Investing in #nextgen

This past week was Georgia Baptist Music Camp (Surge 150) at the GA Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa. Students from all over Georgia had a blast this week singing, playing instruments, learning new technology, playing in the lake and ballfields, and learning more about Jesus. This year, I had ten of our students from Ivy Creek; there are some in each of the three diferent age camps. Many of these students have been coming to camp for several years and they love the time of musical training, fellowship, and spiritual growth over these 6 days of camp.

While you expect the camp to include musical training, it’s the relationships built through the week that also make a significant impact on the students. For instance, I was speaking with some of the other faculty and sponsors about the students in their “family groups.” These family groups meet at the end of the day for devotion, prayer, and just to talk. One group leader told me of a special time talking with a student who is struggling in many areas, especially their family situation. This student needed an adult to speak and pray with that wasn’t in their normal sphere of influence. The stories could go on and on. The neatest part? This leader is probably 60 years older than the student and yet the student wanted to seek wise counsel. The leader spoke of how encouraging it was to invest in our next generations…what an encouragement.

During the week, I caught up with one young man that was in my family group three years ago. He is a very soft spoken guy; it took several minutes of asking questions for me to get him to have a conversation with me. He spent most of his time looking down at his food. Finally, when I got him talking about music, and how he can use his gifts for the Lord, he lit up like a Christmas tree and I saw him come alive. He just needed someone to talk with and take some time to notice him.

Perhaps my favorite part of the week was having some conversations with students who sense the call the ministry. I am thankful these students are responding to the call to build the Kingdom of God. I remember my own call at the age of 13. I was sure God was calling me, but had so many questions. I know God placed strategic leaders in my life to affirm that call and spur me on. And now, what a humble privilege to be a small part in investing in this next generation. May we be faithful to invest in the coming days.

I challenge all music leaders to find ways to get your students to camps and events such as Surge 150, because there will be others in your ministries God is calling. How will you invest in those lives?

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