Camp

Youth Ministry Devotions | Sowing and Reaping Devotional

We all want a life we love, right?! We want adventure. We want fun. We want to be carefree. We all want to live a prime life. We want to wake up one day and realize that we love the life weíre living.
We want to love our friends. We want to be proud of the decisions weíre making. We want to live without regrets. We want to be pumped about our grades. And we want to be hopeful about our future.
What if I told you that was possible? What if I told you that you could wake up one day and love the life youíre living? I believe that full life is possible for all of us, but hereís the thing, itís going to take work. Like anything you want in life, itís going to take some work. If you want to be the best basketball player on your team, you have to practice and put in the time. If you want to get into your dream college, you have to study and complete all of your assignments. If you want to be the lead in the school play, you have to put in the time to learn your lines. If you want to be an incredible artist, you have to take lessons and sit through critiques. The same is true of your life. If you want to live a life without a regrets, a life youíre pumped about, a life that you love, itís going to take some work.
Thereís a verse in Galatians that speaks directly to this idea. It says:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Galatians 6:7
In other words, the decisions you make, the seeds you sow will determine the life that you live. If you plant seeds of carelessness, laziness or selfishness you will reap a life that is careless, lazy and selfish. If you continually slack off in class, if you continually say to yes to things that you know will cause you regret, if you continually put others down at the sake of making yourself feel better ó you will reap a life that lacks handwork and is full of regret.
BUT, if you will begin to plant seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control you will reap a life that is full of joy and goodness! You will reap a life that sets you up for a prime life not only now, but for years down the road. You can live a life without regret, a life that reflects the heart of Jesus.†The decisions you make now will either help or hurt the live youíll live now and in the future. Starting now, you can decide life youíre going to live. And if you want to live a life that is full, begin to sow seeds that lead will lead to a full life.
Choosing to study instead going to a party can be hard. Choosing to say no to the drink thatís being handed to you can be difficult. Choosing to forgive isnít easy. Sticking to your boundaries in a relationship can feel impossible. Being patient with your friends can be challenging. Itís true that the decision to plant seeds that lead to a full life may not be easy, but it will always be worth it.
I want you to have a prime, full life, so starting today, where can you choose to plant seeds and make decisions that will grow and bloom into a full life?
Camp

Youth Ministry Devotions | Ability vs. Availability Devotional

We all want the prime life. The full life. We all want to feel like weíre performing at our absolute best. We want people to look at us and be impressed by the things we do. The star athlete, the straight A student, the lead in the school play, the comedian, the homecoming queen, the musician, the artist. The list goes on and on. None of those things are bad, but when they become the things that define our lives we constantly feel the pressure to measure up. To be something.
And itís exhausting.
But for others, you donít think you have the ability to do anything. Youíre not the star athlete, you donít make straight Aís, you wouldnít even try out for the school play and no oneís laughing at your jokes. Maybe you donít feel the pressure of continuing to be the best, because you already feel the defeat of not being able to do anything.
And itís exhausting.
Weíve all been there, and we feel can feel trapped. BUT, what if I told you it didnít have to be that way? That living a prime life wasnít about what you were able to do? Whether youíre trying to measure up or feel defeated, I think we can all learn something from this passage in Ephesians:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Ephesians 3:20
Now to HIM who is ABLE to do IMMEASURABLY more WITHIN US. When we feel the pressure to measure up or feel defeated, we can rest in knowing that we have a Heavenly Father who is able to do more than our wildest dreams. And because He is able, we donít have to be. Heís not defining us by what we can and canít do. Heís just asking us to be available to what HE can do.
Hereís the thing, the more available we are to what God wants for us, the less concerned we are with what everyone else expects of us. We no longer feel the pressure to measure up because we can trust that a prime, full life comes from being available to what God can do, not what we can do. We no longer feel defeated by what we canít do because we can trust that a prime, full life comes from being available to what God can do, not what we can do. God wants to do immeasurably more in us. The God of the Universe wants to explode His power through you for the rest of the world to see. Thatís huge. Thatís exciting.
Thatís prime life.
So today, just tell God youíre available to Him and ask Him to do more than you could ever ask or imagine. Just start there and trust that HE is ABLE.
Camp

