Well-researched trends in youth ministry are pointing to the need for more emphasis on small group outdoor adventure programs. Yet churches, seminaries, and non-profits are still way behind in prioritizing extended outdoor retreats in their student ministry programs. We can help!
I want to share 7 reasons why I believe youth pastors who want to be on the cutting edge of reaching the culture will prioritize wilderness trips with their youth. And one of my Recommended Outdoor Programs, Sky Ranch Ute Trail, is leading the way, showing how camps can link arms with local churches to help young people encounter Jesus in the wilderness.
For many youth today, their ipod or iphone is more important for them to have close at hand than anything else in their backpack. Since outdoor ministry is about first about transformation, outdoor leaders who understand the art of facilitation need to view this seeming obstacle to a “true wilderness experience”, as an opportunity to help young people see how their addiction to connectivity might be wounding their soul.
I have the privilege to partner with many incredible outdoor adventures ministries all over the world. This month we are hoping hundreds of like-minded friends will help us get behind Joca and his sand boarding ministry (called Inca Thakhi) that works with very poor young people in Peru. Inca Thakhi is dedicated to sharing the Gospel with young people through sand boarding. In order to celebrate our new WMI logo (which Joca designed) we are printing T-shirts and giving them to anyone who makes a donation to WMI on behalf of Inca Thakhi.
Like a trade-show of ideas, a recent three-day event highlighted ways to connect with young people and probe their need for Christ. Social Media was a hot topic, and it reminded me of why so many of us believe wilderness leadership is the healthy sandwich that our Cheetos youth culture is starving for.
If we are going to bring change to our cities and communities, and ultimately the hearts of hurting young people in our world today, we are going to need to find creative ways to quiet the noise for them so they can hear the Father’s voice.
Sam has left a legacy of relationships. He somehow learned early on that what matters most in life is relationships. He reminds me of Samwise Gamgee of the Lord of the Rings. He was Frodo’s most loyal friend and encourager. And Frodo could not have carried the burden of his calling without his good friend, Sam’s support. I think many today would say the same thing about Sam Sinclair. He was a loyal companion to so many.
Given the history of Czech Republic and the fact that it is considered the most athiestic country in the world, it is amazing to see how God is drawing young people to Christ through this incredibly well-organized outdoor adventure camping ministry.
If you would like to view an abbreviated syllabus of Denver Seminary’s Outdoor Leadership 501 Foundational Course on Christian Outdoor Leadership, click here to check it out. There are also several helpful links to books and articles on the syllabus. I hope this helps! Join my Facebook or Twitter links to stay in contact and […]
Video by Thomas Haines Outdoor Ministry as a Mission Strategy? An interview with a catalytic Nepali youthworker on “The Challenges and Opportunities of Youth Work in the Buddhist/ Hindu Religious Context of Nepal” (Hom Tamang is a Nepali youthworker and the director of Nepal Outdoor Adventure (NOA), a micro-enterprise mission project of Wilderness Ministry Institute. […]