what harold camping got right...

May 21, 2011. This was the predicted day that the Biblical "rapture" (according to some Baptists and Harold Camping and his followers) would occur. However, if you were like me and MANY other people, we kind of scoffed at the idea that the end of the world was going to happen. We also mocked him and made jokes via twitter and facebook. "Harold Camping was wrong before, he will be wrong again," we probably proclaimed to our students or anyone that would hear us on our blogs, internet radio shows, or really just anyone who would talk about it. I'll be very honest, I mocked him and laughed when I actually heard this man's voice. Yet, in the back of my mind, I thought to myself, "surely this guy is wrong and preaching heresy, but what if he is right? Am I secure in my salvation?"

So I ask you, oh youth ministers of the world, what did Harold Camping get right? Obviously, not the apocalypse. But what he did get right is two things:

1. He got the message out there! Sure Harold Camping and his followers were wrong, but he got the message across. People were investing their lives on this. People were changing their lives for this. People actually believed in this. He got his workers in action. Yet, in youth ministry, don't we struggle just to get our students to participate in games? How can a 89 year old "prophet" rally his troops, yet we can't effectively change the lives of the students involved in our ministry?

2. He got people thinking about God and their own lives! Often times, when I am down in my ministry because things just don't seem to be going my way, I often wonder how effective I am. Camping's ministry pasted this message everywhere, and effectively marketed this message better than the media ministries or evangelical churches combined!

So how do we fix this? The Methodist's seem to be trying to redefine church itself. Their advertising campaign "Re-Think Church" (can't remember that one, huh?) was more interested in social justice, in a vain attempt to appear relevant.

We are always trying to reinvent the wheel to make sure that we are current with the times. Change is good, but it must be followed by God. We must make sure that we are following what we feel Christ is telling us to do and where to go. Harold Camping and his followers would tell you the same thing, they felt this is what Christ was telling them, but I am just guessing some of Camping's Bible pages got stuck together and skipped over The Gospel according to Matthew.

Youth ministers, I want to challenge myself and you to change the culture of how we do ministry. Not to seem more relevant, but to seem more like Christ. We can preach and teach, but we must speak, walk and live the life Christ has called us to be!

Share your comments below about maybe some things you are thinking about changing in your ministry or directions you feel Christ is leading you. Maybe leave a prayer request as you feel that you are taking a leap of faith in your ministry!


Rick said...
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Rick said...
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Charlie, I/T Customer Support said...
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Pastor Charlie said...

Great post Mark. I did not take this event seriously either. But I thought "What if God did use this event?" People would have seen Camping as a major prophet. I too have thought about the determination and purpose he and his followers had. Wouldn't it be great if we could bring that to our church? Wouldn't it be great if that determination turning into revival? I pray for that today! Thanks again Mark.

Zach said...

i did have more conversations about God than usual with people who usually dont like to talk about Him. people asking questions like "what would you consider a real relationship with Jesus" and "how do you know if you are really going to heaven." (also some like "will there really be four horsemen at the apocalypse? because that would be epic.") it opened up really great opportunities to share to Gospel and to challange preconcieved false ideas. but, arrogance was also prevalant too, though. many mocked and ridiculed without realizing that God's thoughts are much higher than ours. it is repeating over and over again in scripture. we cant elevate ourselves so much as to dismiss totally things of this nature. what if He did choose to use people to warn us? if He did, then it would be good, simply because He is God. and to adress the whole idea of striving against the notion to be relevant, much of the time at the cost of truth, i totally agree. when we try to become to relevant in our handling of the Gospel, then we begin to take it into our control. we like it that way. to present the truth naked and pure is to trust the Holy Spirit to work how He wills. yay Mark!

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