Equip Children Through Kingdom-Focused Camps

(Getty Images/E+-kali9)

Summer camps are an effective means to bring children into an encounter with the kingdom of God. As they unplug from technology, they are immersed in an environment customized to promote spiritual hunger.

Begin planning for next summer's camps now, and keep these things in mind:

Camp staff. All applicants should complete an application, receive background checks and be vetted with sex offender registries. References also must be checked. Each applicant should be interviewed, with assessment of motives, values, ministry and work ethic, as well as a discussion of any struggles with sin. If the applicant passes that stage, his name should be vetted through other senior-level directors and leaders. The camp director should decide on placement, and the applicant should attend training.

Location. Children are adaptable to different locations, from tents in a field to cots in classrooms. Worship and teaching times should be arranged where children will have the least distractions. Recreational activities can be held outside or in a gym. If a pool is not available, water hoses can fill blow-up pools, water balloons, power sprinklers and giant homemade slip-n-slides. Roast s'mores in a fire pit if a bonfire isn't feasible.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Schedule. Children should have enough time at camp to be impacted in a way that causes them to live differently when they return home. Having a few days with children is important for stirring up a hunger and thirst for God. Some children come to camp with walls that slowly come down through ministry times. Others have dull spirits that come alive during camp. Use a simple survey at the end of camp to assess its duration.

Teaching and training. The campers need to experience what is on God's heart for them rather than relying on standard curricula. In light of the times we live in, and in light of what is coming, leaders must ask, "What is the word of the Lord for the children at this camp?" Devotionals, afternoon breakouts and morning/evening teaching sessions should all be based on the theme and Scriptures given by the Lord for this camp. Use hands-on training as well to equip children in praying for the sick or sharing the gospel.

Worship. The camp director must prayerfully choose a leader who can bring the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship. Also, the director should help decide what songs are used. During worship, the director should be in front, encouraging the children, modeling worship and training them to engage. Extended ministry times before and after can be used to pray for the children and have them pray for other campers and needs.

Summer fun. Small groups promote friendship-building, team spirit and a sense of belonging. Children will return to camp year after year for the experiences of encountering the kingdom of God, seeing their friends and having fun.

Feel free to email me at cec@ihopkc.org for help in starting an equipping camp.

Lenny La Guardia is executive director of the Children's Equipping Center and vice president of ministries at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers that choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders