If the wilderness factor was not there in Jesus’ life then we could easily justify an upward spiral toward unbridled productivity and runaway busyness that would lead us all to train wrecked lives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leading others toward personal transformation requires thoughtful facilitation. And facilitation is a learned art. Implementing your desired outcomes and aims requires thinking about how you will facilitate the learning process. It’s one thing to recognize a teachable moment when it occurs, and it’s another thing to make it easy for people to grasp the meaning […]
Wondering how to start up an outdoor ministry? Here is some outdoor ministry curriculum that that may help: Outdoor Ministry Start Up Kit.