What makes some leaders more influential, efficient, and productive? There is no formula, but here is a list of 7 things I’ve observed that successful leaders do differently.
I smell the presence of snow. Tiny crystals of water float loosely in heavy crisp air. Each breath refreshes and soothes the cavities of my nose with moisture. The maturing fall season triggers a conditioned reflex response. I salivate for my first turns on untracked pristine white snow.
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.
My friend Steve White writes about how God used time in the wilderness to show him that all his life he had been a workaholic. His wounds made him aloof to the needs of his wife and children, and ultimately led his family to a complete train wreck. In Steve’s words, the reason why his family went through such brokenness was because as a man, he had spent most of his adult life, “Blinded by Good Intentions.” If you are looking for men’s ministry ideas or inspiration to start a men’s ministry, this is a good place to start. Steve gave me permission to share a few excerpts from his book, “Blinded by Good Intentions”.
Imagine working on the International Space Station, having to live in such close proximity with a team of other people for weeks at a time. That requires a unique team. The wilderness helps groups quickly work through interpersonal and problem-solving issues to efficiently establish cohesiveness.
Have you ever viewed the wilderness as a cathedral for worship? God so much wants our hearts, and his creation is a sacred space to praise and worship him. The Bible shows us a simple path toward joy. Worshiping God is that path.
Do you ever struggle with making decisions? Do you tend to be indecisive in making a choice? This happens when we over-analyze, and become paralyzed by details and choices to the point where we either avoid making a decision or put it off, way to long! The wilderness is a prime training ground for making you and I a good decision maker.
More outdoor leadership jobs and volunteer opportunities are on the horizon because outdoor pursuits help others experience God & discover what it means to belong to community. People today are so busy they don’t even know who they are. We need more wise wilderness shepherds who can persuade people to be brave, stop, and look at who they are.