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Spending Time Together

Posted by Paul Hill on

By Paul Hill--

During the campout of 2019, I was sitting at a table with Wayne and Paulette Williams, and Marilynn Linscheid. Someone proposed that I take the helm of the campout. The previous person had taken on other responsibilities, and announced ending any involvement. I've held numerous leadership responsibilities over the years, but not a campout. Besides, although I'd participated in church campouts for decades, this was only my second with GPBC. With my wife Myrna's blessing, I said, "Well, OK."

To me, church campouts are an important time to make new friends and deepen existing relationships. To leave it there would be selling it short. As followers of Christ, we need to be in relationships that encourage each other to grow spiritually, come alongside folks that are hurting or going through hard times, inspire one another to use our talents and gifts as a form of worship, and so on. We can only do those things after we've built trust and familiarity, and that takes spending time together.

Camping is not the be all and end all, but friendships and relationships have to start somewhere. Recreating and spending time together gives us the opportunity to make that start. From there, participating in small groups, serving alongside others in various ministries, and exercising hospitality take relationships to deeper levels.

Camping together as a church is inter-generational. I have been introduced to youth I would never have had a chance to interact with otherwise. Priceless.

For all the above reasons, I would like to see the campout become a much more important part of the GPBC culture. It would also be nice to extend the weekend for those that can take the extra time. Many are making reservations directly with Clackamas county for Thursday, arriving a day early.

This year, the campout is a sellout. Many are first-time attendees. Take the extra effort to reach out to folks you don't know. Lend assistance to those less familiar with camping. Help folks with the river float, and navigating to the potluck on Saturday. Give a hand to campsite setup and tear down.

Whether you are attending or not, please pray for the weekend. Pray for safety, pray that we would be a good witness towards those around us, and pray that relationships will be initiated and deepened across all generations.

As an aside, if someone asks you to become involved with something, please don't say no just because you've never done it before. Recognize others may see potential in you that you don't see in yourself. It may be the vehicle of development in areas God intends for even greater use. You don't have to be perfect, you never will be. Pray that it's God's desire, find others to help, rely on God for strength and wisdom, and get better with time.

See you July 30!


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