I just spent at week at Camp Evergreen speaking to the grade 1-4 kids. It was quite the week and I felt completely in my element, however it was a bit of stretch for some staff who work most comfortably with junior & senior high kids.
One fabulous lesson I was taught at camp was all about community.
There was on cabin in particular which was "challenging" to say the least. My biggest fear for those two counselors was that they would look back on this week and be reminded of why they never wanted to work at camp again. But, the opposite took place...
On Saturday as I was preparing to leave camp I stopped to say good-bye to these two fine young gentlemen and said hopefully: "I hope this week hasn't turned you off of camp ministry."
They replied to me, "The opposite has happened."
They went on to explain that although the week with the boys was difficult at times, they were so encouraged to see those around them rise up and support them. The head counselor told me that at moments when he felt like he was at the end of his rope, someone would pull him aside to encourage him, or let him know that they were praying for him. When a child ran off, it seemed that there was always another staff member ready to chase after them. "If anything, I've learned more about God's faithfulness this week then any other week at camp."
This is how I believe community is to truly function. Our job is not to allow people to fail, rather to support them in such a way that they succeed when it seems everything is against them.
This is the church functioning how I believe God created us to function.