Everyone at one point or another has an experience where you are not comfortable, the surroundings are unfamiliar, the people surrounding you are not the friends and family you are usually with and you are left wondering… now what? For many children, teens and families, that is exactly the feelings when they go to a camp for the first time… I am here and now what? Almost always you can look back at those experiences and recount numerous lessons learned.
Camp is guaranteed to provide experiences where everyday life lessons will be reflected on for a lifetime. Many lessons are experienced and ingrained in the minds of the camper while at camp but often times, years later, the ideas, experiences and memories provide valuable lessons for living a completed life. Particularly in a faith focused camp, the lasting spiritual and emotional impact can be a real defining moment in the life of a young person.
If you are considering sending your child to camp or as a family you are considering a family camp experience, here are a few lessons you can’t put a price tag on:
- Faith-Defining Moments – Camps who share God’s Word publicly and provide opportunities for small group and individual study will teach the camper the importance of daily quiet-time with God and corporate worship with intentional focus on eternal impact.
- Fun – Too often than not, life can be taken too seriously. Camp is fun and reminds the camper daily that life can be fun when done in a God honoring way! Good fun and laughter will do anyone good!
- Mentorship – Every person is a composite of the people who have influenced them. Camp is a great place for positive and encouraging influence in a spiritual manner and environment.
- Trust – In a world eroded of trust, camp experiences such as on a ropes course, team challenge and many other opportunities will produce trust in one another and in friendships and leadership.
- Leadership – Learning to lead a group in cabin activities, outdoor activities and many other types of activities, campers learn the responsibility of leading others and self.
- Courage – Camp will always stretch you. The first night away from family or trying something new, the camper will learn to be courageous to try new things.
- Friendships – Surrounded by cabin mates and staff, the camper will learn to build new friendships in a safe environment focused on faith.
- Relaxation – In a culture where business is considered success, camp teaches the importance of getting away for a time of relaxation and quietness.
- Self-awareness – The experience of camp can be stretching and rewarding and often times, the camper will be made aware of strengths and weaknesses and how God has built them. What is great about camp is that the staff and program is designed to help them work through all of this and equip them for the future!
- Acceptance – Everyone wants to be accepted and loved. Camp focused on faith will exhibit the love of God and campers will learn the power of God’s love in their life and how they can love others.
- Teamwork – Group activities, sport events and cabin events supply plenty of opportunities to work as a team and understand there is no “I” in team.
Camp provides the camper with opportunities that often are only found and experienced in a camp atmosphere. Climbing a climbing tower, boating for the first time, spending quality time with another person for the purpose of mentoring, exploring in the great outdoors, spending time in God’s Word and many more experiences will all teach lessons far greater than meets the eye. These experiences will provide lessons the camper will reflect on for decades to come. Camp is an incubator for growth, spiritual maturity, self-development and commitment. Camp provides an incredible environment and intentional spiritual focus in a short period of time for a life-long, life-changing experience that no one should ever miss out on.
What lessons have you taken with you in life from camp?
Here are some great posts – just looking out for you! I really enjoyed reading or watching these posts this past week!
Patience, Persistence, and Progression, Not Perfection – by Derwin L. Gray
Video – Prayer actually changes things! – by Pete Wilson
5 Signs of a good client agency relationship – by The A Group
By now you have noticed the name of my blog, it is what I often sign my letters off with and it is an action I try to live by – “serving those who serve”. I don’t always get it right, in fact often I have to adjust my attitude or actions to remind myself of it. I get the awesome joy of serving/leading a great team here at Word of Life
, and everyday I have the opportunity to serve them, or when I don’t get it right make it seem like they are serving me… (that is another blog post sometime). Over the years I have been the recipient of servant leadership, seen servant leadership exampled and personally I have been given the opportunity to learn and grow in this area myself and I am continually reminded how much more I need to grow. Over the next couple of months I plan to share some of the lessons learned and practical ways to apply them concerning serving others.
First up, Prayer! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray without ceasing,” Yes, you can serve your team, in fact you are missing out if you are not, by praying for and with your team. We are reminded to be praying all the time, without ceasing. I am learning everyday the importance of praying for and with my team. Praying for and together builds our relationship with Jesus closer which in return grows our personal and professional relationship closer together. The more we grow together in Christ through prayer, the closer we are! Charles Finney says it best, “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.” For those reading this that do not work in a place that you can pray together, or maybe your co-worker is not a Jesus follower and will not pray. I assure you, if you will take time often and daily to pray for your co-worker you will find that Jesus will give you a deeper love and appreciate for that person!
