Memo to Camp Directors: Know When to Call a Time Out


To: My Camp Ministry Friends (anyone in ministry at some point in time)

Re: Busy Summer Schedule

Fr: A Friend Who Knows

Da: Start of Summer Ministry

I miss being in your shoes. It’s camp time; the time camp worker’s live for all year. Adrenaline flows through your veins. It your unsubscribed drug of choice for ministry highs. Meeting deadlines, overcoming obstacles, watching a good plan come together and then…results!

Its NBA finals time too. I know you’ve little time to pay attention, but there are 10 guys soon to be running up and down the court in controlled frenzy. They remind me of my camp staff heroes. But they have one advantage over you folks. They have a coach who knows when to call a time out. When the focus is lost, the legs are gone and a break is needed, time out is called to catch a breath.

Will you call a time out when you need it? Most of you are worn out before the first camper ever arrives. You’re tired from fixing the pool, spring cleanup and endless prep. Then staff arrives and you train them. Now you are exhausted. Who will call your time out?

It’s a mistaken notion that you must sacrifice endlessly for the sake of the cause. Noble perhaps, but it’s foolish. Yes we are to run the race and fight the good fight for our Savior. But even these terms suggest proper training which includes rest.

It’s also a mistaken notion that you are indispensable to the ministry. It belongs to God and He will carry it on. When you go down, someone will finish for you.

If God has chosen you for ministry, please recognize that He ask you to perform it in His power and His ways. This means mindlessly pushing the limits of endurance is contrary to His concept of rest.

Bring on the help you need and empower them to act in your absence during camp. In your daily schedule plan regular breaks. Absolutely maintain the integrity of you personal walk with God. Call time outs and walk away when you need the break, regardless of your self felt importance. Listen to your spouse; they usually know when you need to call that time out. Leave camp. Yes, it will still be there when you get back and you’ll manage it with a clearer head when you do.

Six years ago I failed to call a time out. Now I’m in the stands cheering you on. I treasure the opportunities to come to the locker room and do some training and give a pep talk. But, it’s not the same, I’d rather be in your shoes.

And a last thought. Call time outs for your staff. You’ll receive much more spiritual benefit than pushing them on and on.


About the Ordinary Hiker

A Christian camp director for many years, I enjoy ministry and being outdoors. I refer to God's creative wonder as the testimony of creation, a special place where God brings His word to life. Its where I like to be and where God speaks in His gentle voice in the awe of His creative work.
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4 Responses to Memo to Camp Directors: Know When to Call a Time Out

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks Coach Bill! Very good reminder!

  2. Norm says:

    Thanks Bill, I think I will change up my schedule this week. See you in a few weeks!!

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