I'm home. And camp meeting is done for another year. While last years event was always going to be hard to beat for me (though that had nothing to do with camp meeting itself!), the substance of this years version has left me filled and with hope for a brighter, good future for me as a pastor, and for my church.
Why? Read on...
I've watched sadly as my church denomination seems to be developing two political parties - urging the church to live it's beliefs in two very different ways. The tragedy for me is that the centrist often gets lost while the two sides spend as much energy denigrating the other side as they do sharing the gospel. (And I think I'm being kind there)
Forgive me... for there have been times I've joined Elijah crying out - "am I the only one?" Meaning, I've lamented and felt alone as this spectacle unravels before me. Of course, we are never alone. Nor are we in charge . . .
But at camp meeting this year, everyone seemed anxious to the be the preacher to remind us that we are saved by Jesus. Our Savior was very much front and center in this whole event, in ways I've never seen there before.
Don't get me wrong, the tents were the same, the format was the same, the burgers were the same, the schedule and routine - also exactly the same. But the tone and hope coming from everywhere was slightly different, and this difference felt completely Jesus focused, and Holy Spirit lead.
This coming year - I'll be encouraging everyone to attend.