This is the first memorable slogan regarding camp ministry that I remember hanging onto, “It’s a ministry – not a job.” When you’re staff swabbing toilets and washing endless dishes it’s hard to remember why you’re at camp. With less than lovable camper’s endless demands, it’s easy for ministry to simply become a job.
When staff becomes focused only the task involved in their daily duties, they simply have a job to do. But when their work is focused into the lives they are reaching in camp, ministry takes place; directly or indirectly.
Paul gives to us the ministry attitude in I Thessalonians2:8&9:
So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
This is a love for people that does not come naturally. Just doing our job is so much more natural. God’s love is to be sought after. Each staff member has God’s love placed in them to grow as they mature spiritually. It’s a love that comes to understands that tasks cannot be separated from ministry but must become affectionately centered on reaching the people served.
The summer camp staff who passionately loves God, serves happily, doing any task willingly so that others might know Him regardless of the work to be done – is in the ministry.