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Can the Gauntlet wave keep rolling at home?

By: rich hefty

It’s hard to believe, but Gauntlet 2016 has come and gone.

If you're the parent of a student who attended, you may have been concerned when your child came home and slept for the next two days. But after experiencing this phenomenon with my own daughter, I can assure you it's perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, you’re probably just now seeing the post-Gauntlet fog beginning to lift. The dark circles under their eyes have disappeared, and they may even be answering "How was Gauntlet?" with more than a grunt and a shrug.

As they begin sharing stories about the exhilarating worship services and miraculous life change, it may be tempting to chalk Gauntlet 2016 up as a win and move on. But in reality, a successful week of Gauntlet is just the start. And as a parent, you play a key role in determining whether it becomes more than just another church camp experience.

Where Momentum Ends

Around NewSpring we like to say "the wave starts in the student section.” If you've ever been to the ocean and watched the waves roll in, you understand that left to itself a wave will crash. Momentum is lost, and without a continued surge, progress stops at the shoreline. Unfortunately for some Gauntlet students, the bus ride home is the shoreline. There’s no continued surge.

Parent, you play a bigger role than you realize. The wave may start in the student section, but the surge happens at home.

Some of the most powerful Gauntlet moments can happen after leaving Daytona.

The entire week of Gauntlet is fueled by expectation: expectation that God will speak, students will listen, and lives will be changed. With a few small steps, your influence at home can help that sense of expectation outlast summer vacation.

3 Ways to Keep the Gauntlet Momentum Rolling

1. Make Fuse a priority.

One of the most important things a follower of Jesus can do is spend time worshipping God with others. There’s something uniquely powerful about corporate worship (Ephesians 5:19). When more than 5,000 students gather together and lift up the name of their Savior, it provides a glimpse of the worship we’ll experience in heaven (Revelation 19:6-7). But as summer winds down and the school year picks up, it’s easy to let worship slide down our priority list.

Every week, Fuse offers students around the state the opportunity to gather together and lift up the name of Jesus! Whether you make transportation arrangements, drive the carpool, or join the fun as a volunteer, making sure your child gets to Fuse each week is key to their continued spiritual growth.

2. Make their small group a big deal.

Life is better together. The same is true for your child. Ask any student what they loved most about Gauntlet and there’s a good chance you’ll hear them talk about their room leader or the friends they made. That’s not an accident.

From the first time God looked at Adam and said “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18), it’s clear He designed us to need other people. Following Jesus is a personal decision, but finding the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10) will always involve community with other believers.

From their room leader and roommates to their community group and featured speakers, your child spent an intense week of Bible study and worship with others following Jesus to the best of their ability. That shared pursuit promotes unity (Hebrews 10:24-25). Don’t let the group dynamic drift as Gauntlet becomes a memory. Encouraging your child to stay in touch with their small group or join a Fuse group allows them to form solid relationships that build on the biblical foundation established in Daytona Beach.

3. Make Bible reading the key.

Following Jesus is often simple, but rarely easy. Reading the Bible is the simplest way to know what God has to say (2 Timothy 3:16-17), but it’s one of the easiest steps to overlook. For the five days of Gauntlet, students began each morning by reading their Bible. But unlike splashing in the Atlantic, daily Bible reading doesn’t have to stop just because they left the beach. The challenge lies in the fact that the routine of daily life often frustrates the best intentions.

So how can you help your child continue their newfound routine of spending time in God’s Word? It may take a little creativity. Can you create a quiet space in the house? Get them a journal? Pour an extra cup of coffee for them in the morning? One of the best ways to encourage them is to make it a matter of family discussion: ask them what they’re learning and share what God’s been teaching you.

Not sure where to start? The YouVersion Bible app is an excellent resource, and you can also find a solid collection of reading plans at

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