The SDARM Queensland Conference's annual camp meeting was held over the weekend of August 16-18, 2013, in the beautiful surroundings of Ewen Maddock Dam and Recreation Center, Landsborough.
The theme, “Born for a Purpose!” focused on the reality that “every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.” (The Desire of Ages, p. 195.)
The camp meeting opened the Sabbath with a presentation on "Stewards of Grace." As recipients of God’s grace, we are called to reveal God’s grace to others as we have opportunity. The spirit of hospitality, our means, and our time are three key areas that we may use to minister to the needs of those around us.
“The Reluctant Missionary” touched on the experience of Jonah. Instead of responding to God’s call to “Go to Nineveh” with God’s message, Jonah went in the opposite direction. While he claimed to be a follower of the Lord, his heart was not in tune with
God’s heart. God has given us a message of warning and grace to deliver to the world around us. How often instead of responding to the call to go, we find ourselves running the other way. Jonah had a lesson to learn about God’s character and His grace. It is only when we experience the work of grace in our own life that we are prepared to give the message to others. The foundation for all missionary work is the love of Christ “that constrains us” to reach out for souls, no matter how unpromising they may appear.
On Sabbath morning, a presentation was brought on “The Highways and Byways.” A short video clip on current church statistics highlighted the fact that Christianity in the western world is on the decline. To arrest this decline, we need to make an effort to reach out especially to those in the “highways,” the great thoroughfares of life, in the towns and cities, as well as in the more remote places of the earth.
The Sabbath worship service focused on the keynote presentation, “Born for a Purpose!” All of us, as Christians, have been created in Christ for a purposeful life of good works that God has ordained for us. Are we living that life? Various biblical characters were considered in view of their life’s purpose, and how some were successful, and some were not. Balaam was an example of someone who made the pursuit of riches his life’s purpose, and ended in failure. In contrast, Esther was a person who had been prepared for and fulfilled her place in God’s great plan for each of us. Often we make the mistake of pursuing our own goals instead of learning what God’s purpose is for us. It is only when we surrender our lives fully to the Lord that we can discern, and by His grace fulfill, the divine purpose He has for us in this life.
“An Army of Youth” was the theme of the Young People’s meeting. Encouraging thoughts were presented on the grand purpose God has for young people. If all would fully consecrate themselves to His cause, they would constitute such a powerful army of youth for Christ. We were also inspired by the praise offered by the youth in song and music. The Sabbath closed with a presentation entitled, “Equipped for Christ.” No matter who we are, God has given talents to each of us. These talents are divided to us according to our ability to use them. The purpose of these talents is to do service for Christ in winning souls to the kingdom.
After the evening meal, a group activity was conducted that reminded us that we are all members of the body of Christ. We all have need of each other in order to effectively carry out the purpose that God has for us as a church. No member is unnecessary. The object lesson was reinforced by a task assigned to each of two teams that required them all to work together to achieve the goal. It was a very enjoyable meeting.
The Sunday morning meeting was based on the message, "A Call to Go!" Before we can go, however, we must first prepare. That preparation consists in responding to the call of Christ, "Follow me." To follow Christ requires the sacrifice of ourselves daily. The next meeting, "Gifts for a Purpose," based on, highlighted the need for unity in the body of Christ. It is through the unity of the church that God’s people bear witness to the power of the gospel. The presentation emphasized that while we are all individuals, we are all nonetheless part of one great family—in heaven and in earth—the family of God. It is Christ that unites us to the family of God. The only reason we experience division in our churches is because of separation from Christ. The closer we come to Christ the closer we will be to each other. Thus we will fulfill the prayer of Christ for unity.
The last part of the spiritual program consisted in a missionary workshop, "Service with a Purpose." The workshop considered the various practical tools that are available to us for missionary work, and all had an opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas on how to use and improve the tools at our disposal.
After the lunch, adults, youth and children united in an afternoon of wholesome recreational activity. The team activities proved an enjoyable physical and personal challenge for those who participated.
We thank the Lord for the encouraging time, for the messages we heard, for the lessons we learned, and for the fellowship we enjoyed together. It was a truly blessed weekend and one that has inspired all who attended to greater zeal in missionary work.