LEWISVILLE–“Zandal is very passionate about the gospel and about leadership,” said Cody Landers, student pastor at Lakeland Baptist Church describing one of his students who experienced a radical life change last summer at the M3 Week Camp of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
M3 Week focuses on evangelism: challenging all students to walk closely with Christ, live evangelistically in their communities, and live missionally in the world. Zandal is an example of how God has used M3 Week to a ignite passion for Christ that makes a difference.
Throughout M3 Week, students build relationships with their own group by doing everything together. Each activity of M3 facilitates building a family unit.
“At M3 you stay with your youth group rather than divide by ages, which is unique compared to a lot of camps,” Landers said. Because of the diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds of the Lakeland student group, he believes this togetherness helps his group overcome differences and develop a sense of family.
Breakout sessions provide opportunities for students to dive into relevant and engaging topics such as apologetics, how to evangelize, and dealing with struggles and temptations they face regularly, such as pornography. Landers stated, “I’ve had more kids confess personal sin in their lives because of those breakout sessions.”
Landers said typical summer camp costs of $400 to $500 are often prohibitive for students. Through Cooperative Program giving, camp fees are minimized, which helps get Lakeland Baptist students to camp, and allows the church to provide scholarships for students in financial need. “This year we will scholarship about 25 students.” Landers said.
“Our student ministry always benefits from camp—especially M3. I’ve never walked away from M3 thinking it was a waste of time. After camp they should be better leaders, more engaged with Christ, and have closer relationships,” said Landers.
M3 2017 was Zandal’s first experience attending a church camp. Landers remembers observing him during breakout sessions and services, and witnessing his heart transformation. “There was a point when he began talking to me about some things going on in his life, and how he wanted to get those things right with Christ.”
At the end of the week, Zandal surrendered to a call to ministry, and since then has consistently demonstrated his commitment.
“He is winning people in the community to Christ. He’s even going after some older people in our community trying to get them involved in the church [which has] truly been impactful on our church and community,” said Landers in a video produced for the SBTC last fall that can be seen at https://vimeo.com/240611551.
Landers recently told the TEXAN how God has continued working in Zandal’s life. “It’s great just watching him give his testimony and engage with people—he goes to WalMart and different places and shares the gospel and invites them to come to Lakeland. Zandal has really gown a lot.”
For more information about M3 Week go to sbtexas.com/m3 or call Garrett Wagoner at 877-753-SBTC. Space is still available for the Glorieta M3 camp.