Day 0.

Illinois Student Ministries’ daily camp recap videos are always labeled “day _”.

So the day before camp: day 0.

The calm before the storm as it were.

We dedicate this day to setup, worship practice, planning meetings, and prayer.

You know that moment before you go to pick up something heavy and you take a deep breath in and out?

A way to prepare yourself for the difficult task ahead?

That’s what day zero is.

In my role as the storyteller/online pastor, I use this day to prep “media” for the camp services.

Countdown video. Logo Loop. And a service intro piece.

By the grace of God, time allowed me to get started on my ambition of “5 pieces of content a day”.

Today’s content:

  • Camp Video Throwback Reel: Pastor Alton Saves Rexy
  • Kids Camp Week 2 Team Color Announcement Carousel
  • Camp Theme Vision Quote Reel: “You can’t change the world if you’re just like it.”
  • Camp Prayer Points Carousel
  • Raw footage Reel of this week’s worship pastor practicing the camp classic: “Wavewalker” by Citizen Way

Over the past 5 years of doing camp media, it’s become a tradition to begin every daily recap video with a “cold open.”

Some kind of skit or bit we produce day of to start things off.

We got the plans for Monday’s Cold Open down, as well as an idea for another reel to shoot as campers are arriving.

On top of all that, two of the 5 pieces of content are already prepped to go live on Monday.

Being prepared feels great but I recognize this feeling won’t last.

You can spend months coming up with ideas, but the chaos of camp has a way of throwing them out the window.

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” and camp has a mean right-hook.

Unlike past years, I’m attempting to continue my daily disciplines this week.

Eating meal prep. Bible Reading. Learning. Etc.

In today’s Bible reading, I was in the story of Moses.

God calls Moses to the task of leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

Yet, Moses is insecure and keeps giving God “what-ifs”

What if I get tongue-tied? What if they don’t believe you sent me? What if Pharaoh freaks out? (my translation).

And in the Scripture, it actually says the Lord gets frustrated at Moses and all his doubts.

But God reassures him:

“I will be with you as you speak and I will instruct you in what to say.” (Exodus 4:12)

Then God makes more promises to Moses.

The Lord gives him signs to use as proof and sends Moses’ brother Aaron to assist in the speech department.

God is telling Moses, “It’s not about you, your resources, or your abilities. It’s all on me. I’m using you as a conduit of my love & power to build my Kingdom.”

Have you ever felt like Moses? Insecure about what God was calling you to do?

I know I have as a Kingdom Creative.

But God, I don’t have an expensive camera.

What if I run out of ideas?

Lord, how can I create content that’s both fun, engaging, and ministers?

Jesus, I’m not ready for these long hours of shooting, editing, publishing, and waking up the next day to do it again.

And God’s response to me is the same as his to Moses.

“I got this. I will be with you. It’s not about your ideas, abilities, or gear. I will tell you what to do.”

Some may accuse me of over-spiritualizing the content creation process.

But if we want to make the move from

  • using social media to promote ministry to performing it
  • making ads to making disciples
  • stating facts to telling stories

We would be stupid to attempt this without God’s leading.

To do anything significant for the Kingdom without his guidance is a waste of time.

Do I take inspiration from others within and outside the Kingdom? Of course!

But I don’t want to publish anything without God’s involvement.

If I got either the direct command of “make this” or a sense of peace about an idea-I’m in.

Other than that, I don’t any part of it.

To quote Moses later on in his story: “If you (God) don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.” (Exodus 33:15)

That’s my prayer for you and myself as camp begins: that we would be confident knowing God is with us in our callings.

The equipping, the resources, the abilities: they all come from Him.

He’s the hero of the story.

We only have to follow His leading.