How to preach at church camps

Pastor Benny Ho
Pastor Benny Ho

Sought after church camp speaker

One of the most popular speakers for church camps must be Pastor Benny Ho. He took our camp at Batam this year and mentioned that he had six camps to do during the June holidays. The theme he spoke to us was “Life on the Top” – a series of four messages that speaks to life issues. He also gave the young people an informal workshop on dating and courtship. We were blessed. I was curious about what he thought about speaking at church camps and how it was different from church service sermons and what speakers needed to take note.

Things to note

One of the important things is to be aware of is the physical and mental state of people during a camp. The ups and downs of energy and interest levels have to be observed and given attention to. He found that using humor is a help as it catches and maintains attention levels when campers get tired. Camp talks have to facilitate an encounter with God, as that is what people are positioned for and need during a camp. People have taken time out of busy studies or work, and they are more ready to hear God and experience him. The concentrated time allows for a theme to be fully developed and expanded. It would also be good for the camp speaker to work closely with the pastor and help the church rally together and work in unity for the common good. This would entail mixing around with the people and getting to know them too, especially during meal times.

Some personal observations

His preaching was well-received by the campers. I observed his preaching during the camp and here are some things I noted down. Trust this might be helpful when you get invited to do a church camp somewhere:

  • Topical (more accessible, I suppose) though two years ago he did an expository series on Joel with us
  • Clear, coherent and easy to follow outline
  • Pithy quotations from well-known writers and preachers or anonymous sources.
  • Apt use of words and synonyms and a sprinkling of original Greek or Hebrew
  • Stories: here is where humor is most evident
  • Backed up points with Scripture texts
  • Use of some facts, statistics and research
  • Put notes in people’s hands
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  • Hello Pastor! Hope you and Lyn and Journeyman are doing well!

    I guess there’s one more point: Please preach more about Jesus from the Bible, as opposed to mere exhortations and “motivational” talk.

    I think people want to hear more about God through the knowledge of Jesus, both from the Old Testament and the New. I don’t suppose people go to church for any other reason. After all, if they want to socialize or sing songs or be entertained they might as well go to karaoke or watch a movie instead…

    God bless!

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