Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord… Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. ” Romans 12:9-11, 13
I love our church body. We began attending Pointway Church in Baxter almost 4 years ago. The first Sunday we attended I felt like I had come home. There was never any question… this is the church assembly God was drawing us to serve alongside. The messages are Biblically solid, the worship is heart felt, and the leadership is diligent in seeking God’s direction for our congregation, but what is it that keeps a family together?
Love… when the heart strings are wrapped around one another with genuine commitment, when they strive to “outdo one another in showing honor” (not just that fuzzy feeling you get for someone you like, but the kind of concern that gets involved to meet another person’s needs), people are tied to one another.
Our family has been serving in camp ministry for 18 years. Our oldest daughter Angel was 10 months old when we pulled in to our camp internship at Camp Forest Springs in Westboro, Wisconsin. Camp ministry is a service oriented career. Who gets to serve God and others while earning a living? This is a great gig, but the hours are long. The summers are not your own. You work when other people are off and you’re off when other people are busy. Families sacrifice for the camp professional to serve. Camp wives are referred to as Camp “Widows” in the summer. Not many people can relate. Sometimes it’s lonely, but it is also very rewarding.
We’ve served at 3 camps and attended several churches over the past 18 years. Our family travels a lot of Sundays, February through June, sharing camp’s ministry with supporting churches. It’s great to have the privilege of connecting with so many church families and sharing in their joys and triumphs from year to year. But when we’re on the road, we’re not at our home church. We miss out on the common experiences. And summers, Sundays are the first day of camps. Staff leave church as soon as it ends, hopefully getting a good meal and getting to work to welcome campers to what we hope will be a life changing week of spiritual growth… and for many it is their introduction to a God who loves them and wants to have a relationship with them. This is our calling. This is our resolve.
You know the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? This has always been the way our relationship with our home church has felt. When we’re there every week, we start to feel like we belong, and the rest of the time it’s, “See ya when we see ya.”
But this church body is different. Our young adult summer staff have joined us at Pointway Sunday morning services for several years now. Some of the teens in the congregation attend camp as campers and participate many weeks in our DIT Program (Disciples in Training). We actually met our pastor because he stayed at camp when he first moved to our area and needed a landing pad while finding housing. His wife was our cook the next summer. A lot of these people get camp life. And the heart strings? They are tightening.
This year our church is doing something amazing. Instead of all the staff racing out directly after services, one of our ladies has organized members to provide a meal after church. No dashing. No disconnect. The church body breaks bread together… or eats taco bar together (as in these pictures ), and fellowships.
There is hospitality.
There is goodness.
There is brotherly love.
I can’t tell you how full this makes my heart. I so deeply appreciate the way this Body is showing zeal in contributing to the needs of the saints. Our summer staff’s needs. Our family’s needs. My need… for fellowship, and for the need to be connected to my church family during the most demanding season of the year. In Romans 9, Paul says these are marks of true Christians.
Pointway Church Family, thank you!!