We’ve created a group to pay special attention to fourth and fifth graders, with the goal of preparing these children to filter the unique challenges they will face in today’s culture.
Why do we call it Basecamp?
The people brave enough to climb the tallest mountains in the world understand the importance of establishing a “base camp” near the foot of the mountain in order to prepare for the ascent. A basecamp provides some very important elements for climbers:
- A place of safety. At Basecamp, climbers know they are not in danger but they are preparing for something very risky.
- A place of preparation. The climb requires careful thinking, thoughtful planning for food supplies, anticipation of emergencies, and deliberate ways to communicate once the climb is underway. At Basecamp, climbers also must get acclimated to the altitudes for the region in a way that allows them to be monitored and helped.
- A place to regroup. At Basecamp, climbers can be at ease, relax, and allow their minds and bodies to gain strength for the road ahead.
- A place of replenishment. Basecamp represents a climb in itself, because it takes several weeks — sometimes months — to get to the bottom of the mountain. Supplies can be replenished as the group prepares for the larger climb.
- A place of community. Professional climbing teams are made up of large groups of people with specific knowledge and skills. When climbers are at Basecamp, they are surrounded by the entire team. The relationships they enjoy at Basecamp are the ones that will later become essential during the ascent.
For our children, their faith journey can be a lot like a difficult and adventurous climb. The twists and trials that God will use to shape them into the image of Christ become more intense as they wander farther from home.
Practically speaking, many big changes occur in the life of our children when they begin attending middle school and high school classes. Just before they step into the unknown of upper school, we believe that there is a great deal of opportunity and responsibility for parents to provide a safe environment to help the child begin to own their faith and learn what it means to climb on their own. Basecamp is a ministry designed to assist you with that transition.
Just like the Basecamp for climbers, we want to create a place of safety, preparation, and community for fourth and fifth graders where they can make preparation for the journey that lies ahead. No longer a young child, but not quite ready for Outbound (youth group), Basecamp will challenge them to apply what they’ve learned about Jesus and his mission to their own lives. We will invite them to become a part of the church body and to serve in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods throughout the week. Each week we’ll gather at Basecamp to talk about what it means to follow Jesus and encourage them to keep climbing.
Some key thoughts that will run through everything we do at Basecamp:
- Mission-focused. In the Bible, God tells us that He already knows the end before the beginning ever starts. God knows His plans for each of your children. In Basecamp, we are going to explore what His plan is for their lives and learn the tools we need to accomplish that plan. (Isaiah 46:10, Ephesians 2:10, Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:16–20)
- Faith applied. At Basecamp, we will be doing everything we can to make the things we are learning actionable. Our prayer is that they will grow in their knowledge of the Word for the purpose of living it out. We will practice things like praying, memorizing scripture, and sharing the Gospel together.
- Redeeming technology. This generation is unlike any other generation in history. They have grown up immersed in technology and fully connected. In Basecamp we will be examining God’s purpose for technology, looking at ways that it is being used for God and practicing ways that we can serve others using technology.
- Spiritual fitness. As it is essential to care for our bodies we will discuss how important it is to care for our soul. We will stress the importance of reading the Bible, memorizing scripture, and praying to God as ways that he has called us to stay in shape spiritually. Our prayer is that the healthiest relationship in their life will be their relationship with Jesus.
- Engaging hearts, bodies, and minds. We will do anything short of sin to reach kids for Jesus. As a result, you may hear sounds of games, wacky skits, and silly songs coming from our space. Rest assured this is all a part of our effort to model for the kids that a life lived out for Jesus is the most engaging, joyful, and exciting life you can possibly live.