a funny thing happens when you try to teach teenagers a thing or two

5 years ago

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah Psalm 32:7 NIV

So, here's the story.... about camp....

We (staff) are supposed to be teaching them (teenagers) a thing or two about fine arts and about God. Our theme this year, as I've mentioned a time or two, was "Be Still" and the thought behind it was that these kids are so 'plugged in' and so connected to everything that we had to take drastic measures to get them to unplug and listen for the still, small voice of God.

Our goal was to have the kids take several scheduled breaks throughout each day. During these breaks, they were to go to their 'hiding place' which was a quiet spot somewhere on the camp that they picked the very first day. In silence, they were to go to this place and pray, read their bible, and listen.

Want to know what they heard?


Yep, that's right. They heard staff goofing off, laughing, talking, playing instruments, working.

One of the girls looked at me and said, "Really?"


In that moment, we realized what a huge mistake we made. We can tell our kids to do anything, but if all we do is tell them to do it and not lead by example, we're just wasting everyone's time. If finding a hiding place and devoting 15 minutes to quiet prayer time isn't important enough for staff, why in the world would our kids think it's important?

The kids taught me more in one word and a glance than I could ever teach them in a week.

From that moment on, staff stopped what we were doing and joined the kids each prayer time. The kids took it more seriously, the adults took it more seriously and, as it should be, God won the day.

Show me, don't tell me. This is what I learned.

Father God, thank you for sending me to camp. Thank you for giving one girl enough boldness to call us out. Thank you for the group you gave us this year, they were exactly what we needed; but you knew that already. Remind us, dear Lord, to always find our hiding place, our quiet place where we can unplug and find you.



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