We all have those moments of relief and celebration when we finish something we’ve put alot of work into. It’s fun. I’ll never forget the moment when I was about to pass the defense of my dissertation at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in 2006. It had been quite a journey and I was about to get the thumbs up for my thesis entitled, “Wilderness and Missions: A Theology for Developing and Sustaining Young Leaders in Mission.” The senior professor on my panel was one of my personal heroes, Dr. Robert Coleman, who wrote The Master Plan of Evangelism. He asked me the question, “How are you going to get this message out to the world. The world needs to hear this.” “Ummm…” I couldn’t think of much to say. I wasn’t really thinking about next steps yet. Then he made a suggestion, “Write a book.”
So by God’s grace a book was written and to be honest, the thing I am most grateful for is that the whole the process helped me grow closer to Jesus. Getting my book, Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice, into the hands of people I care about has been fun, but it has always been secondary to just getting to know Jesus better through the process.
Jesus had an incredible rhythm in his life of 1) working in ministry really hard, and then 2) regularly retreating with his disciples for rest, reflection, and preparation for what was next.
If you are interested in learning about this rhythm in Jesus’ life and how it might radically transform your ministry and bring some sustainability into your life (rather than burn out), then feel free to get a copy of it.
And/or if you’d like to see the background Scripture of the book, I’ve outlined all of the main Wilderness Theology passages in the spreadsheet below. Of the 72 total Old Testament journeys, and 38 total New Testament journeys in the Bible, I’ve identified what I believe are the most instructive passages that will have direct application to your ministry: There are 52 Old Testament and 21 New Testament journeys. I also included several key Creation Psalms that are grounded in the psalmists or prophet’s wilderness experiences are included. Feel free to use this for personal study or to share with others who are interested in Wilderness Theology.
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