I hope it’s no secret by now that I love discipleship.  I love when the lights go on and for the first time, people accept Jesus’ invitation to follow.  I love when people who have been saved for a long time, but who have become complacent or disengaged, begin to take discipleship seriously again.  I love when people who are already following Jesus closely discover new riches in a deepened relationship with Him.   But nothing beats watching kids become disciples.

If you want to know what Formission is at its heart, come to Kids Rock Camp.  You won’t see a formula, a gimmick, or a binder.  You will see real discipleship happening on all levels.

You’ll see My Health unfold as little disciples are encouraged by their disciple-makers to eat healthy, exercise, get lots of rest, take time to pray and read the word, and learn theology – usually by asking lots of questions.  You might be surprised how deep it gets.  This year they learned the four-fold gospel:  Jesus as Saviour, Healer, Baptizer and Coming King!

Kids Rock Camp is a place for healthy relationships to form:  Mutual Health.  There will be new friendships between kids and strengthened discipleship relationships with their kidmin leaders.  Whether shooting hoops, eating meals, having not-too-late night discussions, or getting pied in the face, even the chaperones are given a unique opportunity to grow together.

Naturally, Kids Rock is also a place where new leaders are developed.  Ministry Health grows as little leaders are given the opportunity to pray for one another, to listen to the Spirit, to grow in their giftings, and to be models for younger campers.  This year I asked my own 7-year-old what he was doing around the altar.  He responded: “I was blessing people.  Just listening to what God said and telling them.”

Big leaders are given plenty of chances to stretch and grow beyond their comfort zones as well.  And that’s not to mention the wealth of resources that ministries can bring back to their hometowns just by learning new songs, games, object lesson ideas and memory verse challenges.  This year I was privileged to be invited to do a resource session for leaders and recommend the very best Children’s Bibles, devotionals, parenting and kidmin books.

Finally, Camp is a place where our fellowship is infused with a huge boost of Missional Health.  Every year, dozens of kids accept Christ and bring the message of the gospel home to their families and friends.  Without fail, Missions goals are smashed, and our missionaries overseas are blessed with new resources.  And camp never ends without a healthy discussion on what happens next, in our communities.

So if you want to know what Formission looks like, what healthy discipleship and revitalization look like, come to camp, or ask someone who has been there.  Highest commendation goes to Julia Ball and the Provincial Childrens Ministries Lead Team on a job well done.

About Jeremy Nippard

Jeremy Nippard is the Director of Formission with the PAONL. He has been in full time ministry for 11 years and lives in Paradise, NL with his wife Cheryl and kids Christyn (9) and Carter (7). He is passionate about discipleship and loves to see leaders and churches becoming healthy and missionally engaged.