Why so much effort to get young people out into the wilderness?


Solitude and adventure has a significant place in any student ministry program that desires to see radical transformation. The more we invest in indigenous youth missions around the world, we become more convinced of this: 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.Transformation will begin when young people are able to hear the Gospel over the sounds of honking horns, thumping woofers, and angry stressed out parents.


Lets face it, video games, Itunes, the latest situation comedies and reality shows are not going to bring hope or life to young people. Yet this has become their food and drink. The airwaves have become the voices of truth that sing them to sleep at night. Yet consider this: Even in the much-less-technologically busy days of Jesus, even He, the Master, saw it necessary to spend a bulk of His time with a group of young people (His disciples) away from the noise of the city. He went out into the wilderness with them—teaching them how to once again hear the voice of their Heavenly Father. If Jesus made such a concerted effort to get His disciples out of the hustle and bustle to clean out their ears, and minister to their hearts in an era which was much less-technologically noisy than today, then we can certainly conclude that the need for helping kids quiet their souls is equally if not more important right now!


One thing I am wholeheartedly behind is the Project 54 fundraiser because it is focused on starting outdoor ministries around the globe. This world-impacting event takes place on the last Saturday in August every year.

What is Project 54 you might ask? It is an annual fundraising event of the Wilderness Ministry Institute. The goal is to raise money to outfit indigenous youth workers with the needed training and gear to share the Gospel with underprivileged youth through outdoor adventure. The success WMI has had in starting outdoor ministries overseas in the last 10 years is completely unprecedented. If you would like to get involved, you don’t want to miss the video below. Then go to the Project54 website and sign up!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

5 thoughts on “Why so much effort to get young people out into the wilderness?

  1. Besides the spiritual benefits, getting young people out into wilderness is the only hope for the future of wilderness beyond their generation.  While there is a place for camps, immersion in the wilderness puts us in our place–a place of physical humility.  While zip lines & fancy facilities revolve around us, it’s hard to miss the God-directed message of bare wilderness for those who are physically able to go there.   

    •  Very sell said! I agree with you… there is a special quality to wilderness immersion that can’t really be reproduce by facility-based camping programs.

  2. Do you believe it is worth the effort to get young people out into the wilderness? I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts.

    • Of course Ashley!  I am the board of directors of a camp here in east Tennessee and one of the ways we interpret our ministry to pastors, parents, and others, is to say that a “week of summer camp (60+ hours) devotes more intentional time to spiritual development than one year of Sunday School.”  Outdoor education, environmental education, summer camp, retreats, high adventure trips, wilderness trekking, all have one thing in common….all these forms expose and immerse young people in God’s second book…creation.  Romans 1:20 explicitly says that once you experience creation, you have experienced the Creator and have no excuse not to believe.

      •  Hey Jeff, thanks for your comments… I completely agree. This is one of the incredible benefits of a week at camp with kids… many people don’t realize the way this kind of intentional time deepens trust and provides opportunity to go further down the road with young people, to lead them spiritually.  Thanks again for your comments!

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