Masterpiece Ministries

            A wise man once said the following: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
            This could easily sum up my summer, and what I might have missed if I’d not stopped for a brief moment.
            My Tyndale colleague Timothy Botts asked me this past spring if I’d be interested in attending the Masterpiece Arts Camp this summer. It sounded intriguing and I said yes. I imagined being able to share some publishing wisdom with students, then having some time to write and enjoy nature. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
            A week before the camp, I regretted saying yes. I was in the middle of writing three books this summer. Life was moving very, very fast. Too fast, in fact. I arrived in Kentucky still not knowing what the week would entail.
            I can honestly say this now: my week at Masterpiece Camp was one of the best weeks of my life. Yes, I forgot to bring a towel or bed linens or even shampoo (because somehow I forgot what the word camp meant). But no matter.
            It was on the first evening after the students arrived when I realized what an exceptional place this was. It was a camp for kids with artistic interests. Not only that, these were talented, bright kids. Music and visual arts and animation and drama and writing were all celebrated. But they were celebrated for the right reasons. God was at the center of this celebration. And honestly—this took my breath away.
            It still does, in fact.
            I was transported back to a time when I was a teenager in the 80’s who discovered he loved to write. My parents encouraged me, but that was about it. I had no other fellow artists to share my passion with. My writing was my silent, unseen best friend. I kept at it, but I really wish I could have met others I could really relate with.
            The Botts and the Rogers founded Masterpiece Arts Camp because they knew kids like me. They were once kids like this, too. They had been to sports camps or Christian camps that still left us artistic sorts feeling a bit left out. At Masterpiece, creativity is paramount. Out-of-the-box thinking is pushed. But everything is done in a safe and fun way.
            There were too many remarkable moments to share in a simple article like this. There were incredible lives that I got to meet. Amazing stories brought into camp. Astounding talents shared. Yes, I know—I’m using a lot of adjectives here, but I’m being honest.
            Masterpiece is a special place. Period.
            I really love how the week is built to not only encourage and motivate you, but to also challenge you. Both mentally and spiritually. By Friday, I was the guy around camp shedding lots of tears. In part because I realized the unique nature of this camp. But also because God was speaking to me in the Kentucky wilderness.
            I mention the famous Ferris Buehler quote at the beginning for this reason. I always thought Ferris was cool and somebody I would have loved to hang around with. Well you know what? I hung around with a bunch of Ferris Buehlers this summer at Masterpiece. Students and adults that were cool and that I’m proud to know.
            If you know a teen or are one who loves the arts, you have to check out Masterpiece. It might truly impact your life. It certainly impacted mine. 

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