A few months ago, I was asked to help plan and execute a lock-in at a friend of mine’s church in Fulton, Kentucky. We called it…. Tribe Wars and if it sounds exuberating and exciting as the title may suggest then your ears do not deceive you. Tribe Wars was a weekend full of intense competition, copious amounts of junk food, and hours upon hours of no sleep. From the moment I pulled the bus in to Fulton First UMC, we were engaged in activities that stemmed from basketball, to ga-ga ball, to dodgeball, to just running around in the gym.
As everyone arrived and got settled, the leaders began to divide all 50 or so students into their tribe wars teams. The focus was to mix and mingle our students so that they could have the opportunity to get to know one another and compete with each other. Friday night’s activities included games and competitions on a dark football field, a lit up basketball gym, and a swimming pool. From 6:00 pm until 3:30 am on Saturday morning we continuously found ourselves in fierce competition and friendly banter. At 2:15 am, we found ourselves swimming in a pool when my body is clearly programmed to be in bed sleep. Needless to say, my body the following morning was in an interesting state.
As full a schedule we had for this event, the theological implications were just as present and just as prevalent: living in community, and being in relationship with people who are not exactly like us, people with whom we may not readily identify. Tribe Wars presented us with the opportunity to walk in love with our neighbor, to build working understandings of teamwork and positive communication, and to serve one another and extend grace to one another. Tribe Wars called me to add yet another task to my list, but Tribe Wars also called me to be ok with that; to be ok with the addition of another program. Tribe Wars, as it found itself in the middle of an extremely busy season in my life, reminded me of the joyous responsibility PTM has to provide our students with opportunities to grow in their faith, and grow in their love for God’s people. Tribe Wars did just that…
This post was written by Dwight Johnson. He is our Junior High School Director. He has been with PTM since the summer of 2012. His favorite part of PTM is having the opportunity to serve students and their families by sharing the love, peace, and hope of Christ; to walk alongside students as they come into knowledge of who Christ is for themselves.