PINELANDS CENTER AT MT. MISERY- On Thursday February 15, Next Generation Ministries leaders, which included key stakeholders, Greater New Jersey leaders and GNJ pastors, came together for a day-long conversation about campus ministry. Leaders met with one goal: to orientate everyone in the same direction to reach and connect with college students.
Rev. Dr. Brandon Cho, Next Gen Ministries Board of Directors Chair, took part in the event along with the other members of the GNJ Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and was “inspired by their passion, high energy and innovative spirits.”
“For the entire group to come together as one and understand how important campus ministry is to vitality shows where Next Gen is heading,” he said.
As leaders, the group wanted to follow in the footsteps of John Wesley who started his ministry through the “Holy Club” on the campus of Oxford. Because Wesley’s first ministry was essentially campus ministry, Next Gen’s work is following suit with the hope of being just as impactful in the present day.
Next Generation Ministries focuses on the three areas of youth, campus, and camping ministry. For campus ministry, the initial summit brought key stakeholders around the table and start talking about what Next Gen Campus Ministry looks like.
“We have been active the past couple months in youth and camping, and this summit was the beginning of our campus ministry work,” said Ryan Clements, Next Gen Coordinator.
For youth, Next Gen has been building relationships with youth ministers and churches and finding the best ways to support and resource them, especially through IGNITE and IGNITE Youth Leader Day. For camping, they have been building up to the launch of summer camps at Pinelands Center.
“Next Gen Ministries is always focusing and working on these three distinct areas,” said Clements. “Even camping has the opportunity to tie youth and campus (through camp counselors) ministries together.”
Trey Wince, Director of New Disciples, joined the summit.
“If we align all of these ministries the potential for impact is really significant,” he stated. “It was really the first ministry event that we began to process things and really encompassed the future of Next Gen.”
This summer, GNJ Next Generation Ministries will bring back camping to GNJ youth at Pinelands Center.
Next Gen has partnered with Barefoot Republic Camp to offer an innovative multicultural camping experience for middle school students from July 30 – August 4.
Since its founding in 2000, Barefoot Republic Camp has built Christ-centered unity between campers from diverse racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds through a pursuit of common passions and engaging discipleship.
Open to middle school students, everyone will find something that they love. Choose specialty activities from football to dance, swimming to art. Campers make friends for life in daily competitions like dodge ball, messy games, adventure relays and more!
Spiritual growth and leadership development are the heart of the program. Dive deeper in relationship with God and others through worship, Bible study and discipleship under the guidance of mentoring counselors.
Student Leader Boot Camp for high schoolers is being offered from July 23 – 28. The camp is designed for students to grow leadership skills through active spiritual formation and hands-on mission training and opportunities. This camp experience serves as an “intense deep dive” into spiritual leadership for rising 9-12th graders and a launch pad for the young transformational leader on a journey throughout the year and beyond. Through experiential learning in the great outdoors, students will explore artistic, athletic, spiritual and service platforms. The camp will include swimming, hiking, campfires, worship, music, speakers, and discussion panels.
“Students will leave ready to start projects and initiatives in their churches,” said Ryan Clements, Next Gen Coordinator.
Niños Para Cristo & Jovenes Para Cristo
Additionally, Niños Para Cristo & Jovenes Para Cristo camp, held August 6 – 10, will feature an experience for all ages, from niños (children) to jovenes (youth). This inclusive program invites campers of all backgrounds to come experience God’s presence through the celebration of Latino heritage and culture.
For more information, downloadable brochures, and to register for camps, visit www.gnjnextgen.org