Bible Study Camp for Young Adult

Home Counsellor Training Bible Study Camp for Young Adult

Bible Study Camp for Young Adult

Why do we have Bible Study Camp for Young Adult?

Written by Tsai, Tz-Yuan on Sep. 2014

“Why do we have Bible Study Camp for Young Adult?” many campus ministers met the question like this when drafting the camp with the students whom they once mentored and now graduated. Those students had learnt how to reflect on their faith with theological ideas and broader vision. After graduation, those students went back to church to commit themselves in the fellowship, and some of them chose to become the servants of the Lord. However, many of them found gap between their own faith and the teaching from church. The other situation was that some of the church couldn’t lead the students who long for deeper faith. Also, the students who didn’t accept the faith until being in university found themselves hard to enter the church community after graduation. Those situations are so depressing, and the voice of those people in need is heard by the counselors.

Thus, the preparatory work began. We discussed what the core value and directions we should take to hold the camp. Should it be a spiritual camp, a life camp, or a Bible study camp? What kind of form can be the most helpful option for the participants? We ended up choosing to learn from “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” to hold the Bible Study Camp for Young Adult.

Many who have joined “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” have experienced positive changes of lives because of the faith reflection through Bible study. Therefore, we sincerely hope that there can be a camp to help those young adults continue to grow in spiritual aspect. We even expect that those young church adults who have never participated in “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” can have the chance to have those experiences as well. This camp is an extension of “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” and also a camp with the spirit of PCT youths.

What is the spirit of “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” and what is the spirit of PCT Youths?

The founder of Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students, Rev. Chen, Nan-Chou once said: “Theology is the reflection of Faith. If we want to live up to our faith, we need to connect ourselves with social context. Real theology must constantly renew and connect itself with the real world.” I think the quote is the best interpretation for the spirit of Biblical Theological Study. We all believe that Bible is the inspiration of God’s Word, but in history, the western world once used the fragment of the Bible scripture to rationalize slavery system and to deprive women rights. Therefore, nowadays, we need to understand the Bible with new perspective. We are now in a new generation, facing many new issues like abortion, surrogate mother, human cloning, homosexual, euthanasia, being subject to the governing authorities…etc. When facing these issues, we are always in a rush to find an explanation from the Bible so that we can feel secured, but we tend to ignore the core of the issues, which is “people”

What perspective should we take to understand Bible? What is God’s command? “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” leads Bible study with new Biblical Hermeneutics, and interprets the Bible according to the social context of the readers. The respectable theologian Dr. I-Jin Loh once said:” The meaning of scripture doesn’t lie in the author of the scripture, nor the world behind it, or the scripture itself, but the interaction between scriptures and readers.” It’s impossible for us to understand God and truth entirely from the limited 1 million words in Bible; otherwise, this truth would be cheap, and we would turn God into predictable “limited God”, which is non-sense. We can only read the Bible with new perspective through the connection with God, and life experience, and further become the new interpretation of this generation.

Since “Statement on Our National Fate by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan” was issued in 1971, Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been inseparable from Taiwan social context. The main reason why “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” was founded was because a bunch of the students reflected on their faith, and turned their ideas into a bottom-up grassroots movement to be involved in the social issues; it’s also the reason why workshop is a crucial part of “Biblical Theological Study Camp for University Students” (and Bible Study Camp for Young Adult). We want the local social issues to be seen during the camp.

This Bottom-up grassroots movement is still the backbone of the camp. Next year (2015) will be the 150th anniversary of PCT. However, we are losing the young generation. We need to ask ourselves one question: “PCT has a treasure that cannot be taken by others, but what is it?” If the youths cannot understand, they will be drawn to other denominations. If we cannot find it ourselves in PCT, we will become copycats and lose our features, and then, wither in the history. That’s definitely the last thing we want to see! We, as PCT youths, need to think about it; otherwise it would be hard for us to witness the 200th anniversary of PCT in the future.

We share our opinion about how we look upon the society nowadays with the participants coming from different backgrounds and integrate our resources to carry out our faith step by step. I believe this bottom-up movement will be fulfilled with growth and expectation. Big trees will decay, and budding seeds represent the legacy of faith; they also mean new lives. Hope everyone, with the diverse opinions, can learn abundantly during the camp, and accept each other so that we can become one communion to make our life grow and become the future hope for the church.

★ About Tsai, Tz-Yuan

*Preparation committee member of 2014 Bible Study Camp for Young Adult

*Taipei Presbytery San-He Church

*Graduated member of Taipei Student Mission Centre-Fu Jen Catholic University Fellowship