Brian Frick is the Associate for Camp and Conferences Ministries with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He has been involved in camp and conference ministry since high school. For the past ten years, Brian has served as program director of Johnsonburg Center in New Jersey, Westminster Woods in California, and Heartland Center in Missouri.
Camp and conference ministry compliments and partners with other ministry aspects of our church to foster faith development and reflection. As our communities and our church changes, our ministries need to grow and adapt with creative and emergent programming and leadership to meet new realities.
These blogs entries, though varied, are intended to spur thought and conversation around the opportunities and challenges before us.
I was able to experience the vast depth of talented young adults we have in our ministry this past week when I spent a weekend sailing. The young man who sailed us around in his yacht was so talented and exuberant, it was inspiring.
This young man served as the assistant director of a camp for several years and his talents in graphic arts and computing have really developed. When it became obvious the camp was moving towards a program director, he was able to re-work his relationship with the camp and work off site less hours and complete many of the same support functions he did before for less hours of work.
What a great way to empower our young adults and let them use the gifts they have to support the ministry they love. He is able to design and support the webpage, the brochures, and assist with the registration software among other tasks. He finds the work fulfilling and it has led him to offer his skills in a contract relationship for local congregations.
Here is a great example of how exposure to your ministries along with their training and passion helps young adults find a vocational calling where their Christian faith can find expression.
What talents do your summer and post summer staff have? How are you finding ways to support them and offer opportunities for they to continue to support the ministry that transformed their lives and faith? What have you always wanted to do but never had the time to – is there a summer or post summer staff member with matching skills?
I think it would take time and focus to identify, train and compensate these staff resources, but I’m confident that the return you get would enable your ministry to grow in ways you can not currently. And as importantly, the young adult will find a purpose for their passion that was fostered through the camping experience.