The Main Thing

June 26, 2017

The Mission of Hume
In 1988 I was a summer staffer at Hume Lake Christian Camps. Along with about twenty other college students, I was part of the “Summer Alternate Staff” team. Like today’s “Summer Counseling Staff” members, we filled in for churches who needed an extra counselor for the week. Each Sunday, after lunch, we met in Ken Cross’ office. As I walked down the stairs in the Administration Office each week, I would read a sign that read, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”  

Since 1946, Hume Lake Christian Camps has had a clear mission. Hume’s mission statement reads:

We desire that each person coming in contact with this global ministry will:
* Accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
* Grow in their faith and Christian character development.
* Establish the priorities of prayer, Bible study and Christian fellowship while associating with a local church.
* Devote their lives in service to our Lord Jesus at home and abroad.
* We will continue to emphasize ministries to youth.

Although not short or overly pithey, our mission statement has served as our marching orders for more than seven decades. Through all of those years, Hume’s leadership has stayed true to its mission. Like a “steer in a blizzard,” Hume Lake Christian Camps has stood firm and has not drifted.

In April the city of Fresno hosted Luis Palau. Shortly before the launch of the Fresno CityFest, Luis Palau came to Hume Lake. It had been 40 years since he had been on campus and he wanted to walk the grounds. Later that week I hosted his son and daughter in law, Andrew and Wendy Palau, along with their children. During the tour of the ministry Andrew wanted to step inside Memorial Chapel. As soon as he walked through the door he said, “This is it! Memorial Chapel was the building where my dad would speak and I would play after the service among the seats.” He indicated that this building, and Hume Lake, held so many childhood memories for him.

Over the years we have had people like Billy Graham, J. Vernon McGee, David Jeremiah, Tim LaHaye, Kenny Poure and Francis Chan teach from Hume’s pulpits. Hume has a legacy of bringing top Bible teaching to our guests, but it has never been about our speakers, nor has it been about our staff. For 71 years, Hume has carefully and creatively proclaimed the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I was standing with the Palau family in Memorial Chapel, it brought me great joy to be able to share that there has never been a period of time that Hume Lake Christian Camps has strayed from the gospel or its mission. Since 1946 over a million and a half people have attended a camp, conference or retreat at Hume Lake Christian Camps.

This summer, thousands of campers and guests will hear the gospel, be challenged to grow in their walk with the Lord, become a person of prayer, to study the Bible and to plug into a Bible-believing local church. Our missions focus this summer emphasizes what God is doing in Romania. Students are being challenged to do whatever, whenever, wherever God would have them to go. This summer we will minister to people of all ages, but with dozens of buses arriving each Sunday afternoon, we continue to emphasize ministry to youth.

At Hume Lake Christian Camps our mission remains strong and our focus is clear. Praise God, the main thing is STILL the main thing. Our Board and staff are committed to keeping it that way. My prayer is that our current speakers will be able to return to Hume forty years from now, like Luis Palau just did, and see a ministry that is just as committed to the gospel as it was in 1946 and in 2017.

Our mission is clear, the milkshakes are good and water levels are up. Praise God! I hope to see you at Hume this summer, as together, we continue to exalt the name of Jesus Christ.

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