As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to be healthy and happy. We want them to be successful. But at what cost? And with what definition of “success”?
Dominating the headlines right now is the sad discovery of something many have long suspected. Rich and famous parents bribing and cheating their children’s acceptance into elite colleges. This is a sad situation on so many levels, and it clearly shows the moral compass of our culture. While the desire to provide for our children is a God-given instinct, God specifically commands parents to train up their children after His ways, and to model a Biblical lifestyle of integrity before them.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
As president of the Bible Institute, one of the highlights of my calendar is opening day. I love greeting the new students as they arrive, but I also love seeing the pride (and a little nervousness) on the faces of parents as they drop off their young adults to college. A lot of mixed emotions and nostalgia, but there is also a feeling of confidence. That during this critical, foundational time in their lives, their sons and daughters are going to be grounded in the Word of God and grounded in the identity that their Creator has designed in them.
Even better is that for many of these students, this isn’t their first time with us. I recognize many faces because they have already been serving with us. You see, each summer, 450 high school students converge on our New York and Florida campuses for a program called Camp Crew, a summer long discipleship and leadership program that has demonstrated proven results. Even before their college years, these high school students have been using their summers to invest in eternity and to grow in their faith through life-on-life mentoring, hands-on service, and high-energy activities.
In Camp Crew, just like at the Bible Institute, students learn that God is integral to their whole lives. God cares about not just their “spiritual” or “ministry” moments like Bible study, prayer, rallies, evangelism, or discipleship. But He also cares about the everyday, “mundane” parts of their lives, like cleaning their dorm room, waiting tables, guarding the beachfront, teaching horsemanship, resolving conflicts, and managing their time. There are no insignificant moments with God. He is Lord over all.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
And students learn that worship is more than just music. Worship is anything we do that gives God the worth and glory He deserves. God receives glory in hard work that matters. In the laughter of godly friendship. In the enjoyment of Sabbath rest. And even in the crazy, sloppy fellowship of the Mud Pit!
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
And this Biblical Worldview extends beyond their time at the Bible Institute. As students matriculate to other colleges and into their vocations and careers, they continue to see God as the center of their lives. And they are having an impact. I am continually hearing from other college professionals that WOLBI students are always the best prepared and most active leaders and influencers on their campuses. Servant leadership is part of their DNA. God designed them for a life of influence, and Camp Crew and the Bible Institute has drawn that out. BTW – we offer amazing Word of Life Bible Institute scholarships for Junior and Seniors who do Camp Crew, your student could save up to $4,000 their first year.
What a joy to be a small part of the greater work that God is doing in the lives of young people through Word of Life!
For more information on our Camp Crew Program check it out here: CAMP CREW
Are you a parent of child who has done Camp Crew? Let us know how the program influenced your child in comments below.