By the time you read this, a lot of Northside will have left the building for the annual Family Camp this weekend.

275ish of us are going to be together at the Rock Springs Ranch in Junction City. It’s a long-standing (See the title of this article) tradition that over a generation of Northsiders have enjoyed. There will be fellowship, fun, food,  devotionals, Bible classes, and worship. Paul Herrington and his team have a whole lot of great things planned.

We filled up quickly this year so, sadly, not everyone can go because we maxed out Rock Springs Ranch for 2022. We will be as full as we can possibly be of Northsiders. (Good news: I understand there are plans to get more room for 2023).

As I consider Family Camp and the reason it’s so popular, I’m struck by this thought: Family Camp is probably a lot closer to what the Acts 2 church was like. They didn’t have church buildings back then, so our idea of church likely looks different from theirs. Church in the first century was more something you were rather than a place you went. It was a part of your life—people instead of place.

Read Acts 2 and see if you don’t see a few similarities:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (Bible classes for kids & adults, devotionals and worship) and to the fellowship (Nash-splash, horse riding, volleyball, archery, rifles, canoeing, swimming, cabin games, climbing, etc.), to the breaking of bread (sometimes literally the case with the cafeteria rolls!) and to prayer (the whole weekend is immersed in prayer). Everyone was filled with awe (free babysitting!), and many wonders and miraculous signs (talent…er…variety show?!) were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common (Life is highly communal at family camp!)…Every day (true campers stay ALL weekend long) they continued to meet together in the temple courts (Council Circle). They broke bread (and sno-cones, s’mores, popcorn, Cheez-its, Doritos, Oreos and host of foods you shouldn’t eat but do) in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (there’s a lot of joy in cabins and around the meal tables), praising God (LOTS of great singing) and enjoying the favor of all the people (sharing devotional).

If you’re going to Family Camp, we look forward to being with you…especially if you’re a first-timer. It is a great way to get to know a whole lot of Northsiders a whole lot better in short amount of time.

If you’re not going to Family Camp this year, we’ll miss you and hope to see you at Family Camp in the future. We have folks to keep things at 4545 running smoothly, and Brother Jimmie Keas will be preaching. He always does a good job.

And if you’ve never been to Family Camp, I hope you’ll make plans to attend in 2023.

Either way, I hope to see YOU with the church this weekend.