Spending time in the outdoors is an incredibly eye-opening experience in that God’s Creation is full of illustrations that can teach us about deep spiritual realities. This reflection highlights two very common outdoor illustrations: 1) dried-up intermittent streams, and 2) dead branches.
If we really believe that people who participate in our outdoor programs will be radically transformed, then we need to go to extremes to inspire them to sign up and go on our trip. Maybe its time to think about using an outdoor ministry video to promote your program and capture the attention of potential participants who are trapped in our Age of Amusement.
The wilderness is just dripping with opportunities to learn how to be a rapid decision maker. I have a half-baked formula for how to develop rapid decision making skills. It’s a combination between 1) experiences, 2) efficiency, and 3) exposure.
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
All wilderness leaders need to have some training in in first aid. Knowing how to assess and treat minor injuries and keep serious casualties stable can make a difference. Similarly wilderness ministry leaders can assess the spiritual wellness of their participants and begin to treat the cause of each symptom.
There are two types of Bible Study questions. Ones that invite participation and open dialogue, and others that throw a wet blanket on conversation and leave the leader paralyzed in the discomfort of silence. How do you phrase a question that will invite participation?
Here we begin a three part series, “3 Steps to Writing Well-Crafted Outdoor Bible Study Questions.” My single objective is to remove the “barrier of entry” to effective wilderness ministry by giving Christian outdoor leaders a topo map that leads to competence and confidence in the skill of crafting awesome Bible-reflection questions for the wilderness setting.
Hans was really a model of Simon of Cyrene to me that day… he literally pulled her up that face, carrying Suzanne’s burden with a confident and gracious smile.
In a sudden outburst, “Spiderman” took off in a sprint toward the glistening frozen waterfall. His stride was long. His pace was rapid. I’d never seen ice climbing like this.