Being confused is one of the most common and most unsettling of human experiences. Uncertainty about what to do, what is going on around you, or what is expected of you can make you confused. When you are confused it is usually because things are happening that you can’t seem to control.
As I sit examining the rock in my hands, it shocks me to realize how accurately it represents my guilt. At first, it looked like an average-sized rock, but when I picked it up over half of it was hidden underground. It is so big I can barely hold it above my knees, yet I feel this attachment to the rock, so strong that I don’t want to set it down.
Is it time to bring some more variety into your teaching style? Jesus made the effort to vary his teaching techniques, and for good reason. He motivated his listeners to participate with him in the learning process. He wanted to move audiences to become active participants. He taught for impact.
Teaching with props and object lessons is a key aspect of outdoor ministry. Object lessons are the basis for experiential learning. I’m always looking for creative outdoor ministry curriculum for the outdoors. Object lessons and props bring learning to life and increase participation in the learning process.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1)
We often don’t value of something until it’s taken away. Similarly, wilderness leaders practice experiential learning because God models intentionality.
Adventure planning is so foundational to outdoor ministry. And scouting trips are especially fun for leaders of adventures, because we get to explore and discover routes that others will one day bless those we lead on our route.
I remember someone telling me they didn’t understand why anyone would want to hike because you can see just about anything you wanted from your car. Yeah, seeing it is cool, but how about seeing it, smelling it, hearing it, feeling it, and tasting it? God gave us five senses for a reason.
I want to introduce you a section of a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon that gives me pause during this time of harvest. He was a pastor in London in the late 1800’s, but he had a real affinity for the countryside and the outdoors. In his book, Farm Sermons, you can read some of his messages to country congregations. They are very insighful, especially to urban dwellers who, in his words, live in a world surrounded by “dungy bricks.”
Like the night I survived a terrifying lightning storm with my two other 12 year old friends at the base of Hawk Peak one summer, we often witness God’s goodness and power through being exposed to the wildness of his Creation. And if God chooses, he will usher us into an encounter with him through those wilderness experiences. The book of Job is overflowing with powerful outdoor ministry curriculum. It is about how one man encountered God face to face through the wildness of Creation.