Kids Camp Update

Kids Camp Update

Our Family Team exists to partner with parents in the equipping of the next generation so they may find their JOY in Jesus:

“But we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.” (2 Corinthians 1:24b)

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

As a Kids Ministry, we come alongside families by loving and connecting kids, encouraging parents, and equipping them as they disciple their family. During the elementary years, this partnership takes on many forms throughout the year. We encourage families to attend one of our weekly worship gatherings every week. Elementary children participate in Sunday Kids Groups and Wednesday AIM Groups where they interact with our Small Group Leaders. We also have special events throughout the year, like VBS and Kids Camp. All of these discipleship opportunities are built around the Family Discipleship Plan, a holistic Gospel-centered strategy for the church to equip parents to be the primary disciple makers of their children.

For many kids (and leaders) in our church, Kids Camp has become one the most beloved tools in our Kids Ministry toolkit for discipleship of the next generation. Kids Camp is aligned with the Family Discipleship Plan to leverage this event for greater interaction and engagement around the Big Truth, Bible Verse, Big Ideas, and Bible Story for the week.

This year, we took 54 campers and 25 counselors – the most ever – to the beautiful mountains of Virginia for some intense study of God’s Word plus creative ministry time, group recreation, swimming, crafts, and a whole lot of fun!

Our time at camp focused on one Big Truth: God Is Redeemer. We learned together that God has made a way for every person to be redeemed from their sin. He sent His Son, Jesus to be our Redeemer. Jesus paid our sin debt so that we would be forgiven for our sins. God is our Redeemer. He did not leave us in our sin, but instead, He sent His Son to pay our sin debt. He is our Redeemer.

“Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 49:26b)

Kids Camp 2023 was incredible in so many ways. Here are a few challenges for the families who participated in camp this year as well as for anyone who desires to meditate on the truth that God is Redeemer:

At camp, we challenged each camper and counselor to read the entire book of Ruth. This story so beautifully illustrates the truth God is our Redeemer. He sent His Son to pay our sin debt so that we might become part of His family. What a great story to read as a family together and reflect on the goodness of God!

Each year at camp, we learn together that reading and studying the Bible is how we know who God is. We spend time each morning reading God’s Word and keeping a H.E.A.R. journal. The acronym H.E.A.R. stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond. All of the words are action words to show us how to actively pursue God and who He is. For more Bible Study helps, visit to find resources for your family as we study the book of Hebrews together this year.

Share with your child some of the hope you have in Jesus as the Redeemer. Talk with him or her about what it means to be hopeless and how Jesus the Redeemer brings hope. As a family, spend time in prayer, thanking God for sacrificing for us and sending Jesus as the Redeemer.

I want to give a very big THANK YOU to all 25 counselors who served at Kids Camp this year! Church family, as summer comes to a close, I encourage you to think about what your investment in the next generation can look like in the coming school year. Family discipleship begins in the home and works in partnership with the church (Deuteronomy 6). How can you invest in kids and students this next ministry year so they may find their JOY Jesus? If you would like to know more about what opportunities are available on the Family Ministries Team, email us at and we can help you get started!

Austin Whittington

Kids Pastor

Austin Whittington serves on staff as our Kids Pastor. He and his family moved to Tri-Cities from Collierville, TN in spring 2016. Originally from Jackson, MS, Austin graduated from Mississippi College and has a Master of Christian Education from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He and his wife, Amy, have been married since 2007 and have two very energetic boys: Tyler and Jackson.