency—then be consistent! ”So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31. Glorify God by being the greatest leader. Excellence is the result of hard work and hustle. Practice stick-with-it-ness! Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, all the time. Be faithful and diligent—Paul said in Eph. 6:21, “Dear brother and faithful servant of the Lord.” Keep people around you who encourage as well as chanllenge you for your best! ``You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” Get it done. Get doers, hustlers, on the team, not talkers. Great plans are nothing by plans until executed and completed. Make it happen! ”Whetever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.” Col. 3:23, WNT. 
  •  5-Have a Passion for Souls-- Demonstrate a genuine passion for souls to the youth !! ( Js. 5:20; Lk 15:4; Jn. 13:34f). Love God, Love People. Mt. 23:36-40 
  •  6-Fast one meal per week. (Matt. 17:21; Lk. 2:37; Acts 14:23; In this case fasting is for supplicatory prayer.) 
  •  7-Let the youth see a genuine joy in your life--great joy (Acts 8:8), exceeding joy (Ps.21:6), abundant joy (2 Cor. 8:2), and unspeakable joy (1 Pet. 1:8); Joy of the Lord (Neh. 8:10); Glorious Joy (1 Peter 1:8); Complete Joy (1Jn. 1:12); Everlasting Joy (Is. 35:10); Pure Joy (Js. 1:2-3); Cries of Joy (Ps. 47:1); Joy in the Holy Spirit (Rm. 14:17); Enduring Joy (Heb. 12:2); Heart of Joy (Ec. 9:7); Joyful Expectations (Prov. 10:28); Unstealable Joy (Jn. 16:22) 
  •  8-Demonstrate the Kingdom of God in your life and actions. Jn.14: 12-16.. 
  •  9-Be above reproach having no appearance of evil. “You, yourselves are our epistle, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.” 2 Cor. 3:2. No sermon is so powerful as a consistent life. Thes. 5:22. ;Rm 12:2; 1 Cor. 8:13; 1 Cor. 10:31-33; 
  •  10-Be of one Spirit, one Mind! Check out Scriptures with “one mind,” “knit together,” “built together,” “helping together,” “striving together,” “fellow laborers,” “fellow helpers,” “fellow soldiers.” Hebrew word for strength is derived from the verb to twist. The strength for a twisted rope is in the combination of many threads. (1 Sam. 18:1; 1 Chron. 12:17; Judges 20:11Ps. 139:13; Col 2:2; Jn. 17:20-26; Eph. 4:3-6, 11-16; Rom 12:5, 16; 15:6; Ps. 133:1; Acts 1:14; 2:1-47; 4:20, 24, 32; 5:12; 8:6;12:20; 15:25; 19:28; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 12:13; 2 Cor. 15:11-14; 18:11-14; Gal. 3:26-28; Phil 2:1f; 3:15f; 1 Peter 3:8;1 Jn. 2:27 
  •  11-When speaking for the Lord, speak with boldness, courage, and authority tempered with love and integrity. 
  •  12-Be Filled with Holy Spirit Eph. 5:18; Acts. 1:8; The word “filled” in the Greek, is the “continual” present tense and literally translates “be continually filled with the Spirit,” There is one Baptism in the Holy Spirit, but many fillings. Be soaked daily in the Lord, His Word, Time with Him.