Robert Coleman writes, “People are looking for a demonstration, not an explanation.” Yet what we so often give students today is just the opposite. Jesus on the other hand demonstrated in powerful ways the things he wanted to get across. When he wanted to teach a lesson on faith he placed his disciples in a sinking boat. There he showed the power of the One they were being asked to put their faith in. When it was about love and service, he washed his disciples feet. Jesus often gave his followers hands-on challenges like entering the wilderness where there was no food and telling his disciples’ to feed the crowd. As Lifelines staff, we stand in amazement of the Master of experiential learning and the growth that took place in the lives of those involved. Jesus’ ministry involves adventure! Jesus used it time and time again. He push his followers out of their comfort zones. When we are at the end of ourselves and the edge of the unknown, faith shows up and growth takes place.
God has called Lifelines to champion experiential learning and adventure ministry within Campus Crusade for Christ. The leadership of Campus Crusade for Christ has commissioned Lifelines staff to be a group of specialists who will resource the campus ministry globally in this endeavor.
Within the next 10 years the Lifelines leadership team envisions having a Lifelines Resource team in each of the 10 regions in the U.S. These teams will focus on what Lifelines does best: opening new doors on campus so that campus staff can connect with the lost and helping students and staff grow personally, professionally and spiritually. As the world population moves to the cities Lifelines will need to offer wilderness experiences where students can encounter God away from the distractions of their city campus as well as taking experiential learning to their scope and turf. Through our Lifelines Guide Program we will also train campus staff to use outdoor experiences and experiential learning more effectively on their own. Within the next ten years, we are trusting God for 100 trained Lifelines Guides working throughout the world. In order to reach these goals Lifelines will need to do a better job at recruiting and training others. We look forward to offering a yearly outdoor Guide School and more venues for facilitator training outside of our summer project.
Lifelines has moved under the umbrella of Leadership Development, enabling us to join in on important staff training’s for Missional Team Leaders, STINT (short term international trips 1year, New Staff and interns. As part of Leadership Development Lifelines look forward to helping staff and students personalize the growth model curriculum we been using since 1999. Expanding our summer expeditions will be an important factor in allowing Lifelines to grow in this area, and we envision offering multiple expeditions throughout the year as well.
It will be up to Lifelines to provide multiple experiences and opportunities to model and show others how experiential learning and wilderness ministry can be used by God to change lives and make disciples. Wilderness ministry is not just for the U.S. but for the world. God has been using the wilderness to call people to a greater faith for centuries. Wilderness ministry is not expensive but does require training and personnel. Campus Crusade for Christ has laborers around the world with a heart for God; we just need to add technical skills and experience for them to be able to offer some life changing adventures to students from every tongue, tribe and nation.
Lifelines day to day activities will need to be changed in light of our new vision. We will need to continue to develop the expertise of our Lifelines staff and place them in teams that will be better equipped to resource others. The Lifelines Leadership will be working this semester on a plan and timetable to implement these changes.
The adventure awaits!