One mantra of the New Life Camp staff is that each staff member’s relentless pursuit of individual spiritual growth is the greatest protection of our ministry. To that end, spiritual growth, our staff has been discussing the “tension” of our digital devices vs. the solitude that is so conducive to growth in our spiritual lives. One author noted that because of the onslaught of the digital age and the addictive nature of our smartphones and devices that “the Christian imagination is starving to death for solid theological nourishment” (Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You).
As I write we are less than a couple of weeks away from the great privilege of ministering to thousands of kids in our 2018 summer camp! One defining distinctive of our summer camp is that it is device-free. Campers do not bring or engage with smartphones or digital devices while at summer camp. And while many ask, “how do you possibly get them to do that,” we have found that the majority of our campers see it and experience it with their families as a great blessing. For many kids this may be the only opportunity they have all year to get away from the noise of devices and screens and allow the Lord to fully engage their hearts and minds. We trust in the power of the word of God and continue, even in this digital fast-moving age, to saturate campers with the Word and provide ample daily space for solitude so that the Lord can speak and move. When you take away the devices, it’s you and God’s people, or you alone with God. And oh, if you could see and hear how the Lord moves and works on lives, you would be blown away as we continue to be by God’s powerful hand.
So, as we wrestle with the tension of devices in our lives we pray that you too would wrestle as an individual, and again within your family, and fight for the solitude before the Lord that is the only thing that can “breathe life into our communion with God.”
– Greg Burton, NLC Executive Director