After well over two years, Super Summer Arkansas made its return, continuing its focus on evangelism and discipleship for students in 6th-12th grades. The theme for this year’s camp, “Devoted,” equipped students to grow in a committed relationship with Jesus. Based on Acts 2:42-47, the curriculum centered on how the Gospel leads to a following of Jesus and what that means for a believer’s life.
Between the JV and senior high weeks, almost 1800 students and staffers were led at night by Liberty Worship and camp speaker, Chris Lovell. The dynamic services were a highlight for many, as well over 500 made life-changing decisions for Jesus, including 120 recorded salvations. During the day, students were led by youth ministers from all over Arkansas in “schools” where they drilled deep into the curriculum. Staffers utilized small group time to help students apply what they were learning in practical ways.
A Mount Carmel student made his decision to follow Christ public by following in believers’ baptism the Sunday following camp. He shared that God spoke to his heart and he knew “that this was my time, this was my chance, no better opportunity” to be saved. He was excited to continue his journey in faith by immediately being baptized, the next step in his growth.
Many of the decisions made were concerning a call to ministry. Over 70 students gathered for an Explore Your Call meeting where they were able to hear from ministers in particular areas of interest including pastoral ministries, missions, and worship. The International Mission Board had a student mobilizer present during the Sr High portion of camp to visit with students and churches interested in overseas missions.
During the Thursday night of camp, Lovell preached a message on secret sin and how carrying that burden served as a barrier to a vibrant relationship with the Lord. During the invitation, students flooded the front of the auditorium to write down their sins, repent, and leave them at the front. The worship time was extended so that all could spend time in concentrated prayer and repentance. Benjamin Carpenter, youth minister at Lonoke Baptist Church, has attended Super Summer for many years and commented that it was one of the best, if not THE best, he has been a part of.
Next year, Super Summer is slated for June 24-27 (JV) and June 27-July 1 (Sr High). Registration will open on February 1, 2023.
This article was written by Warren Gasaway, Student Ministry Specialist at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, who leads the planning team for Super Summer Arkansas.