Happy New Year!

The start of a new year is often synonymous with the word change. Little changes. Big changes. Minor ones. Major ones. Some changes are welcome, others are catch us off guard. One thing about change however is that it is inevitable. This is especially true in the life of a middle school student.

Hope Middle School Ministry (MSM) has been going through some changes of its own in the last two years. Looking back at 2012, it was a blessed year for MSM with God moving in some miraculous ways as we lived out our mission to Love students where they are and encourage them to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord is doing some amazing stuff in the lives of our students and continually blessing us with more middle schoolers to be a part of this ministry. We are seeing this growth generate record attendance on the weekends at all 3 campuses, pack out our special events, and even create the need to move our Hazardous location. Our last semester of Hazardous saw 237 first time students to Hope come through the doors and ended with 28 baptisms!

As God continues to move and work in powerful ways, involving more and more students who want to be a part of the exciting things He is doing, there comes a time when changes becomes necessary to ensure that we can continue to live out our vision and mission with crystal clear purpose.

Keeping those things in mind, and after much prayer and discussion, we are excited to announce that a change will be taking place this summer. We have made the decision to move CAMP from the traditional weekend surrounding July 4th to an extended weekend of November 8-11, 2013.

It is important to pause here and note that there are various ways we typically respond to change. Sometimes, we welcome change. Other times we resist it. Or worse, we hit the panic button. Please keep in mind that, when it comes to change involving your student, no changes are made haphazardly or without counting the cost. Instead each potential change is prayerfully weighed and evaluated against our mission, vision, and purpose.

Below you will find more information to help answer the questions you may have about the reasoning for this move or it’s implications involving your student. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed, please feel free to contact the Student Ministry office at 919-532-0620.

This new season of ministry is exciting and we look with anticipation to what God is going to do in 2013!

Partnering with parents to reach this generation,
MSM Team

4 THOUGHTS BEHIND MOVING CAMP

1. Moving CAMP allows more students to participate: With the year-round track system, the only viable option for CAMP has been the weekend surrounding July 4th. This holiday weekend, already jam packed with family vacations and commitments, is the only summer option that ensures all students (traditional or track) (public or private) will be out together. However over the years, as students and their families have grown increasingly busy, we have noticed that this particular weekend has become a point of contention creating a sort of tug-a-war for parents and students between CAMP, vacations, cheer and sports camps, lake weekends, beach trips, and other family commitments. Parents are getting caught between a rock and a hard place as they have to decide between sending their student to CAMP or keeping them with the rest of the family for a vacation or special trip.

2. Moving CAMP allows us to laser focus our purpose: Everything we do at MSM is purpose filled rather than being a ministry that just coordinates events. At MSM, we look at everything we do through the lens of our purpose: a ministry that helps students DISCOVER who they are in Christ, CONNECT with true community and accountability through small groups, EXPLORE who God has called them to be, and ENGAGE their passions and gifts to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world. As we continue to reach more and more “outside” students, our desire is for those students to be taking their next step in their walk with Christ. To accomplish this we felt some changes needed to be made. The first change is to align All Access Weekend with Hazardous. This will give our largest outreach platform the opportunity to challenge those students to take a “next step” in their discovery and exploration of Christ. But it’s not only the “outside” students who need to take a “next step”. This is why we are going to use CAMP to focus on our “inside” students by giving them an opportunity to connect with their small groups and explore who God has called them to be.
MSM Events Table

3. Moving CAMP allows small group leaders to be a part: For us to make CAMP a place where students can connect with their small groups, the small group leaders have to be able to attend. This has been a major hardship in years past as our adult leaders were having to use a limited amount of their work vacation days to be a part of CAMP. More times than not this wasn’t a possibility and caused us to have to used college students who, although great, were not with our students week in and week out.

4. Moving CAMP allows more options with location: Almost every camp facility makes their living in the summer months by putting on their own camps. To secure a camp with facilities able to hold 150-250 students and one that will allow us to come in and “do our own thing” is next to impossible. This is especially true over the weekend surrounding the 4th of July.

OTHER QUESTIONS

When And Where Will CAMP Take Place?
November 8-11, 2013 at Ridgecrest Conference Center located in Ridgecrest NC                              http://ridgecrestconferencecenter.org

What Opportunities Will My Current 8th Grade Student Have?
Current 8th graders will be allowed to attend BigStuf Camp with the high school for this transition year only. BigStuf takes place June 17-21 in Daytona Beach.