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.
Be intentional. When you head out into the outdoors, realize that this is an opportunity to combine the fun of recreation and adventure with an opportunity to connect with God, hear his voice, and realign your mission in life to glorify Christ.
Think about it: scuba diving takes me to the bowels of the earth into vast open spaces void of life. You can descend over spectacular ecosystems of coral reefs teeming with animal life from all parts of the food chain. I’ve come to learn that being able to attain neutral buoyancy is the key to easy diving.
Instead of watching Bob Ross on PBS paint wilderness landscapes, now I’m watching Jesus paint the skies in green brush strokes with a splash of solar particles hitting the northern pole of our globe!
The writers of the Psalms learned so much of their wisdom from going outside and looking at the cycles of nature. Psalm 103:15-17 is about how to not spread yourself thin so you will pass on a legacy.
I am convinced that if I can just simply believe that I don’t have to prove myself to God, that he just loves me, that I too can be sent off on my way, as an ambassador to bring salvation to the world through the proclamation of the Gospel.
This passage encourages me as a leader to take a step back, clear off the clutter and focus on those few, relational, reproducible principles that will leave a legacy in people’s lives.
David was a shepherd boy who spent scads of time in the wilderness. The Psalms are a collection of jazzy beats that he wrote down in his own ancient style. And many of his songs explore this theme: God exists, and the design and glory of creation points directly to his character.
There are many styles of evangelism, none of which is the “right way”. But one thing is for certain… in wilderness ministry you never have to resort to a hit-and-run style of evangelism. You have plenty of time to ask questions, get to know other people’s views, and then take opportunities to share your own testimony after you have won the right to be heard.
A wilderness experiences sometimes feels like a trip to the dentist. No one likes going to the dentist for fear of having to get a filling, or even worse a root canal! But at the end of the day, if your tooth is wrecked, it would be better, sooner rather than later, to dig out the decay and move on to greener pastures.