There are lots of potential outcomes from a spiritual retreat, but it seems to me that many of us need a retreat because anxiety has set in and we need to get rid of it.
Teenagers are so distracted these days and have so much information to process. Yet many of them lack having a loving adult (who has their best interest in mind) help them think through God’s design for relationships. Outdoor ministry provides opportunity for these conversations.
Outdoor ministry can help people who may need to come to a place where they can live life with dignity again, have the life skills to find a well-paying job, or get the healing and biblical counseling they need to forgive and move on from the wounds of broken relationships and families.
British Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton placed this recruiting advertisement in London newspapers in 1900 in preparation for the National Antarctic Expedition: INDIVIDUALS WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
One of my Achilles Heels as a leader is to be performance-driven. This is one of the reasons why I love time in the wilderness so much. It prunes off those performance anxiety branches in my life and puts to death those roots of pride.
This had been one epic trip so far. The group of high school kids were loving life as we had traveled deep into the heart of the Weminuche Wilderness area of southern Colorado. We camped that night high on a ledge in Snowslide Basin and after a great dinner and stories around the stove, we went to bed for a cozy night’s sleep. Yet unbeknownst to us, a crisis was foreboding.
It was one of the first backpacking trips I ever guided. We were halfway into our first day, the group was doing well as we plodded up some moderately steep terrain. I was in the back of the group, having some great conversation with a kid, trying to take our minds off of the physical challenge, when all of a sudden things turned south
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe appeared in 1719. Along with its reflections on morals and affections toward God, possibly its greatest contribution is that it is a fictional tale about a non-fictional truth: that adventure is intrinsically valuable because it teaches people that they are capable of overcoming even the most difficult of circumstances.
In a week-long wilderness experience you will typically spend as much time with a person as you would during a twelve-month period of typical ministry activities back at home. As a result, people usually open up more because of spending so much time on the log.
The wilderness is an ideal setting for giving people space to change wrong ways of thinking or to anchor their whole identity to Jesus.