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Posts Tagged ‘youth camps’

I have been concerned about some youth camps and their influence on churches through youth ministries in churches.  One such organization is Youth Front.  At one point the web site actually had prayer “exercises” called the “Sacred Gateway.”  This can still be found via google cache on the Youthfront web site.  Here is a link to the Sacred Gateway page itself: http://www.sacredgateway.org/

Despite taking this off their site, Youthfront clearly is teaching breathing exercises and prayer along with the “silence.”  Youthfront lists Youth Specialties on one page as a partner. 

It’s one thing for Youthfront to be a camp kids can attend, but it’s more than that.  It has history (used to be Circle C and L bar C).  I may have attended Circle C as I can remember it from somewhere, and did go to a few church camps as a kid.  These camps not only are a stop for kids in the summer, but there is training for youth ministers and also overseas missions.  Churches are filled with staff and connections to Youth Front, and it helps push spiritual formation/emergent themes into churches. 

 reveal-devo-packetweb1 is just a sample of what high school students are asked to do at Youthfront. (still learning how to do this, so click the link here, then click the icon on page you are taken to…)

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I have the opportunity, through a local newspaper blog, to get the word out about the youth camps in our area that are involved in teaching spiritual disciplines/spiritual formation and contemplative prayer to our youth.  Actually, anyone could do it…but I am a local and have investigated enough to write it up.  So, the question is, should I?  The audience is the general population of moms in our area.  It would be read by whoever happens upon it.  It would also not be anonymous.  It might spark debate, and may get ME noticed with all this…and possibly in a bad way.  It’s a place I can speak up for truth based on what I see online, and in the blog of the man leading this set of camps (as well as training youth leaders around the country in spiritual disciplines, spiritual formation, and contemplative prayer…and more).  Huh.  Hadn’t thought to do this before, but it just occured to me (or if I thought of it I forgot).  The deal is, I wouldn’t say anything about the camp that’s not out there in print already.  The lead man proudly proclaims he teaches this stuff to kids and that the experiences are life changing and wonderful.  Therefore, all I would be doing is highlighting what he’s said, and what’s been on the camp web page and his personal blog, and posting it on a newpaper blog.  Dangerous stuff?

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I have a link to a prayer site by the youth camp corporation or organization I am concerned about lately.  This certainly doesn’t seem right to me…

http://www.sacredgateway.org/02_default.asp 

If you click through the “prayer guide” a window pops up that tells a definition of God, then has breathing exercises and the like.  This is NOT prayer, but clearly some other practice as it doesn’t even pretend to have a person focus on God but themselves, the sounds around, etc. 

The thing is, the leaders would claim this IS prayer, and this is how to get close to God.  I don’t get it at all…

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