“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. –John 15:5 (NIV)
Prior to returning to Tejas, I would have fond memories of when I was a Summer Ministry Team (SMT) member. I remembered how physically demanding the work was and how fulfilling the relationships I developed were. However, the biggest lessons and memories I walked away with provided value to my spiritual growth. It was at Tejas where I learned and developed the discipline to passionately pursue Christ. This pursuit became my life source as I continued on my journey. I would always remember how Tejas was my training ground for what God has prepared for me.
This is what makes Tejas unique. Service is used as an avenue to challenge and encourage young leaders in their spiritual growth. For example, during the summer, Tejas invests in the Summer Ministry Team, because they are vital to making summer camp run smoothly. By integrating service, we make their spiritual growth a priority of ours. The SMT discipleship program is the one of the core reasons of why the Tejas exists.
This year Tejas has revamped the Internship Program. This program is an opportunity for single young adults to passionately pursue Christ. Our main purpose behind the Internship program is to expose them to different avenues of camping ministry in order for them to become ministry leaders. By receiving specific training in an area, the interns gain a focused and concentrated ministry experience. We purposely called the program “Remain” due to what John 15 commands us to do: To remain in Him. We strongly believe that through remaining in the Word, living in community, and serving others, the interns will develop leadership skills and, in turn, impact the Kingdom of God.
This kind of training does not derive from our own strength and knowledge. Our first source of discipline and focus comes from Christ. As Tejas continues to train others to become more like Christ, we must first and foremost remain in Him. John 15 continues on to tell how we are called to love each other and to be prepared for the persecution that comes with being a disciple. Our hope is that the interns and all staff live out John 15. By remaining in Him, we are training to be more like Him.