Our Summer Camp season will be over in just a few short days. For anyone who works in camp ministry this is the greatest sign—aside from our ability to use and read a calendar, that a new school year is on the horizon. During the summer we focus our time and effort on showing our campers who Jesus Christ is with hopes that they will start/strengthen their relationship with Him. Once this happens we pray that God will equip them with the proper tools to be a light in their families, communities, and especially their schools.
While visiting and enjoying fellowship with the youth at Sharon Baptist Church last Wednesday I heard a great message about the mentality we should hope all students have while going back to school. Nick Cancemi, the youth pastor, used a piece of scripture from Matthew 16 to challenge his students on how they should view Jesus Christ. In verses 13-20 Jesus is on the way to Caesarea Philippi with the disciples and He asks them “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (verse 13). Their response is pretty flattering. They say that some people claim He is: John the Baptist who was a great preacher, Elijah who was a great prophet, and Jeremiah or one of the other prophets who were chosen messengers of God’s truth. It would be a great compliment for anyone to say that about us, but Jesus was asking about Himself. Jesus follows up this response by asking the disciples “who do you say that I am?” (verse15). Peter responds with “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (verse 16).
While at school this year students will cross paths with people that have very different views on who Christ is, and it is the responsibility of students who know the truth to help others learn it. That truth is that although Christ has the characteristics of a great preacher like John the Baptist, a great prophet like Elijah, and willingness to share God’s truth like Jeremiah or one of the other prophets, He is so much more than any of those things. Jesus is the Son of living God! It is on this truth the Christ built His church and it is on this truth that students will find courage to be brave, bold, and a bright light in the darkness of their schools. With this truth students can be the hands and feet of Christ and share His love with those around them. Students could make a positive change in their classes, grades, and schools by sharing this truth.
I hope that if you are a student starting school, a parent that has a child that is, or you are just reading this for fun that you will join us in praying for all students going back to school. It is obvious that satan has a stronghold on public schools in general but with a bold proclamation of the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God amazing things will happen in our school systems. Please add to your prayer list that God will work in the lives of students everywhere helping them to be brave, bold, and a bright light to their classmates this school year!!