BY: CHRIS SMITH
Camp is near and dear to my heart because it’s where I committed my life to Christ. I went to camp when I was a senior in high school and at this point in my life I was “trying” God out. I had tried drugs, alcohol, sex and so many other things to find fulfillment in life and they all left me empty. So at camp I was open and Wednesday night I realized living for Christ was what life was all about. Camp had this affect on my life and the life of many other youth because it’s a setting for life change. Here are some reasons why camp is setting for life change:
1. We get students away from temptation, technology, distractions and we bombard them with Jesus! Not only bombard them with Jesus but we get to have discussions and they get to really digest what happens at the services.
2. Camp is a place where for the most part our students get around other students who are pursuing God, which can be really encouraging for some students who wonder if they are the only ones.
3. Camp was also a great week to unite my youth group, help students build relationships with one another, it helped new students feel a part of our youth ministry and helped them get plugged in when we got back home.
4. Camp was a life changing week for myself and my leaders who poured into our students during this week. We have memories and relationships for lfie because of a week of camp.
5. Every Wed night service is a chance for a student’s life to be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, camp gives them these services 4 nights in a row. It’s a powerful, Jesus packed week that changes lives forever.
I was a youth pastor for 10 years and every year we took our kids to camp, every year lives were changed, students were healed and callings revealed. Camp changed my life, my students lives and my leaders lives. Camp is an environment where they can be open, vulnerable and get as much Jesus as possible in one week. This is why camp changes everything!
Chris grew up in the Lawrence Township area of Indianapolis. He graduated from Central Bible College in 2004 with a degree in Youth Ministry and Bible. After graduation he married Jamie, who is also an Indianapolis native. He was a full time youth pastor in Columbus, OH, for 3 years, before moving to People’s Church main campus in Oklahoma City for 6.5 years, where the youth ministry grew from 60 to 400 students.
In 2014 he felt a call back to Indianapolis to be a lead pastor, and the Smiths moved in June 2014. A few months later, Herbert Cooper, senior pastor of People's Church, asked Chris if he would help start a fourth People’s Church campus in Indianapolis, and be the lead pastor. He immediately felt peace and that this was God’s plan. They started the journey of planting People’s Church Indianapolis in January 2015. The grand opening is scheduled for August 2015.