With that in mind, here are some practical ways we can pray without ceasing for our team/co-workers.
- Daily Prayer Time – Start a prayer journal with prayer requests that are personal and professional. I use the Word of Life Daily Quiet Time to keep track of prayer requests.
- Meetings – Always start every meeting by praying with and for them.
- Email – Pray through the names of people that have emailed you, for some they will get prayed for often:)
- Hallway – How many times do we talk or pass someone in the hallway – when walking we can take time to pray for them… no you don’t have to close your eyes to pray – in fact I advise keeping them open when trying this practical way.
- Driving – Instead of listen to music, or news radio or talking on the phone while driving to and from work – use that time to pray for your team and the interactions you will have together. Once again – for the safety of all – keep your eyes open:) HAHA
- Come in early or stay late and pray for those you work with. Pray through the phone list, or even office spaces for those you serve with.
- Phone Calls/Text Messages – Pray before you answer the phone or read the text, that you will respond in a God honoring way.
What are some practical ways you are serving your team/co-workers by praying for them?
Tonight the Gospel will go to thousands of students! Here is the schedule! #reverb #wolreverb #lifechange http://ow.ly/DYr6H
Everyday I am pulled into or schedule multiple meetings, what seems like an endless amount of answering and returning phone calls, email and formal written correspondence and hallways conversations. One might think that is nearly impossible to get any “work done”, maybe we will talk about that another time, but there is truly work to be done. However in each of those encounters I always want to make sure I am asking the right questions and getting “work done”.
Okay, so now you are probably thinking, what questions do I ask when meeting with people? Maybe some of the following questions, What project are you working on today?, How can I help you accomplish your goals? How is your budget doing? How is your team functioning? How are you doing on your deadlines? etc… all of these are good questions, but I would submit the following should be of focus!
Take time to Be:
- Be Personal
- Take the time to ask how the person is doing? Not just to ask it, but mean it! You all know what I mean by this… don’t be fake!
- Ask about their family, hopefully you know them well enough to ask specific questions? (may not always apply, but when it does take the time)
- Connect with them concerning life events happening in their world!
- Ask about their spiritual life, how are they doing at church, family ministry and personally.
- Be Aware
- Remember the conversation is not about you, do not talk about you and your areas of struggle, stay focused on listening to them. Proverbs 18:13
- Remember they maybe busy, but do take the time if appropriate. Hopefully you have a good understanding of your relationship with the person and know how they operate. Trust me, it will mean the world to them if you take the time to show interest in them.
Everyday we have an opportunity to encourage and build-up those that we come in contact with, but if we do not take the time to interact personally with them, and truly show that we care, then we are missing the real “work”! I know we all have a ton to do each day and our projects and tasks can become overwhelming, but if we really want to see accomplishments in our lives and relationships start by asking the right questions. Focus on the relationship and developing it and not just the task or project at hand! We all have had those encounters where the person only views you as a work machine and doe not really care how you are doing? Simply put, do not do the same to others… take the time to be personal and build relationships!
When interacting with people, what questions do you like to ask?
Today I posted about the fact that I had parent/teacher conferences at our children’s school… to protect the innocent I will not mention which child or any teachers:) Besides this is not about them, but me and what I have learned.
I am always impressed with the teachers and how tactful and professional they are, so this is not about the people but the process and some simple things I have learned as a Dad. Maybe these will help you when you have your next P/T conference.
- Be willing to listen and evaluate what is said and not just defend your child(at times you might need to, but most of the time not). James 1:19/Proverbs 26:4
o Our children are not perfect, in fact far from it… so they will make mistakes
o Listen to what the teacher is saying, they are with our children more than we realize.
o Give the teacher the benefit of the doubt; they want to see our children succeed!
- Be willing to admit that you might just be part of the problem! Proverbs 26:12
o When they are sharing, do you hear a description of yourself?
o Are our children only modeling what they see and hear at home?
o Learn from the process, take notes and see what areas you need to improve in so you can better help your child.
o Understand what areas they are struggling with in school and more than likely there is a pattern at home.
o You will never take anyone somewhere you have not been yourself, so… step and learn from it so our children do not have to learn the hard way. Of course on this matter I am speaking from experience!