Youth Ministry Devotions | Life to the Fullest Devotional

Who had the best time at BigStuf 2016?! How could you not have the best time? We sang, we danced, we partied, we laughed! It was the best summer ever, and now youíre home and back to ďrealĒ life. Maybe youíre really missing BigStuf and would give anything for it to be the summer again. Or at least if you have to be home, wouldnít it be awesome if in the middle of class a piŮata dropped from the ceiling and the whole room lost their minds? Or you could walk out your back door and step right onto the beach? Or twice a day you could circle up with your best friends and support and encourage each other? We get it, we feel that way sometimes too, but we think the BEST place you can be right now is right where you are.
My guess is that a lot of you wouldnít say that where you are right now is the best place you could be. Life feels normal. There are so many distractions, and maybe youíre beginning to doubt if a prime life at home is actually possible. It may not feel like it right now, but the same God that you encountered at BigStuf is at home with you even now.†This summer we learned in John 10:10 that Jesus said, ďI have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The promise of life to the full is still possible even when life life seems hard or normal. Experiencing life to the full might be less about changing your location and more about changing your perspective. What if life to full looked choosing to celebrate your friend making the team instead of being jealous that you didnít? What if life to the full looked like choosing to eat lunch with the person everyone leaves out instead of joining in on the gossip? Imagine what could happen if you were the people that took Jesusí promise seriously and began to believe that a full life was possible? Imagine what would happen if you began to celebrate those around you, chose to complete school assignments without complaining, built people up instead of tearing them down? It would change your school! It would allow others to see that a full, prime, joyful life is possible. So life may still be normal, but it can be full. Today, look for ways to celebrate others, love those who seem difficult to love and trust that even at home, Jesus has come that you may have life and have it to the full!
Musicians

Seth Condrey ďI FALLĒ LYRICS

We’ve had a ton of people asking about a song we sang at camp called “I Fall.” It is a brand new song by Seth Condrey. We will keep you posted when it comes out but until then, here are the lyrics!

I FALL

by: Seth Condrey

 

Something is broken,

I need your help

I can’t fix this on my own

My heart is prone

to wander far

But you call me back to your arms

CHORUS:

I fall at your feet again

Here’s my heart again

Lord I am yours

I run with my chains undone

All because the love that you have shown

When I hear mercy calling

Its at your feet I’m falling

Jesus I surrender all

Your kindness leads me to the light

No fear, no shame

I can’t hide

You bore the nails

You wore the scars

Now I am safe in your arms

BRIDGE:

All to Jesus

I surrender

Humbly at Your feet I bow

These earthly pleasures

All forsaken

Here’s my life I lay it down

Musicians

2016 Set List

One of the questions we get the most on social media is about the songs we sing at BigStuf! We know that there’s nothing like taking the songs you hear at BigStuf back home with you. Songs are a great reminder of the amazing things our Heavenly Father is doing in our lives; SO, just for you, here is the 2016 Set List for BigStuf…

  1. This Is Living †- †Hillsong Young and Free
  2. Love Come Down – HEAR (InsideOut)
  3. Christ is Enough – Hillsong
  4. Death Was Arrested – HEAR (InsideOut)
  5. Alive – Hillsong Young and Free
  6. Mighty to Save – Hillsong Miami
  7. I Fall – Seth Condrey / North Point
  8. Real Love – Hillsong Young and Free
  9. Trust It All – HEAR (InsideOut)
  10. I Will Rest – HEAR (InsideOut)
  11. Oceans – Hillsong
  12. Good Good Father – Passion
  13. Sons and Daughters – HEAR (InsideOut)
  14. From the Inside Out – Hillsong Miami

Check out the new 2017 BigStuf Set List

 

Musicians

Artist Spotlight-Steve Marcia

[We’re excited to welcome guitarist Steve Marcia to the BigStuf stage this summer!†Steve began playing the guitar at the young age of 10 years old. †He was recently the Music Director at Buckhead Church where he focused on leadership development and musical excellence. Some of Steveís credits include Francesca Batistelli, Brand X Music, Mercy Me, Phil Wickham, Evan Wickham, Fee Band, Tommy Walker, Shane & Shane, The Kry, Chris Harris (producer), Jadon Lavik, Rob Biagi, Michael Neale, Adam Watts & Vicky Beeching to name a few. Get to know more about Steve in this week’s artist spotlight!]

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Our BigStuf Band usually throws frisbees from the stage. What else would be fun to throw from stage?

Water balloons

What was the first song you performed?

Right Now by Van Halen (I was so nervous to play this song!)

Who are some of your role models (musically or personally)?

Tommy Walker – I learned a lot about leadership and music from him.

Live performances rarely ever go on without a problem. Have you ever had a mishap on stage? How did you handle it?

