In just a few weeks, the summer season will begin at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. Thousands of young people and sponsors from Oklahoma Baptist churches will make their way to the Arbuckle Mountain retreat to spend a week being challenged with the Gospel and confronted with the truths of Scripture.
Students will leave the barrage of influences that comes from the world to enter a season of spiritual influence unparalleled at any other time. Our students live in a pagan and ungodly world. The insanity of the worldview perpetrated through media, music, and peers leaves them with a spiritual void. The worldview that permeates their teen world is diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity. Thus, a week devoid of those influences and filled with spiritual power is vital for their present day and eternity.
Falls Creek has always been a place where young people hear the Gospel and thousands have responded in repentance and faith. Indeed, every week for eight weeks, more than 1,000 lost young people will join their Christian friends at “The Creek.” In one sense, young people have not changed. Their biblically defined spiritual condition of separation from God and lost condition due to their sin is an eternal truth for every generation.
But times have changed. Lost young people who attend Falls Creek do not have the basic biblical understanding of those who came in past generations. If I could say it clearly and simply, today’s youth are more pagan than in the past. More of them come from not just unchurched families, but families that do not even have respect for Christian truth. While other generations lived in a culture dominated by the Christian worldview, these young people come from a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christian truth. In fact, young people are more like the people in New Testament times.
Should we be dismayed or discouraged? I don’t think so. We proclaim a powerful Gospel. If young people look more like the people of New Testament times in worldview and background, we can confidently proclaim the same Gospel that Peter, James, John, and Paul preached and that turned the world upside down. I am reminded that Paul made it clear that the message of the Cross is the power of God to salvation.
There are few places in the world where these young people can spend a week surrounded by people who love Jesus and hear the truth of the Gospel spoken in love. Falls Creek is dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel. We want every lost young person in Oklahoma to spend a week at the The Creek. For 99 years, we have seen the truth of the Cross penetrate the hearts of young people and have seen hundreds of thousands of them come to faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
So, I want to encourage every church to make an all-out effort to bring as many lost young people as they can from their community. We adults can help the cause by paying the way for kids who are unengaged and lost to attend Falls Creek. We older adults can make an investment in eternity by making these scholarships available.
Above all, bathe the week your youth attend camp with powerful prayer. Become prayer warriors who come boldly to the throne of God on behalf of lost young people. Every young person who attends a week at Falls Creek should have prayer warriors praying for them by name.
Three calls have remained constant at Falls Creek throughout its 99-year history. Every week, young people are called to embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord through repentance and faith. Christian young people are challenged to return to holiness and renewal of their commitment to be fully devoted followers of Christ. No week passes without young people hearing the call of God to full-time vocational missions and ministry. The summer of 2016 will be no different.
Load up the buses with every young person you can convince to spend a week at Falls Creek with your church group. Fall on your knees and bathe that week, and those young people and sponsors, in prayer. Pray and watch to see the power of God at work. Celebrate the victories experienced through the power of God.