For Christian outdoor leaders there are some really important reasons why journaling is crucial. I believe in this so much that I’m now offering a FREE OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP LOGBOOK that you can DOWNLOAD as a PDF! But before you do that let me share four main reasons I have for keeping an outdoor leadership journal & log book.
#1 | A Well-Organized Outdoor Leadership Journal Enhances my Devotional Life with Jesus.
To get started you might journal your prayers as a four-layer conversation:
- Usually we begin by talking to God.
- Then God listens to us! Imagine that Christ is listening to you intently as you pray to him because he is!
- Next, in real conversations the other person speaks back to you. This is also true with prayer.
- After we speak to God and he listens to us and then he speaks back to us.
God is conversational—he has personal words for us. And the last stage of a conversation is to listen to God. He speaks to us, but do we listen to him? What Scripture does he bring to mind? What questions might he be asking you? What do you sense the Holy Spirit saying to you as you pray?
#2 | An Outdoor Leadership Journal Helps you Become a Better Learner.
All of our effort can’t be spent on helping others learn. We, too, need to recognize the primary reason the Lord has given us the opportunity to lead others is for him to get at our heart. The main person God is aiming to reach through our leadership is us! By journaling, I protect myself from arrogance or pride that comes from only focusing on helping others to learn. I need to first place myself at the feet of Jesus as a learner. That’s what the word “disciple” means.
#3 | Provides a Catalog of Bible Studies and Trail Talks or Teachable Moments You Commonly Use on the Trail.
The more you can organize this into a useful system, the more benefit it will be to you in the context of the ever-changing climate of outdoor adventures. In the middle of a pressure-cooker moment, you don’t want to be digging around for a piece of paper at the bottom of your bag in the watertight compartment of your sea kayak. It’s better to have a small journal to which you can easily refer. Journaling is also a good way to evaluate and assess your Bible studies and activities to improve them for the future.
- What were the good questions I used to set up quiet times?
- Which ones flopped? Which topics sparked memorable discussions?
Referring back to my journal after returning home from an outdoor adventure, I can work to improve how I teach the Bible with more clarity and winsomeness. Improvement is a never-ending journey.
#4 | Organize Your Journal as an Outdoor Leadership Log Book to Remember Your Experiences & Build Your Outdoor Leadership Resumé
- Aoutdoor leadership log book is becoming an increasingly important tool in the field of outdoor leadership. You need to log things like:
- The type of landscape in which your experience occurred
- The skills you used heavily on this outing
- Whether you were training others or being trained on this experience.
- A brief description of the route, the distance covered, the weather, dates, and the year, etc.
- Jot down a brief description of each person on the trip and highlights of what I saw him or her learn and take away from the trip.
- Include quotes your participants said, transformation you witnessed, and follow-up you anticipate being helpful for them as they go back to the city into their real lives.
At the end of each trip before we leave the wilderness, I have each participant fill out a one-page storyboard to debrief what happened to them. The stuff people write will both crack you up and make you cry. If you want more help in these areas, refer to the resources page at www.outdoorleaders.com/resources.
- Download the FREE OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP LOG BOOK on my Facebook Page and start using it or design your own to keep track of your wilderness experiences.
- Share a link to this blog post on your Facebook or Twitter page to encourage your friends to start journaling their experiences and to share this Free Log Book PDF with them.