I love Cincinnati.

Something is happening on the Eastside that I have never seen among a group of student pastors in any city. They are leveraging, their week of camp, to make an impact on the Eastside of Cincinnati. It’s subtle, shared in conversations, and gaining momentum.

Woodland Lakes Christian Camp is a camp located in the far side of the Eastside of Cincinnati. Last week I spoke at WLCC for their Junior High week of camp. Below are a few realities that experienced last week.
1. Camp is about sharing ministry vs driving ministry.

Middle School camp doesn’t happen without volunteers. 85-90% of their volunteer base is lead by High School students. The temptation for many student pastors it to just do everything and hire out what they can’t do.
These student pastors are freely giving away ministry and allowing high school students to essentially put on an entire week of camp. Yes, they expect more from their leaders and their leaders are willing and ready to deliver.

2. Camp never ends anymore.

Growing up in the 90’s, Thursday night was always the emotional night. Why? It was the last night we would all be together until another 365 days had passed. I would ask, “What’s your address so I can write you?” Students today ask, “What’s your twitter handle or Insta account?”

Whether or not you like this idea or not, camp never ends anymore. Social media allows the high school students to connect with their MS students throughout the year.

Why is this a good thing?

  • Their family groups meet throughout the year to go out to dinner, see a movie, do service projects, etc.
  • A generation of middle students are being SHOWN what healthy ministry looks like so that they know HOW to do ministry when they lead in high school.
  • Because social media isn’t going away, We can teach students to miss conversations instead of events. If students have to miss events, then they don’t interact with students on their side of the city. If we teach them to miss quality conversations, they’ll want to get together throughout the year.

3. Camp is about their city.

These handful of student pastors have a bigger vision than hosting a week of camp on the Eastside of Cincinnati. They leverage this week to plan and promote for fall and winter events that they do together.

What happens when you get a handful of student pastors who are making a city wide impact?

1. Deeper level humility among the youth groups.
2. Relationship recognition at events throughout the year which drive attendance because students are excited to see each other from other churches.
3. If more students know of more students, in a city, they will make a bigger impact in their schools.
4. More of a concern to reach their schools than to their church.

I’m anticipating big things in the next 10 years for Cincinnati. The last 10 years have only brought them to this moment. Had it not been for the leadership of Tim Dunn, Cincinnati’s Eastside would not have been in such an incredible position for impact.

I want to thank this group of men who have not only made an impact on me but their city:

Life Spring Christian Church | Seth Millhoan 

Mt. Carmel Christian Church | Aaron Adams

Parkside Christian Church Matt Robinson | Ben McClain

Eastside Christian Church | Zac Manor

River Hills Christian Church | Brandon Jacobs

Felicity Christian Church | Jimmy Maupin


One thought on “it takes a city.

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