When I was 15, I broke a string in the middle of a song. I got so nervous I ran off stage, got another guitar and came back to finish!! Haha what I should have done was just stay and finish the song. It was a learning moment for sure!

How long have you been playing the guitar?

I’ve been playing my guitar for a good 20 years

Do you have any pre/post stage routines?

I usually have to pee right before I get on stage. Ya better go!

Who is someone you would love to perform alongside?

Keith Urban

What’s your favorite “gorgeous day, windows down, music blaring in the car” song?

If I’m by myself, anything Muse. If I’m with my wife, Keith Urban ‘Til Summer Comes Around

What advice would you give to beginner musicians?

You’ve spent the time, now relax and enjoy it. It’s inside of you! Something happens when you slow down and take a breath. Before I take a guitar solo I have to breathe to slow my heart-rate to calm any nervous energy. It’s about control.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

NASCAR + Salsa Verde Doritos

Speakers

Speaker Spotlight-Trey McKnight

[Trey McKnight is back at BigStuf 2016! You’ve seen him on stage as a worship leader but this year he’s back as a host! Trey is not a newbie to hosting. He hosts regularly for various North Point Community Church events (that’s when he’s not leading worship too). Trey is obviously a man of many talents and we can’t wait to see him at Camp 7!]

How did you get started speaking at events?

I’ve been a worship leader for a long time, so I’m used to being in front of crowds. I think that helps a bit, but I’ve discovered it’s WAY different. My first consistent hosting start was about 3 years ago as a live broadcast host for North Point Online, which airs every Sunday morning. Shortly after that, I started to receive some opportunities to host at some of our church’s different locations, including weekly for the group of students that I work with now. Eventually, that led to some opportunities to speak to students at our different campuses, and I’m loving it!!

What would be your ideal walk out song?

I think it would have to be “Fighter” by our friend Sojo. ūüėČ (seriously – it’s one of my anthems)

Live events rarely ever happen without some sort of a problem. Have you ever had a mishap on stage? How did you handle it?

Pshh — I have them ALL THE TIME!! I think sometimes people think that we never mess up or that everything always goes like it should, but what REALLY happens is that we’re all really good at pushing through it. So, the audience normally doesn’t ever know. And then there are the times when it’s OBVIOUS, and you have to call it out. Own it. Every time. I was hosting on stage one time in front of thousands of people, giving them the “where we’re going next” points, and TOTALLY blanked on what I was supposed to say next. I tried to push past it but knew I couldn’t, so I literally said “where ARE we going next?” I can be a perfectionist sometimes, so I hated the moment, but owning it got a few laughs, and that made it easier to swallow.

Who are some of your role models? Why?

Rich Froning. Four-time Fittest Man on Earth. My ultimate man-crush. I’ve also got lots of personal friends/acquaintances who I would consider someone I’d want to model myself after. I’m surrounded by some incredible people.

Do you have any pre/post-stage routines?

Vocal warm-ups (for both singing and hosting/speaking — it’s a habit), and I jump, walk, and move around a lot. I have a hard time sitting still. Sometimes I’ll drop and do push-ups if I don’t think the people around me will make fun of me. Jumping jacks are good too! I’m a pretty compacted ball of energy within 30 minutes or so of going on stage. Post stage is a little more chill – I guess it takes a few minutes to come down off of the high energy.

What do you love most about being a speaker?

A long time ago I adopted my life-purpose-statement: to inspire people to achieve positive life change… Every time I stand in front of people to communicate some sort of message, whether it’s for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, I get the opportunity to do what I believe God built me for. While I always strive for excellence, my prayer is always this: that my mark of success would not be that I say everything perfectly or eloquently, but that someone would walk away CHANGED by Jesus. That everything I say or do would somehow point to Him. I LOVE that God chooses to use me to be a small part of loving his people.

Thousands of middle & high school students will come through BigStuf this summer. Thinking back to your middle/high school self, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself?

As difficult as it is, don’t worry so much about what others think about you. Be more concerned with WHO God says you are… HIS. Never let FEAR of rejection or failure keep you from doing what you feel God moving you toward. And always remember that freedom is found in surrender — learn to take (scary) steps of faith and see what God shows you.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Almond butter. Dove Dark Chocolate. Milk. Every. Night. …and I DON’T feel guilty about it at all. Oh and if you put a chocolate chip cookie in front of me I’m gonna eat it. 100% chance.

