My name is Gary and I work as a children’s pastor at Irving Bible Church in Irving, TX. This summer, I was lucky enough to spend a week with 60 of our own campers and leaders at Camp KidJam. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to share with all the SGLs out there the impact I saw being made on the kids in our children’s ministry.
While at Camp KidJam, among the feelings of severe sleep depravation, I was able to recognize the connections being made between leader and child. I was reminded that the investment of an SGL in the life of a child is so important.
After driving back to home base and pairing each kid up with a parent, our team sat in the glorious quiet of the church and reminisced on our first Camp five years ago. The biggest change we’ve made over the past five years is really investing in our weekly small group leaders. Some small group leaders have been with their kids as many as 6 or 7 years. The average time our leaders have had with their groups is around 3 years. The thing that impacts me isn’t just the commitment these leaders have made over time or the vacation time they had to sacrifice to come to camp, but the impact and community that is happening in these groups. These leaders are present and are truly discipling their kids.
Here’s what some of our children’s parents were saying after camp on Facebook:
“Thank you so much to everyone who helped out at camp! Rylee has not stopped talking about all the fun she had. Because of the love you each have shown, she has come home with lifelong memories! She can’t wait to go back!”
“Thank you so much IBC Chin Min staff for investing into the life of Logan for all of these years! He loves Camp Kid Jam and I can see a change in his walk when he comes home! Thank you for loving him where he is!”
“Thank you so much IBC and all your amazing team leaders! Jake had an experience that will last a lifetime. He is so tired but can not stop talking about all the wonderful things he did while at camp! Again, thank you for all of his priceless memories that he will cherish forever!!!”
As I read through these posts, I knew the biggest life change for these kids was happening in the small circles with their SGLs. I was reminded of the legacy we are building and the fact that even though all we can see are messy games and wild dance parties, we are all part of something much bigger in the Kingdom of God.