How does the outdoor adventure ministry tool work?
It can be very difficult to understand how “outdoor adventure” works
as a ministry tool if one has not been on such a trip. One way
of looking at it is as a “living parable.” Parables
are stories, such as Jesus told, that help make sense of important,
Godly lessons that contain truths that often elude us. An outdoor
adventure trip is like a “living parable,” where the
trip participants are the actual characters in the story, and the
Godly lessons learned are realized by the participants themselves,
not by some fictional character. This relates to the saying, “I
heard, I forgot; I saw, I remembered; I did, I understood.” We
take people out of the world they are familiar and comfortable
with, where they are very often blind to their own sins and weaknesses,
as well as their strengths.
The challenges, fears, and failures,
coupled with the victories and successes of an outdoor adventure,
further coupled with the an unfamiliar world, creates an incredibly
heightened learning environment where the instructors can facilitate
biblically based lessons and discussions that very often lead to
a life long change in behavior and beliefs. Why do outdoor adventure
trips very often lead to life long changes? Because the lessons
learned were learned by the participants themselves in an unforgettable
Did you ever try to convince a teen that he or she
is invincible just by telling them? It doesn’t work – they
have to experience it for themselves. Did you ever try to convince
an abusive adult that they are abusive just by telling them? It
doesn’t work – they have to see if for themselves.
The outdoor adventure ministry tool puts people into a “living
parable,” and there, with the facilitating help of a well
trained instructor, they discover God’s truths for themselves.
Oh, yah, and let’s not forget the undeniable beauty of the
outdoors that points towards the Creator!