Running a Christian camping ministry is more complex than running a major multi-national corporation.
What? Being the director of Camp Stick-in-the-Mud is a bigger challenge than running Multi-mega Corporation? No. Not exactly. Not more challenging – just more complex.
Christian camping is complex because it requires success in three different arenas and failure in any one of these means failure in all.
To succeed, a Christian camp must: 1) Thrive as a ministry that impacts lives. 2) Pay its bills and operate effectively. And 3) live in community, expressing the values of Christ. To succeed in the for-profit world, a business needs only have a black number in the bottom right corner of its Profit and Loss report.
In Acts 6:1-7 we find these three critical elements of Christian camping on display in the early church. 1) Ministry is happening: evangelism, prayer, Bible study, service to the poor, and leadership development are all in play. 2) Business practices are evident: priority setting, delegation, staff recruiting, limited resource allocation, and empowerment are evident in these verses. 3) And community is in play as well: self-serving decisions, potential divisions, cultural insensitivity, meetings, collaboration, and unity manifest themselves.
Camps that pay their bills and enjoy a staff that gets along well with one other yet drifts away from its mission of sharing the gospel and serving guests, has lost its effectiveness and fails.
Camps that stay on mission sharing Christ’s love and message and enjoy healthy community can be gone next summer if they do not pay their bills and meet their obligations.
Camps that focus on effective ministry and that operate in a responsible manner but live with tension and divisions, unethical and immoral behavior and gossip undercut the authenticity of what they profess.
Over the next three weeks we will explore Acts 6:1-7 and discover insights for success in the three critical arenas of Ministry, Business and Community.