Dear Church Leader/Parent,
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
These are bizarre times, aren’t they? Who would have dreamed that we would be where we are today, attending church services virtually and avoiding gatherings? It seems unnatural compared to so much of what we do. Our mission statement at Crossings states, “We create experiences to proclaim the Gospel” and it has been said that camp is not what we do, Gospel proclamation is what we do; camp is just how we do it. We’ve literally voiced that these camp properties are a means for us to proclaim the Gospel and if one day we can’t use our camps to proclaim the gospel, we’ll find another way to do it. In this unprecedented time we are met with that challenge.
While we are still working toward having camp this summer we have also been working on what we are calling The Remain Initiative. This is a collection of tasks and projects to keep students connected to Christ, remaining in the True Vine and connected to one another in meaningful ways while they have to remain at home. Through our experience and research among our staff we have found some traits to be evident among this generation and this initiative seeks to address those traits and redeem them for eternal significance, God’s glory and our personal good.
We will be rolling out these projects systematically on our social media, but we will have all the content available to you if you want to go about this at a different pace. Just let us know how it goes!
These projects aren’t revolutionary or particularly novel, but we know for a fact that if we will lean in to remaining in Him, we will bear much fruit, regardless of where we are! Jesus told us this very truth! Let’s help those in our care to be fruit bearers.
The Remain Initiative Projects:
Goal: Encourages students to reorient key friendships in their life toward the gospel as well as setting up accountability to act on the tasks of The Remain Initiative.
Addresses: isolation; surface level friendships; relationships among believers void of Christian conversation; accountability
Goal: Gives specific direction on how we can open our hearts to God, then open the Word of God, and give an opportunity for God to speak to us. We don’t want to just give God our laundry list of requests but instead, open our hearts to let him speak directly to the issues we are facing on a daily basis, so we aren’t just learning more facts about God but experiencing a real relationship with Him.
Addresses: listening; slowing down; going outside; Bible study; prayer; getting away from a screen
Goal: Encourages conversation with parents and gives the opportunity to open the door for meaningful interaction between student and parent. The students are asked to initiate a conversation with parents and let the parents respond without the student commenting or defending, just reflecting and potentially addressing after they have reflected and processed.
Addresses: relationships; seeing the perspective of others; submission to authority; accountability; listening; face to face conversation
Write a Letter
Goal: This project is twofold, it will be an encouragement to the recipient of the letter as well as helping the author of the letter to slow down, reflect on what someone else has done, experience gratitude and articulate that to someone else.
Addresses: thankfulness; slow time; considering others; redeeming the time; consideration of others
Goal: This project connects students with someone who has been a believer for a long time. In our world, we can go for weeks just consuming new media. We want to reorient students toward the wisdom of the church and reconnect them to people with wisdom and life experience.
Addresses: wisdom over knowledge; consideration of others; encouragement; learning; thoughtfulness; conversation tools; church
Goal: We’re seeing that, in this pandemic, people are doubling down on their screen usage. They are hearing thoughts and opinions in all directions and many are feeling increased anxiety and depression. This will show them how meaningful it can be to be without media and fill their time with other things. NOTE: We aren’t talking just about not engaging with media but replacing their time with something meaningful.
Addresses: screen-time; Bible study; time with family; time outdoors; healthy habits
Goal: Step back and consider three things: What were the elements in your life that kept you from trusting God; how did God enter into your story and draw you to Him; how are you experiencing Him now? These truths should remind us of how grateful we are that God entered into our story to make Himself known to us. We should want to respond with gratitude to him and proclamation to others. We are also asking students to share their story on their social media.
Addresses: reflection; gratitude; introspection; gospel proclamation; articulation of your story