How can we help young people from falling away from their faith?
Not every young person who starts out knowing Jesus remains connected to him. Many Christians between the ages of 18 and 23 are falling away from Church and their relationship with Jesus. A recent study by Fuller Seminary looked at why young people fall away from their faith and they determined the most important factor in whether young people leave the church or remain is their ability to explore doubts and concerns about their faith before leaving home. Camp is a safe place for students to truly be themselves and ask difficult questions of the loving college-aged staff. Our Ponderosa Lodge summer programs for middle and high school students are all based on a solid biblical worldview, one that teaches:
· Absolute truth exists
· The Bible is true
· Jesus lived a sinless life on earth
· A person can’t earn their way into heaven
· God created everything and reigns over the universe
Summer camp experiences reinforce what young people learn in their homes and at Church. Recently, a returning Ponderosa Lodge camper shared the life-changing impact of attending camp. This is her letter to the staff of Summer 2018.
“Dear Pondy Staff,
With this being my last year here as a camper, I felt like filling out an eval wouldn’t sufficiently express my gratitude. Plain and simple, Pondy has been life-changing for me, and it wasn’t just because of this place, for I know that as I leave the mountain, God is still with me. However, when I first came here seven years ago, I had no idea how big a role Mount Hermon would play in my faith. I thought camp was fun, yeah, but as a seventh grader, I didn’t think much about actively pursuing my faith. Through the actions and words of the counselors and staff here, both past and present, I have seen what it looks like to be on fire for Jesus and what it means to be seeking God’s WILD love. God working through you all is SO evident and I pray that you continue to let His marvelous light shine through you. Thank you for providing me a safe and supportive space to learn more about Jesus and for equipping me with the tools to be able to pursue my faith in everyday life. Consider this not just one step, but a life transformed.
Keep on doing an amazing job— you’re all rockstars.”
A summer camp experience at Mount Hermon is a safe place where youth can ask important questions and receive loving answers from college aged staff who are rooted in their faith and just a little further along in their journey. Teenagers should be able to leave home without falling away from their faith and a camp experience can be a powerful tool to help them pursue their faith in everyday life. Mount Hermon is honored to be a part of every guests faith journey and we’re thankful to hear stories like this of youth making lasting connections with Jesus.
Vice President of Strategy