TAG! You're It.
by Rev. Scott Dickison
Over the past two weeks our church has sent groups of youth and children to PASSPORT summer camps. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to see some of the pictures on our Facebook page. Passport, Inc. is a non-profit company founded by CBF Baptists whose stated goal is “to work for integrated, ecumenical, inspirational weeks of summer camp that model important lessons like service in the name of Christ.”
Our church has participated in PASSPORT camps for any years, and the early reports are in that this year’s camp has been a great success. Two weeks ago Jody took our middle schoolers, along with fellow chaperone, Cathy Logue, to the PASSPORT camp at Wingate University in Wingate, NC. They ended up having to pack a few more kids than planned into the dorm rooms, but as you can probably attest form your own camp experience, that wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
From Sunday to Wednesday of this past week, Julie took a group of 3rd-5th graders, along with Tommy Barfield, all the way over to Mercer’s campus (the one here in Macon) for PASSPORTkids! I had a chance to go eat lunch with them on Tuesday and while Julie admitted that some among them had been experiencing the notorious mid-week doldrums, a hearty lunch from the Mercer cafeteria seemed to be doing everyone good.
The theme for both of these camps was “TAG! You’re It” and focused on evangelism. From the camp description: Imagine a field full of people. There are trees on one side, buildings off in the distance, and wide-open spaces to run. Everyone is welcome here - to belong, to play or rest, to be sad or glad, take a nap or have a picnic. Not everyone knows about this place. Perhaps no one has shown them how to find their way to it. Others have spent their entire lives there, knowing exactly where home base is and where the boundaries of the field slope down and away.
Sometimes children’s games lead them outside the places where they are no longer comfortable and where they encounter those who live beyond the field. There are interesting people, beautiful people who have never seen the field nor understood its peace. So the children invite them to come and rest, or be sad or glad, to take a nap or have a picnic or play “TAG!” You’re it.
What a fantastic, positive way to teach kids about sharing the love of Christ. Christian faith is a field where we are free to be our best selves and spreading the gospel means inviting others to find their place. Come to think of it, it’s not a bad message for adults, and not a bad goal for our church. Fresh Start Sunday isn’t too far away; why not “tag” someone and invite them in?