Clear the Stage: My Youth Camp Story
The long awaited return of youth camp is finally here. Every year, camp continues to exceed expectations. From the sleepless nights over seeing everyone to the hope of finally beating the counselors in basketball and baseball, I can never get enough of youth camp. The most important part of camp for me is being in the presence of God with my closest friends. It is difficult to describe the feeling of worshiping with hundreds of my friends with the same desire for God. When I want to remember some of the best times of my life, I go to one place: the Apostolic Campground in Millersport, Ohio.
Although I have been going to camp since I was eight years old, one service stands out the most among the rest. The lights were turned down as we sang a song titled, Clear the Stage. The phrase, “worship is more than a song,” was the night’s heartbeat and illustrated the atmosphere of worship. That was the night I realized what that phrase truly meant. Worship is what I do; it’s how I live; it’s who I am.
Worship is sacrifice of self and obedience to His Word. Worship is praying without ceasing. Worship is acknowledging Him in all my ways, and He will supply all my needs. Worship is knowing He is my provider. King David said it best when he said, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:1-4). King David didn’t become a man after God’s own heart through song; he became a man after God’s own heart through worship.
After realizing this, all I wanted to do was go to the altar and pray. I could barely sing, so I put down the microphone and went to the altar. I prayed longer and deeper than I ever had before. I had never felt such peace and comfort as I did that night. I remember praying for a heart of true worship that would elevate God in my ministry. I remember hearing the sound of friends worshiping and praising. It was amazing to just sit in His presence. I simply could not leave the altar. I felt at home there. That Tuesday night was the most life-changing event I had ever experienced.
If you want to take one week and turn it into the best week of your summer, I encourage you to go to youth camp. Go expecting to make amazing life changes along with lifelong friends. With so many new faces and new experiences, it’s impossible to not want to come back. I always make sure I am able to attend camp—and with this being my last year—I cannot wait to make it the best camp yet. With the most powerful and Spirit-filled services ahead, I hope no one has to miss out. A week at youth camp gives us a chance to cultivate a deeper relationship with God and discover our callings.
My name is Meshach McCann, and I am seventeen years old. I attend New Life Christian Center in Lancaster, Ohio, and I am a senior at Lancaster High School.