27 Salvations | 33 Calls to Ministry
$4,986.86 for Haiti Missions Offering
In the coming weeks I will be finding opportunities to do anonymous staff interviews. A huge part of being a summer staffer is making sure that there is no selfish motive behind the work that you do. So whether you are cleaning bathrooms or leading archery tag, everything should be done from a servant’s heart. I think it’s important to hear the perspectives of those who achieve that goal well.
Tell me about yourself.
“So my name is John Nix and I live just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. I have been married 24 years. I have 3 kids, my oldest starts college this fall, my middle one will be a junior in high school, and my youngest will be starting starting middle school. I’ve been coming to Crossings for about 14 or 15 years now as a camp pastor.”
After being a camp pastor here for so long, do you approach your preparation for each summer differently?
“No, my preparation actually starts early. I usually, once they get the theme, I’m already thinking about next year’s theme, this “Pursue” theme. And I’ll wait until they spell it out by day but I will start preparing as soon as they can give me what text they’re coming from and what they have for their studies so that I can track along with what they’re doing because one of the things that I really appreciate about Crossings is their commitment to the gospel. I want to make sure that we are synchronized, that we move in the same direction with the same kind of information. So I’m always trying to reinforce the Bible studies in messages and I’m trying to make sure that whatever text I’m preaching from is going to really support what Crossings is doing.”
What’s it like primarily speaking to students at camp versus mostly adults in a typical church setting?
“So I’d say there’s probably two things I would say about that. One that may be a little bit surprising, is I don’t find it that different teaching student or adults. And there is a lot of biblical illiteracy within the church and so a lot of the way that I teach is very much some of the same basic tenets of the Gospel. Some of the narratives that they’re not familiar with, connecting it in the meta-narrative of scripture. And because I am involved in a local church context I don’t only serve at Camp, it does give me a grounding so that I can appreciate staff from other churches and what’s going on there, but the thing about camp that I really enjoy, particularly with the Crossings model, is it gives me a chance to teach in the morning which gives me a lot of discipleship foundation things that I can come alongside the churches that come here, and because we at Crossings want to serve churches well. We don’t try to replace the local church, we try to come alongside them and partner with them. And so I do that on two levels. One, I come alongside and I want to be a good partner in ministry with Crossings and I view myself as a servant who has come to submit to their authority, and then I try to come alongside student leaders and help them by laying some foundations that they can take from here and build on. And then I think, you know, one of the things that regularly speaking to students, the second part of it, is it does help me because I get to hear different arguments. Particularly for students there are no givens for them, they don’t have necessarily some of the same cultural expectations, or think the same ways and so they will challenge every part of scripture, they will challenge every part of leadership, they will challenge cultural norms, there is an openness to talk but there is a challenge for kind of normative things and authority.”
What are your favorite things about camp?
“I would say I could probably come up with about three things. The thing that I love best about Crossings is their commitment to the gospel that doesn’t change, it’s unwavering. The second thing that I would say is the staff. I enjoy spending time with the staff and try to get to know the staff, and I’m always encouraged and helped by Crossing staff. And then the third thing is that over the years, for all these years Crossings is always been very generous to invite my family to participate in the ministry. And so it’s a lot of joy for us to be at Crossings and my kids to get to know Crossing staff. You know they still keep in touch with Crossing staff current and past, and so I would say commitment to the gospel, the staff, and the way that Crossings is kind to my family and invites them in, are three things that I love about it.”
Quote of the Week
“You can be tired in the work of serving, but don’t be tired of the work of serving.”
A group leader came with two students, and throughout the week they were cared for and loved on not only by the staff but by other churches as well. One church even invited them to come to their Connect and Checkpoint times during the week. I had a brief conversation with the church that invited them and apparently one of their students had to drop out of Vertical challenge, and so one of the two girls they invited took her place. Having never even been on a blob before, she won Vertical Challenge.