Words are powerful (I remember so vividly a scornful comment from my Year 7 class teacher delivered 40 years ago.) Daily we communicate words of life (blessings) or words that kill (curses) to others and ourselves. AND, words are cheap. They can’t stand alone – they scream hypocrisy when inconsistent with our actions. When they match, we see integrity.
At my ministry workplace, Scripture Union (SU), we hold to the truth that real life transformation ONLY comes from Jesus, so we look for opportunities to ‘speak’ his gospel with our words AND actions. SU people are God’s people seeking to lovingly serve others – particularly youth, children and their families – then watching as the Holy Spirit gives people faith in the power of God’s Rescue for them through Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.
We are confident in God and in his love, and he often chooses to reach people through SU – whether on camps, at holiday (beach) missions or in schools. However, hoping that’s true isn’t enough; we need to ask participants in SU programs what the impact has been for them.
Malcolm asked me to share some stats from camper feedback on SU 2018 holiday camps:
- 104 campers were interested in knowing more about Jesus;
- 100 wanted to connect with a church or youth group;
- 32 decided to follow Jesus;
- ·53 wanted a Bible (and probably didn’t already have one).
83% of campers on SU programs also claim the camp experience moved them either closer or significantly closer to God. Now that is why we do camps! Real fruit.
To personalise it, a mum of a 15-year-old girl on CHIC camp in April wrote me this:
“Our words could never express the kindness and true love that has been shown to M by you, Jamie and Holly. I know M has felt the immense prayer and unconditional love over her life.”
I share this with you not to blow my, SU’s or anyone else’s trumpet, but to blow GOD’S trumpet! (and not in a Revelation kind of way). It is to HIM we owe all thanks and praise and glory. His goodness and power have given us the most precious treasure to share.
I do want to mention some in our church family who have been pivotal SU workers and volunteers in years past. These people don’t look for honour and I usually only know about their SU work through others: Liz and Trevor Parry, Pam Kerruish, Jan Morgan, Rosalie and Lynn Wadley, Graham and Alison Dowling, Bevan and Tess Hill, John and Ellie Macpherson, as well as others I have forgotten or not yet heard about. Current SU staff and volunteers continue the gospel work of those who went before them, right back to our beginnings in 1867 – back to the first disciples, who passed on to us the words and the ways of life from the Living Word himself, Jesus. True fruit from the true Vine. Praise him from everlasting to everlasting!