Growing up, my family used to go to church every Sunday. My dad sang and played in the band and I was committed to Sunday school. As the church grew, it had to move to a bigger location. We tried our best to make it every Sunday, but every Sunday turned into every other Sunday, every other Sunday turned into the occasional Sunday, and the occasional Sunday just stopped happening. I was growing up, my parents were getting new jobs, and we just couldn’t make the time anymore.
Fast forward seven years later to when a good friend of mine at the time told me about an amazing church camp she went to. She invited me to come with her that summer—I agreed, not sure of what to expect. Little did I know that going to camp that summer would drastically change my definition of church forever. It was no longer a distant memory of sermons past and songs I vaguely remembered, but rather something that sparked a passion deep inside me that over the past few years has grown into a roaring flame—not just from going to camp, but going on numerous mission trips and service retreats.
Camp taught me the value of fully engaging in what I was learning and making true connections with the people around me, and with God. The transition back into the real world after a week of no technology is something we talk about at the end of every camp. We talk about how we can take the information we have learned over the week and apply it in our separate lives back home.
I didn’t realize it the first time, or even the second time we talked about this, but over time I realized that it was the same for church.
We come to church to learn, and grow in our faith, we come to build friendships with a community that shares our values, and we come to praise God. But none of it matters if we don’t make the effort to live out what we learn.
Because being a Christian is more than just showing up to church on Sunday.
Written by Kate Seaver, a senior at Thompson Valley High School. Kate will attend Front Range Community College in the fall.