“No matter what age you are, you can be six years old to eighty years old and every age in between that, [we exist] to share the gospel and spread the good news so that everyone around the world can have eternal life with Christ,” Riley, one of 502 students who attended Super Summer this year, explained between evangelism training sessions.
Riley, like all the other camp attendees, is at Super Summer because he is passionate about growing in his relationship with the Lord and sharing the gospel with his peers. Super Summer is a unique summer camp experience. Unlike other youth summer programs that take place across Texas each year, Super Summer is geared towards students who have already accepted the Lord. It is designed to encourage students to better know and share the gospel.
The camp is designed for rising 8th graders through students about to begin their freshman year of college. First started in 1974, this year Super Summer hosted four sessions across three different Baptist university campuses. Over 149,000 students have participated in the camp since its inception.
This year, there were 7 professions of faith, 21 rededications, 6 calls to ministry and 8 other faith-based decisions.
While the primary focus of Super Summer is always equipping students to know and share the gospel, this year the camp’s theme was “Seen, Known, Understood.” Preston Cave, Super Summer Evangelist, explained that the theme was particularly relevant to teenagers and the Gen Z culture that is so focused on identity. Students will leave equipped to share the gospel in a way that highlights the beautiful relationship people can have with Jesus.
“Anytime someone encountered Jesus, they always walked away feeling seen, known and understood. So, we want to teach our students that everyone they interact with should walk away feeling like they’ve been seen, known and heard, just like Jesus would treat them,” Cave explained.
At the Rainbow Celebration, Matt Thigpin, young adult pastor at Austin Ridge Bible Church, spoke to the students about the importance of showing Christ’s love as they minister. Rainbow Celebrations happen nightly and are a time for all of the different schools to gather and worship together.
“That’s what Jesus has always done,” Thigpin told the students. “He looks for people, He loves people, and that’s what leads them to the gospel. They’re not a project, they’re people.”
He spoke from John 1:43-50 and encouraged students to reflect on how Jesus has made them feel seen and known and how they can do that same ministry with the people around them.
In the Purple School, a special school for students who feel called to go into full-time ministry, Dean Grant Byrd unpacked some of the more complex themes of evangelism, including the importance of deep intimacy with God. Having dependence on God and devoting a concentrated time to daily prayers is essential, Byrd said, so that Christians can “live each day with a constant sense of His active presence and respond to Him with their heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Emmalynn Hopkins, a Purple School student who has been going to Super Summer every year since 8th grade, said her favorite part of Super Summer is connecting with fellow believers her age. Every year, Hopkins said, she leaves feeling renewed in her faith and ready to share the gospel.
“There’s so much growth that happens during this week,” she said. “It is a time that you get to learn how to share the gospel, you get to learn who God is in a much more ample way, it’s a time you get to ask questions, you get to share what’s going on your life, and just connect with people in such a unique and wonderful way.”
Learn more about Super Summer at supersummer.com.
Texas Baptists is a movement of God’s people to share Christ and show love by strengthening churches and ministers, engaging culture and connecting the nations to Jesus.
The ministry of the convention is made possible by giving through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, Mary Hill Davis Offering® for Texas Missions, Texas Baptists Worldwide and Texas Baptist Missions Foundation. Thank you for your faithful and generous support.
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