Super Summer 2015 looks at ‘Jesus Is’

Campers at Super Summer 2015 looked an in-depth look at who “Jesus Is.”

With the help of camp pastors and musicians, daily quiet times and church-group meetings, campers learned about the camp theme “Jesus Is.”

This year marked the 40th anniversary of Super Summer. The first camp was held in the summer of 1975 at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kan.

New camp directors were in place this year taking over for Terry McIlvain. The new directors are Joe Stiles, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Lawrence, Kan., and Danny Payne, pastor of Pleasantview Baptist Church, Derby, Kan.

Stiles was a camper at the first Super Summer in 1975. Payne came as a camper a few years later. Both men were youth ministers earlier in their careers and brought groups to Super Summer.

During Week 1 Jon Gillis, camp pastor, spoke on “Jesus is Real.” He focused on the Parable of the Tares (Weeds) in Matthew 13:24.

This Scripture passage was particularly relevant since the wheat field at Webster Conference Center was harvested late in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 23.

“There is a difference between the real and the look-alike,” Gillis told campers.

Since the Garden of Eden, Satan “has been trying to offer substitutes. We live in a world where a lot of things look alike.”

“It is incredibly important to believe that [Jesus] is real and that He will reveal Himself to us.”

During Super Summer Week 3 (July 6-10) Camp Pastor Scott Dawson shared an easy way for campers to share their faith based on an acronym called “FIRM:”

  • F—Friendly: Be friendly
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  • I—Interests: Ask about the person’s interests
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  • R—Religion: Ask about the person’s religious background. “What kind of religious background do you have?”
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  • M—Message: The message of Christ. “The message of Jesus is how He changed your life. Get to your message quickly. I can share my testimony in three minutes.”


Base your testimony on:

  • My life before Christ
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  • How I realized I needed Christ
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  • What God is doing in my life now


After sharing your testimony, ask the person, “Has anything like this ever happened to you?”

Dawson challenged campers to memorize these Scriptures:

  • Romans 3:23—All have sinned
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  • Romans 9:8—God loves us
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  • Romans 6:23—It’s your choice
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  • Romans 10:9-10—It can happen to you


During Week 4 (July 13-17) Camp Pastor Robert Smith from Oklahoma asked campers to share how God was working in their lives that week. Some of the replies were:

  • “Two days ago I decided to follow Jesus.
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  • “My faith has improved a lot this week.”


During the week Smith spoke on how Jesus is our example in various areas of life.

Wisdom was his topic on Thursday morning, July 16.

Smith asked campers, “What is the difference between book smart and wisdom?”

A camper replied, “You can know the right thing to do, but wisdom is actually doing it.”

Smith focused on Matthew 7:24-28 where the wise man built his house on the rock while the foolish man built his house on the sand.

“Just because you hang out at church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian,” Smith told campers. “Listen to what God is saying to you and put it into practice in your life.”

During Weeks 5 and 6 the camp pastor Runks from Levelland, Texas, spoke of the attitudes of Jesus from Philippians 2. His topics included surrender, service and obedience.

Focusing on Matthew 22:36-37, Runks urged campers to love God with:

  • All of your mind
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  • All of your passion
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  • All of your soul
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  • All of your strength


Super Summer 2016 begins on June 20 with Hispanic Super Summer. It will go for seven weeks and end on Friday, Aug. 5.