For those who are not aware, Big Sky Bible Camp falls into the category of a “para-church” organization. The term “para,” is a Greek reference meaning beside or alongside. My goal in this blog is to both inform and remind people of how we as a staff view Big Sky’s role in relation to the church.
First off, it is important to remember that the church is the only divinely ordained institution from the scriptures. There is no mandate in the scriptures for the existence of a Bible camp, mission organization, teen outreach center, etc. Therefore, the church must remain central in our perspectives and understanding of ministry.
BSBC Is Not The Church
While our desires and goals are very similar to the church, the staff and leadership of Big Sky understand that we are here to assist the church. If we have a camper who comes to Christ, our primary goal is to convey the importance of connecting with a local church body. We will even strongly recommend specific churches to campers if they are not involved anywhere.
I know of numerous families who are not very committed to any church body, yet they desire their children to know and understand the Bible and follow Christ. They then turn to camp as one of the avenues to help accomplish this purpose. This saddens me because they are attempting to replace the church with a Bible camp or whatever other ministry their children are involved in throughout the year.
As with everything else in this life, God’s plan is always perfect. The church is His chosen instrument to accomplish His purpose in this world. Yet so many people view the church as inadequate, preferring and elevating whatever organization they are a part of over and above the church. At Big Sky, we would close our doors before this would happen and I will always be preaching the importance of and priority of the church to our staff and campers.
If you or your child attended Big Sky and came home excited about the Bible and a relationship with Christ, do us a favor and get involved in a local church. We can gladly provide you with some specific churches in your town that we know of. We believe that God plants many seeds at Big Sky in countless campers, but it must be through the church that these seeds grow and develop, otherwise they will just stay as seeds!
As we tell the campers, we spend our time, money and energy on what is important to us. Where does the church fall on your scale of importance?