written by Jason Carr, Christ in the Smokies volunteer
I’ve had the honor of working with and investing in teenage guys for almost 25 years. In that time span, I’ve seen God do some incredible things in the lives of generations and I’ve also seen some frightening changes in our culture. As culture has moved towards a non-Biblical filter, families have been fractured and technology has taken over in a new way. We’ve seen the role of a father and a son challenged in epic ways. But with Jesus there is always hope.
I’ve been blessed to be a part of the CITS family in some form or fashion from its launch. The prayers, dreams, and hard work from the get-go has inspired me. But nothing has inspired me like what I got to see firsthand at camp this past summer. Fathers and sons leaning into tough conversations, fun moments, and even shooting potatoes all over creation. I saw relationships launched into a new place as a result of time spent together in meaningful life conversation and experience. It gave me deep hope and reminded me how much intentional relationships matter.
The purpose of CITS is not just about getting away for a week, talking about manhood, and doing some fun activities. It’s way bigger than that. It’s dropping anchor in an age-old needed conversation about what authentic Biblical manhood is. It’s not easy stuff, but now more than ever it’s needed. Every man and young man needs to know that God believes in us and has a purpose for our lives. The effect of us living or not living our lives as the men He has us here to be has generational consequences. I have seen—and now even more clearly see—the work of CITS as a needed refuge in the storm of culture. It’s a week that will mean way more than those few days at camp; it’s carving out time that matters forever.