Musicians

Artist Spotlight-Brandon Coker

[We can’t wait to welcome back drummer Brandon Coker to BigStuf 2016! You may remember him when he shared how the song Death Was Arrested came to be while at BigStuf Camps last summer. Learn more about Brandon in this week’s Artist Spotlight!]

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Our BigStuf Band usually throws frisbees from the stage. What else would be fun to throw from stage?

Silly string.

What was the first song you performed?

“Lean On Me”

Who are some of your role models (musically or personally)?

Chris McHugh is my favorite musical influence. My dad, my old youth pastor & Tim Bach are my life role models.

Live performances rarely ever go on without a problem. Have you ever had a mishap on stage? How did you handle it?

I’ve had tons of trainwreck moments. Most of the time I have to stop the song, tell everyone what happened, then try the song again. It’s never pretty.

How long have you been playing the drums?

18 years…(I’m old)

Do you have any pre/post stage routines?

I drink a bottle of water before and after I play. Gotta stay hydrated.

Who is someone you would love to perform alongside?

Keith Urban, Martin Smith, or Chris Stapleton

What’s your favorite “gorgeous day, windows down, music blaring in the car” song?

Party In The USA…

What advice would you give to beginner musicians?

Be nervous. You need to feel the weight of what you’re doing, but don’t let that stop you. Push through the nerves until you don’t feel them as much anymore. The worst thing you can do is quit.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I watch Nashville with my wife. It’s a solid show.

BigStuf Staff

Pre-Summer Prayer Night

Every year the musicians, speakers & staff get together to pray B E F O R E the craziness of summer. It’s our way of focusing on what’s important. We pray over each area of camp as we enjoy worship and a meal together as one B I G family.

  • We prayed for students || That their ears would be ready to listen and their hearts would be willing to accept the incredible L O V E of our Heavenly Father. We prayed specifically for students who already know Jesus & just need Him to recapture their hearts & we prayed specifically for the students who don’t know Jesus at all.
  • We prayed for those leading on stage || That the Lord would speak through them through songs and words and it would be J U S T what the students need to hear.
  • We prayed for staff & interns || That we will be ready and willing to S E R V E and that the Lord would use us this summer to glorify H I M and talk about Him to over 12,000 students + leaders.
See pictures of this incredible night….

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Musicians

Artist Spotlight-Ryan Harvey

[BigStuf drummer, Ryan Harvey, has been an intern, a staff member, AND†a band member; so, you could say that he’s a BigStuf PRO. Before bringing him back†for another epic summer at BigStuf, we want you to know the man behind the mustache. Trust us, it’s worth the read.]

ryan harvey meme mustache

ryan harvey meme bride

Our BigStuf Band usually throws frisbees from the stage. What else would be fun to throw from stage?

I’ve thrown pizza, half-eaten bananas, sandwiches, and candy…just to name a few.

What was the first song you performed?

That’s a tough question….probably some really old worship song at my church or something for concert band. I do remember the first song I played at my youth group was ‘Six Feet From the Edge’ by Creed. I totally messed up the opening drum fill.

Who are some of your role models (musically or personally)?

Davis Harwell. Benjamin Franklin. Justin Vernon. Rick Rubin. Anyone who works at Chipotle.

Live performances rarely ever go on without a problem. Have you ever had a mishap on stage? How did you handle it?

I had to play the song ‘Best Day of My Life’ by American Authors (which was, ironically, the worst day of my life). We were using a click track and I didn’t realize that a different song (a much faster song) got launched. I came in rip-roaring with this groove on the toms and the banjo player sounded like he was falling down a flight of stairs. Fortunately it only took my about 8 bars to figure out what was happening. So I had to slow it all down really fast. Listening to the recording later, it sounded like a train coming to a screeching halt.

How long have you been singing?

16 years

Do you have any pre/post stage routines?

I try to always do a bit of warming up on a practice pad by playing basic patterns and rudiments to get the arm muscles moving. Afterwards I usually crash down on a couch and catch my breath.

Who is someone you would love to perform alongside?

Davis Harwell. Or James Blake. Or maybe Justin Vernon. Or Jimi Hendrix. Ideally, all of them at once.

What’s your favorite “gorgeous day, windows down, music blaring in the car” song?

It changes so often for me. Lately, it would either be ‘Cool Blue’ by The Japanese House or ‘Gone are the Days’ by HONNE. But if you asked me again tomorrow, I would probably answer that question differently.

What advice would you give to beginner musicians?

Passion always beats perfection. Every time.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Sour Patch Kids because they are the perfect food.