Camp Meeting Offers Training to Fight Depression

September 01, 2007 | Ken Crawford

"One of the best camp meetings ever. I was so blessed!" "I am so excited to see the potential of all the laypeople of Alaska getting involved in this program. Now! Let's get to work!" These were some of the comments following Alaska's Camp Meeting 2007.

Alaska Camp Meeting had a twofold strategy—to help churches build a strong community-based ministry program and to train church members how to do lay-led evangelism.

A pre-camp meeting training session started with an 18-hour orientation for trainers in depression recovery. This intensive seminar is designed to prepare people to conduct this dynamic program in their local communities.

Then the highlight of the initial four days of camp meeting were evening meetings and afternoon seminars on what depression recovery was. Neil Nedley, M.D., is the speaker and author of a community-based eight-part mental health education series on video or DVD.

Nedley noted that Alaska has the highest rate of depression in the country and believes this program would pay rich dividends in ministry.

The weekend follow-up was a Momentum evangelism training program that built on Robert Folkenberg's ShareHIM program of lay-led evangelism, launched a year ago in Alaska.

Camp meeting participants were encouraged to build their own local evangelistic teams and launch evangelism in the local community. The initial training will be followed by local church-based volunteer evangelistic teams. These teams will choose the dates for their reaping series, pick a speaker and while the speaker is being trained, plan entry events like depression recovery seminars for the community.