I spent this last week at Camp Copus with four of our boys from church who are in the Royal Ambassadors Program. I had never been before, so I did not know what to expect, but what I learned was significant. Here are just a few things.
What I Learned at Camp
(1) We need godly men to train boys to be godly men
After attending camp all week. I noticed the heart of the RA program is for godly men to train boys to be godly men. There were many godly men at camp this last week, but more are needed. More are also needed in our churches.
While there are many godly women who participate in church activities, we need godly men who are willing to step up and train the future generation.
In short, we need godly men who are not only following the biblical mandate to train up their own children and grandchildren in the way of the Lord, but we need them to participate in our churches as well (Ephesians 5; Deut. 4:9-14).
(2) Scripture memory should be a regular diet in our churches and families
At camp they made a big push for the campers and counselors (that would be me) to obtain a power band. The way you get your power band is by memorizing and reciting the Romans Road (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10; 10:13).
As I committed these verses to memory and helped my boys do the same, I saw first hand the value and importance of memorizing God’s Word. Not only because it is God’s Word, but because, when you do so, Scripture is always there with you. No matter what situation you are facing, you can quickly recall a verse that could help you. In the case of the Romans Road, you are always able to tell others how they might be saved, since it is the plan of salvation. So may we all be spurred on to regularly memorize Scripture.
(3) You cannot talk about the gospel enough
At every service and every activity that we attended the gospel was presented. Not only was the plan of salvation presented, but how the gospel affects the way we live our everyday lives. You see the gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life. It is the A to Z. Everything stems from the gospel. Since this is true, we cannot talk about the gospel enough.
(4) Children can understand deep theological concepts
After a day of hearing different aspects of the gospel, the boys and I gathered each night for a devotional. As I led them in a devotional every night, I soon realized they were really wrestling with deep theological concepts. Even though they did not use these terms, they asked questions about God’s Fairness/Justice, God’s Love, Mercy and Grace, God’s Righteousness, Substitutionary Atonement, Heaven and Hell.
As I fielded their questions, I was both encouraged and shocked that they were thinking on such a deep level. Which leads me to believe we often forget that children can and do understand biblical concepts. As a result, we can go deep with them as long as we find a way to relate the concepts to their world.
(5) Churches need to invest in their children’s theological education
While most churches have a children’s program, these programs offer nothing more than man-centered principles for living a good life. We need to do better. We need to go deeper. We need to understand that our children can and do understand the gospel. They can and do understand theological concepts. They can and do wrestle with the same questions adults have.
As a result, we need to present these concepts to them in ways they can understand and let them wrestle with it. As well as we need to make time to allow our children to ask us tough questions. When they do, we need to have a good response for them. So then, we need not only invest in their education, but ours as well, so we can answer the tough questions. But more importantly, we need not sell our children short.
Here are a few books and a Scripture memory tool that can help you to begin training your own children:
- The Gospel Story Bible
- Big Truths for Young Hearts
- Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God
- Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families
- Fighter Verses (Scripture Memory Tool)