A Summer of Worship and Service at Impact Mission Camps
Attendees at camp enjoyed a return to worship, service, and connection
For years, Impact Mission camps have been built around three things: worship, discipleship, and service. The experience begins before camp with devotional resources designed to help students explore their call, their sense of mission, and their worldview. They spend a week making repairs to owner-occupied homes, ensuring they will be safe, warm, and dry, but they also reflect on how the work they do for a week can lead to a lifestyle of mission. And worship is the element that helps them connect what they do during the week with what they will do to answer God’s call once they return home.
This year was both the first time since 2019 that camp had returned to (almost) normal and the third year that COVID limited full participation. There were groups that chose not to return out of caution, and there were groups who couldn’t get enough participants as summer 2022 was for many families a time of taking previously delayed vacations. But for the 300+ participants who did come, what really stood out was the opportunity to worship together as we served.
Impact camps were at six different sites this year, and we had worship in six different environments. We worshiped God in college student center, two churches, a high school auditorium, a college auditorium, a middle school cafetorium, and outside under a tent after a block party. But worship didn’t begin with the opening litany or end with the final song – the entire summer was full of worship experiences. We worshiped on the jobsite as groups shared devotion times together, or spent time with their homeowner, or even just drove nails. We worshiped in our makerspace as we made gifts for homeowners and campers got to express their own creativity. Worship happened at 4:30 each morning as disaster response volunteers got up to prepare breakfast for our participants – and even trained participants to serve in disaster response so they can respond when a future storm strikes. Worship happened in vehicles as groups traveled to their site, to their free-day destinations, and home to their true mission field.
During the block party, one of our camp pastors, Cadance Tyler, shared about a friend who wanted to take communion while staying at a cabin in the mountains but didn’t have access to the usual elements. After some searching, she found a sleeve of saltines and Tropicana grape juice, so those were the elements for her in that moment. What mattered the most wasn’t the elements; it was the experience of remembrance. At its core, that’s what Impact 2022 was – a chance to connect to one another through worship – whether worship through song, prayer, or service. Each night we began our service with a litany. May those words serve as a reminder that God has called us to connect to one another, and that we can worship God anywhere that we are connected to one another.
We gather together as people created by God to work for God’s kingdom in this world.
We give thanks to God for calling us
Because God is a god who is love
God has created us to Love
Because Christ came not to be served but to serve
God has created us to Serve
Because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the holy spirit
God has created us to Grow
Because together we are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it
God has created us to Connect
Connect with our family
Connect with our community
Connect with our world
Thanks be to God.
Glenn Maddox is BGAV National Missions Director.