In Rythym with Christ
By Dustin Serns, Port Orchard pastor and Washington Adventist Camp Meeting youth division team member
14-year-old Logan was disconnected from the Adventist church and school in his hometown. He had felt judged by adults and bullied by some of his peers. The few friends that accepted him were not positive influences. His parents had just gotten a divorce. Instead of going to a party with his friends like he had originally planned, Logan found himself going to Washington Adventist Camp Meeting in Auburn.
One evening in the youth tent while I was recruiting young musicians to help lead music for the evening programs, one of the youth told me that Logan played the drums. I found out he had brought his electric drum set to camp meeting in his trailer. As a homeschooler without a lot of friends, playing drums was his passion. He would play for hours every day. I asked him to play with us for praise and worship during the evening meetings. He was elated, and so was I. He was very talented and helped bring the quality of the worship music to a whole new level.
When I affirmed him, he said, “I have never played in front of people before.”
“So this is the first time you have ever led out in worship music?” I asked.
“I haven’t really ever even listened to worship music before,” he responded.
Logan took it seriously. He knew he was part of something that was much bigger than himself. He was humble and conscientious and wanted to bring glory to Jesus.
Every time I would affirm Logan and point out about how God was working, Logan would light up. This was truly a life-changing experience for him. He had found how his passion connected with being of service to Jesus. He not only came to play drums, but he started coming to all the youth events and morning Bible studies. He was hungry to learn and willing to share about how God had brought him to camp meeting.
Logan’s family could not have been more thrilled. They would come sit in during practice to support Logan. I knew that some of them probably held totally different preferences in music style, but they wanted their love for Logan to resound much louder than any beat he could play on his drum set. I was so inspired by them. What if every Adventist church was like this?
For a couple weeks before camp meeting, I had been trying to find someone to play percussion for our worship team in the youth tent. Everywhere I looked had been a dead end. Now I knew why. God already had someone in mind...someone who needed an opportunity to do something for Jesus.
I encouraged Logan to continue living for Jesus after he got home. I encouraged him to be persistent about finding an Adventist church where he could get connected. I told him that God had a place where he could use his gift for Him. He promised he would give it a try.
Logan is super stoked about playing in the youth tent for camp meeting again next year. God has worked amazingly to make Logan’s experience this year at camp meeting unlike any other he has ever had. I know God has great plans to work in him and through him in the future.
When I asked Logan for permission to share his story, he said, “Of course! I just want it to help at least one person say ‘yes’ to God because it can change their life.”
This is why we have camp meeting: To give people a new experience with Jesus.
This is why we exist as a church: To give people a new experience with Jesus.
Let’s keep our eyes open for people around us that we can lead into a new experience with Jesus. As we encourage and empower others, I believe Jesus will give us a new experience with Him at the same time.