Children are a blessing from the Lord, at the end of the day it the responsibility of Dad and Mom to be sure their children are learning… but they will never be challenged to grow and learn if we are not doing the same.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about what do I love to do, what has Jesus wired me to do? In fact I was challenged to review my life purpose statement… in case you are wondering what it is, here you go.”To serve others by equipping and empowering them for greater service and outreach! “
One of the greatest temptations for those that love to serve, trust me I know is… pride… or as my blog title says, anyone watching? I find myself often looking around to see if anyone is watching, or waiting for someone to offer up a compliment? Looking to promote myself.
Think about Proverbs 30:32 “If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.”
Simply put, the next time you or I want to build up ourselves… think of this verse and if you must put your hand on your mouth…. literally!
Serve one another, but do it in love expecting nothing… nothing includes someone recognizing you!
Do you struggle with being humble? What do you do to remind yourself that it is not about you?
At the end of the day, if we are honest we all hate asking for help (well maybe not everyone) when we are unable to make something happen on our own. That has been the case with me here on this WordPress site I have been trying to figure out how to link the site to my host provider. Finally after fighting for awhile a friend sent me a message on Facebook… and within in minutes I was all set up… I am still waiting for it to propagate but we are on the right path…
Here is the deal, I was to proud to ask for help, or for that matter even willing to admit that I needed help! Once he sent me the links, I was able to get it set up…
Here is what I learned from this little process…
1. Be willing to admit you do not have all the answers – there is no way for any one person to know everything. Only Jesus did and can do that!
2. Realize that while you are spinning your wheels… you are wasting time and not being productive.
3. You might be stealing someone else joy by not allowing them to help you out.
Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t apply hard work to figure accomplish projects… but there is no way I am going to be a pro at everything… or maybe for that matter a pro at anything:)
Do you find yourself so prideful that you do not think you need help at times? I am also reminded that these same thoughts are so very true concerning my walk with Christ… I have all the answers for everyday life… only when I hit a crisis do I ask for His help! Pride can so easily take over every area of our lives! This verse means a ton to me… 1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world.
Have you ever had someone that you work for that it appeared and was demonstrated that the only thing that matter was production and their agenda? Always looking for more ways to get work out of you, never pleased with the outcomes or progress? If I were to guess, if fact I believe it is safe to assume, you do not like being treated this way, nor do you respect the person treating you this way. I would also imagine if you are reading this, you report to someone, probably have someone reporting to you, and at some point need the services of someone else to help you succeed. If all of this is true, I would also guess that you would not want this to be a characteristic or testimony of your leadership, and relationship style . In fact, it would be horrible if you did want it to be, so the question then is, “How do we break the cycle”? Here are just a few things I have been working on practicing, this is not the end all of ideas, but just a few that have been helpful to me. In future posts we will explore some more!
- Take the time to understand what you are requesting
- Take the time to understand what they perceive to be challenges and roadblocks
- Take the time to listen to their ideas and solutions
- Take the time to hear everything out before you jump in and offer your advice, or so called expertise.
- Some questions I have found effective to help in these areas!
- How can I help you with this project?
- What resources do you need?
- Do you have any reservations or concerns about the project?
- Are there any decisions that I need to make that are holding you up?
- Do you have cooperation with other departments, do you need me to help with the coordination?
- Would you like to add any ideas or creative solutions?
- Some Statements that most everyone appreciates hearing before, during and after projects!
- I trust you and appreciate your leadership.
- I support you in this process.
- You have my full support.
- You are making a difference in our organization.
- You are important to the team
- God is really being honored by your service!
- Thank you!
As stated above, there could be so much more said or not said about this topic but I wanted to share some thoughts that have been on my mind of late! Everyday you and I have the opportunity to serve people, and if you look at my tag line on my Blog header it states… Serving those who Serve… I have the privilege of serving ministry leaders everyday, and department leaders everyday. I never want to fall into a pattern of just being concerned about the project or task completion that I lose, frustrate, discourage or make mad those whom I am called to serve. If am I consumed with serving them, the outcome will be they will serve the Lord and organization all the more as they know they are being served and cared for.
What other questions or statements might you add to the list above!
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