• Arkansas Baptist News

The power of camp to transform

What compels you? What motivates you? Why should people join you? These are the questions posed by Simon Sinek in his popular TED talk, “Find Your Why.”


The “why” is more important to this generation than the “how” or the “what.” The “why” explains the heart of an organization. Sinek states that the “why” should shape your organizational culture and be at the forefront of its marketing.


At a strategic planning retreat earlier this year, your Camp Siloam staff was asked to spend two hours exploring the “why” of Jesus’ ministry at Camp Siloam. What emerged from the session was “We believe camp ministry is the most effective tool for the church to transform lives with the power of the gospel.”


We understand and acknowledge that the church is God’s vehicle to connect with a lost world. Camp Siloam was created to support the Baptist churches of Arkansas. We love serving you and we are here for you.


But there is a deeper and more passionate reason for our existence. It is simply that there is something about the power of camp. People who experience the power of camp affirm it. The power of camp is displayed when a pastor points to the spot at camp where God called him to ministry 30 years ago. The power of camp is evident when a grown man stands at the entrance in tears when he remembers what God did in his life at 9 years old. What other events consistently produce 9-10 percent of the participants making professions of faith?


The power of camp to transform lives is compelling your camp staff to get out of bed after a tornado and keep pressing on. It is why we spend time laying the foundation for the next 100 years of Jesus’ ministry at Camp Siloam.


Why is summer camp such an effective tool for the church to reach people with the gospel? When a camper agrees to set aside a week of his or her life, they leave their culture behind and people pray for them. When they come with expectations of an encounter with God, they spend the week in the wilderness, and they hear a presentation of the gospel of Jesus seven times, something is going to happen.


That’s why I believe in summer camp. It is why your church needs to be a part of one of our transformative Southern Baptist camps.


Jason Wilkie is executive director of Camp Siloam in Siloam Springs.

© Copyright 2019 Arkansas Baptist Newsmagazine, Inc. Use of this article in print or through electronic means a violation of copyright. Request permission to reprint here.

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