“Can anyone relate Bazooka Ball back to the Gospel?”
“We are like the markers. If the markers are not connected to the CO2 they cannot shoot the balls; they are ineffective. In the same way, if we are not connected to God’s Word which is our fuel, we will not be effective for Christ. But the second we hook back on to the Word God will begin to use us.”
“Can anyone relate sharks and minnows to the Gospel?”
“It only takes one shark to convert the entire pool into minnows, just like it only took Christ dying on the cross and raising from the dead to save all of us.”
“Can anyone relate laser tag to the Gospel?”
“In laser tag, you have to learn the rules, learn how to use the equipment, and then put all of it on before you can play. To follow God, first you have to learn what he has for you in his Word, and then you have to put on the armor of God. Just like you can’t play laser tag without the right equipment, you can’t follow Christ without the armor of God.”
“Can anyone relate ziplining to the Gospel?”
“To zipline, you have to put all of your trust in the harness and the equipment to hold you up. Your life is completely in the hands of the facilitators and the equipment, and you have to believe it won’t let you down. To be saved, we must entrust our entire lives with Christ; knowing that he will never let us down.”
Many things that go on at Crossings do not seem like they relate to the Gospel or the mission of Crossings. From climbing towers to gaga ball, many adults (and even staff on our bad days) can see the things that go on at Crossings as unnecessary or immature. Peering in from the outside at the amount of time, effort, and resources that go into putting on things like our wide variety of POIs (Points of Impact), lunch games, or Vertical Challenge could create cynicism in the hearts of those evaluating Crossings. Is half of the valuable time for ministry that students spend at camp sacrificed on the lake or the basketball court?
Mark 10:13-17 says:
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Jesus’ disciples, those closest to Him, who were trying every day to imitate Him, were rebuking the children for coming to Christ. The disciples thought of the children as a distraction from the work of Christ’s ministry.
Not only does Christ chastise the disciples and allow the children to come to him, but he says that unless the adults follow the example of the children, they will not see the kingdom of God.
Why could it be that Christ says that adults should model children in the way they receive the kingdom of God? Would it not make more sense for Christ to instruct the children to be like the disciples in the way they followed Christ?
The faith of a child is the one that can make Gospel connections from simple games. The faith of a child is the one that looks at the miracles of Christ with awe and wonder. The faith of a child is the one that sees the possibilities of a life lived with Christ which he lays out for us in his Word and believes them completely, not bogged down by convention or perceived limitations.
May we not be like the disciples in Mark 10. May we not see the activities and games students play and consider them frivolous, but may we know that when connected to the Gospel, these things that camp has to offer can create impactful and lasting connections to the life, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Instead, may we take the example of these students who receive the kingdom of God with creativity and newness; who do not have to look past everyday activities to find glimpses of God’s glory. Students at Crossings every single day remind us that visions of God’s glory or evidence of his redemptive plan are not contained to the pulpit, but they are evident in the most seemingly insignificant things around us; even things such things as bazooka ball or laser tag.
The God who created everything has made the earth a living picture of his redemptive plan. And although it is marred by sin, his creation everywhere points his Gospel and his glory. Students, unimpeded by the walls of cynicism put up by the passing of time, see God’s creation and his blessings as what they are: clear pictures of the Gospel and the glory of God, and we should follow their example in everything we do.