Church Camp Again?
Pastor Thian Chye has been working with the Church Camp Committee to prepare for this year's camp! He shares with us a personal reflection on why the camp is important, and helpful for us as a church.
When the Camp Committee put forth the publicity for the church camp in January 2023, the common or popular response from members was, "Eh? Church camp again?" Dear members, it has been 4 long years since GBC last had a church camp in 2019. You may ask yourselves: Why should I sign up and attend this church camp? Aren’t all church camps supposedly the same? Indeed all church camps are similar in many ways except the theme and aspects of emphasis for a each camp.
Let me share some thoughts on why we need to attend the upcoming church camp from 28-31 May 2023 at Johor Bahru with the camp theme of “Doing Spiritual Good”
Our last camp together was in June 2019, just before the pandemic struck us in January 2020. Over the last 3 years of COVID (2020-2022), we were either prohibited to gather for worship in person and even with some intermediate respite, we were being constrained by the size of gatherings. Yet at the same time, God in His goodness and grace, continued to pour out His abundant blessings unto our church by leading people into GBC such that we experience tremendous growth in numbers. Praise the Lord! We have had over 170 members added into this local body of Christ via transfers and baptisms thus far.
With this unexpected yet encouraging growth, many or all of us do struggle to know each other even just by names. The Fellowship Hall is always packed with members including visitors. Have you ever stood at the corner of the fellowship hall and felt overwhelmed by the crowd or have you experienced any awkward encounters in the lift on Sundays? You struggle to greet each other by name and perhaps the person that you perceived as a “newcomer or visitor” has been worshiping with us for a couple of months and they even may have already been a member of GBC! Sometimes, you just feel overwhelmed by these huge “new additions”.
GBC started the year 2023’s sermons with the theme of “Body Building.” We focused on 1 Corinthians 12-15, and learned many lessons on how we can and should use our God given spiritual gifts to build up one another for His Glory. Before we can intentionally do so, we need to build deep and meaningful relationships with one another. And church camp is one of the best ways we can get to do it. I always tell people that I can only manage to get to know one or two people on the Lord’s Day each week. Whereas in a camp setting, we potentially can get to know 300+ people within 3 days!
Church Camp is an opportune time for us to get to know each other on a general level in big groups and more personal level in smaller group settings and I would encourage us to strive to do so.This is made possible through the programs and activities that the camp committee had carefully and diligently planned out for us since last October 2022. Programs such as “Side by Side” and One to One Bible Reading and not forgetting topics such as Parenting, Ageing and Hospitality to equip us to do spiritual good to one another in the body of Christ!
Lastly, we can use the camp as a time set aside for personal reflection. We all come from different walks of life, often swamped by the busyness of life and demands of work and family and even ministry. When was the last time you reflected on what the Lord has been doing in your life and prayed over and sought His plan for you in your next season of life? We often pass through each day with a blink of an eye without taking stock of our life with the Lord. Let us cultivate this good spiritual discipline of personal reflection with the Lord, trusting and seeking His Will for GBC and for our lives.
Beloved, may I urge you to set aside 3 days of your time to join fellow members to participate in the 3Rs -- Refresh, Recharge and Rest in the Lord. By doing so, we have started doing spiritual good to this body of Christ! You may register here or at the registration tables at Level 3 after Sunday Service! Do help the camp committee by registering for the camp in the coming days as they need to commit some logistics requirements especially the coach services. Praying that you will make every effort to join us in this church camp. My desire is to see every reader there!
May this affirmation given by Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome be found in the life of GBC: “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14). May this verse exhort us as we come together as a church to learn how to do spiritual good to one another!
More details about church camp, including the registration form can be found here.
If you, or someone you know has issues with the cost of the camp fees, feel free to approach Thian Chye (email@example.com) or Mike Yeo from the Camp Committee, or anyone at the registration booth in the Fellowship Hall on Sundays. This is a way we can serve and allow ourselves to be served by others in the church.
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