When I was approached to write a personal reflection on church camp, I readily agreed. After all, how tough can that be? A week later, I realised that reflection takes more than a quick “Yes” – because ‘reflecting’ is never easy. I never thought that when I said yes, I would be disconnected from my devices and sitting with a pen and paper to literally “write” the article, but that was exactly what I ended up doing!

Looking back, that same theory applied to church camp for me. This was my first church camp in many years, and it gave me the opportunity to truly ‘disconnect’ to ‘reconnect’ with God. This is not to say that church camp was ‘quiet’ all the time (we can be noisily fun at times too!), but I believe many would agree that some of the best moments in church camp were the “offline” moments – moments where we had morning devotions, sermons, games, or just fellowship over the multiple meals. We were given the opportunity to reconnect back with God, with church, and with the community. 

While disconnecting can mean tuning out from the outside world, my experience at church camp also made me realise that there was another form of disconnecting that was at move. Throughout church camp, there was a growing awareness within me for the need to ‘disconnect’ with what I was “comfortable” with and reassess my understanding of the “things I have always known.” Pastor Henson’s sharing highlighted the importance of worshipping with the right purpose, which I understood as worshipping with the right heart and the right intention. Three statements from the sharing stuck with me: (1) Kingdom People worship with Kingdom Purpose, (2) Worship of God must align with the Will of God, and (3) Passionate Worship leads to Practical Worship. “Whose Kingdom is it?” Pastor Henson asked. “God’s Kingdom,” we said. I realised in that moment that while it may be easy to declare that it’s God’s Kingdom, acting on it does not come so easily. It’s hard to give up the things we are comfortable with. However, it’s a decision we must make – acknowledging that it’s God’s Kingdom means as Kingdom People, we are His People, and worshiping Kingdom Purpose means we are called to worship His Purpose and to be aligned to His Will for us. We must understand the purpose before we can truly worship God. Worship involves submission, surrender, and sacrifice. There is a need to trust in the LORD and let him take the wheel. This ties in to one of my favourite verses, Matthew 6:21, that reminds us that our treasures should lie with God, lest our hearts and desires not be aligned with Him.

Nevertheless, I won’t deny that in the world we live in, it’s a constant struggle to not try to arm wrestle God to our will. However, when we truly submit and surrender to God (no matter our fears) by opening the doors of our heart, I envision it like Carissa’s drawing on the last night of church camp – the life-giving water of God will just flow in and overflow our hearts. Church camp may have ended on Day 3, but I believe the ‘awakenings’ (and fun!) that we had will remain with us as we once again ‘reconnect’ back to the world.

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