As a person raised in the local church I had my fair share of church camp visits over summers. Recently I spent a week with elementary aged children at Indian Creek Baptist Camp near Bedford, IN. First I have to commend both the camp manager and his wife for setting the stage for a successful week. The food was good-mostly kid food, but it made sense. I was pleased by all the healthy offerings (even if the kids often skipped the celery sticks and carrot chips with no parents around) on the week.
Second, our camp director was a pro. She had the schedule filled with enough "work" in Bible studies, team building activities, worship to set the stage for camp but also allowed enough time for the kids to enjoy being at camp with swimming, hiking, fishing, etc.
There is nothing as powerful as beginning a worship service and finding your congregation so excited for worship that they come running into the sanctuary! The opening music played was loud, and it inspired the children to come up front and dance ans sing along with the music. It made me want to bring the whole group back to my local church to "energize" our worship service. Their energy and enthusiasm was inspiring and I believe it reveals an aspect of worship that is sometimes overlooked in meditative based worship services (not that I am against this, each have their place). These kids were full of joy- a joy that was infectious in all of the good ways possible. And this joy set the stage for so much of the week.
I wonder how local churches would respond to this marginally controlled joy in their worship services. Would they see it as joy, or would they see it as threatening?
I believe my church could use an extra dose of this joy. I think lots of church could.