Last week I enjoyed an evening with Chris Willard and Tom Wilson who work with the OneHundredX family of ministries, Leadership Network and HalfTime.

Tom is currently the President of OneHundredX, a new company that was developed in a clarity process with Auxano. Before coming to this ministry Tom served for over three decades with Young Life, concluding his time as a VP of field operations. While talking shop on vision, Tom recalled a year when he made special trips to motivate Young Life camp counselors.  Currently Young Life has 20 camps that bring in over 90,000 students a year. 

One hallmark of the Young Life camp experience (from which many Christian camps take their cue) is the exhilarating welcome that campers get the moment they arrive. As a high-school sophomore, I visited Frontier Ranch and can still remember the thrill of the cheering tunnel of counselors who screamed like they won the lotto when we showed up. It was big. 

Over the years,  Tom said  he watch energy of the welcoming experience cool off. So one year, he decided to address it by systematically vision-casting at all of the camps. What did Tom say? He told them the creation story of the first camp welcome.  He reminded them of the deepest why behind the hype that had grown hollow. 

Early in the camping ministry camp counselors committed their precious summer time to serve the younger high school kids who would come in from across the country. The problem was, in the early days, awareness of the camps had not grown, and not every week of camp had campers. And if campers didn't come, that meant more boring project work for counselors like painting fences and repairing sheds. With a drought of campers, the counselors began to passionately pray for God to bring students. All they wanted to do was to love on kids! After a few weeks an old beat-up van pulled up the mountain with a dozen or so brand new campers. When the counselors saw it, they were so excited that they spontaneously erupted in applause to God, ushering in the first unforgettable welcome.

One simple story of how it all started brought tons of meaning to the camp counselors that year. 

I just about lost it as I heard the story,  because I still remember the incredible welcome I received at Frontier Ranch. It made me want to be a counselor all over again! 

What about you? Hearing the why behind what we do is an easy way to refresh motivation. Where do the motions of ministry under your leadership need more meaning? What story can only be told by you? What story would people love to hear?
Topics: Date: Mar 1, 2010 Tags: Creation Story / Leadership Network / Tom Wilson / Values / Young Life