Wild Week

How was your week?

Ours included a seedy hotel, taxidermied wildlife, squid-throwing, mosquito bites, baseball bats and watermelons, body humor, zip-lines, climbing walls, a slip-n-slide slingshot, and the presidential election for the Mythical Creatures Association.

The Rodlis went to Wild Week Camp!

Jesse was the speaker, and the rest of us were invited to come along. Our 11-year-old participated as a camper, while the seven-year-old and I ran amok on the campground, basically doing whatever we wanted.

Aside from being a whole lot of fun, the camp is designed to provide a safe environment for both churched and non-churched teens to explore major life questions and the fundamentals of the Christian faith.  Because of this, the speaking portions of the “club” sessions are evangelism / discipleship oriented. And I have to say, Jesse did a fantastic job, as usual.

Listening to him talk the kids through the process of learning about God through creation and reality, wrestling with the problem of sin and evil, reckoning with our need to seek God, rejoicing in his heart for us, and weighing what it means to forsake the world and follow Christ, I realized how far I’ve moved away from a view that evangelism and discipleship are separate and distinct from one another.

The model I was initiated into as a new Christian was a two-step evangelism/conversion-followed-by-discipleship model. But, if a person doesn’t have a good understanding of the significance and the cost of a decision to live for Jesus, are they really “converted” in the first place?

Doesn’t discipleship have to occur in order to bring a person to a place where they have a grasp of the gospel and are ready to make a commitment to God? And shouldn’t discipleship continue unbroken from that point forward?

I see it as more of a single process with milestones along the way, not isolated events that happen to belong to the same faith system.

Any thoughts?

While you think about, here are some pictures of our week:

S on the obstacle course.
S on the obstacle course.
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Pretty little river on the campground. S and I spent a lot of time here.
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Kid’s getting worried while watching a rigged game that made it appear Jesse was going to get his head accidentally bashed in by a camper with a baseball bat. Fortunately, Jesse’s head was switched out with a watermelon at the last minute, filling the campers first with horror, then with relief as he emerged from under his hiding place, casually munching on a piece of the smashed watermelon. Notice how our son in the back row is delighted, not worried at all.
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S doing a little fishing.
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S on the zip-line.
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S on the climbing wall.
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S on the climbing wall.
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M on the climbing wall.
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M on the climbing wall.
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S on the sling shot slip n slide.
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M in a four-legged race.
The open air pavilion, where "club" happened.
The open air pavilion, where “club” happened.

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2 thoughts on “Wild Week”

  1. Sounds great. And your hubby is amazing to hold all that together for the kids.
    I think you are right. There are different ways of putting what you are saying. I go with the idea that there are different ‘conversions’. They may happen at different times and certainly in different order, or they may happen together. Some convert to Christ as saviour and only later as Lord. Some convert to the church, the people of God, and find there place there before finding Jesus –John Wesley for one. Others are converted to the Christ-in-the-world and through their service discover Jesus as Lord.
    You might use a different word from ‘conversion’ but it is all part of our one journey into Christ. Does that make sense?

    1. It certainly makes sense, and I agree that people learn to be followers of Christ at all different places in the usual evangelical way of thinking of a “Christian walk”, but my point here is that I don’t think this is ideal. As long as we are being purposeful about sharing the gospel (by which I mean not just the cross, but all the good news about the kingdom of God, redemption, restoration, our participation in it, and the trading in of worldly comfort for the hope of eternity), we ought to endeavor to share it truthfully, expansively, and with a proper amount of weightiness whenever possible. Though folks find Jesus as savior and lord (one concept according to Jesus), after some other “conversion”, that essentially means they must repent and find the real Christ all over again. It would be better to begin discipleship before conversion, giving a seeker an honest chance to sincerely desire and commit to a life with Jesus and all that that entails. The practice of selling the sellable parts of a Biblical faith, and worrying about obedience later is simply not producing genuine disciples of Jesus.

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