(Prescott, Arizona) Pastor Steve Lummer almost missed his calling. After growing up in family who loved Jesus, he walked away from his faith.
Thankfully, the Lord quickly brought him back around and now he shares his love of Jesus in the place he feels most comfortable–out in the great outdoors as an Adventure Pastor.
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After planting a church in the Midwest, Pastor Steve and his wife Brenda started leading canoe and kayak trips out into the Ozarks wilderness. Eventually, they moved to Prescott to pastor Discovery Church.
It was there that Pastor Steve really developed a love for the wilderness.
Prescott, Arizona is a hub for hikers and mountain bikers–the perfect place to reach out and share the love of Jesus in a conversational way.
“Many of them have gone through a divorce; many of them have lost their job–they’re going through a lot of issues.” Pastor Steve says the outdoor community tends to be very open to conversation.
He’s also quick to point out that ministering outdoors isn’t new.
“The number one thing that’s spoken about in the Bible, other than God and people, is trees. We don’t worship nature but we sure do appreciate it.”
“Our approach has been a little bit John Muir, a little bit John Wesley,” says Lummer, referring to the Christian wilderness advocate (Muir) and the British theologian/evangelist (Wesley).
Pastor Steve’s church–Discovery–has pivoted from serving traditional churchgoers to bringing people outdoors, hosting fun events like rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and bike trips.
“I find if I build a campfire, everyone becomes a storyteller.” Pastor Steve says it works differently than having people “stare at the back of each other’s heads” in a traditional church setting.
Pastor Steve has even baptized people in rivers and parks. He says he loves to “get people outside that God can work on their inside.”
His next goal? To get a taco truck to park at trail heads, give away free food to hikers and bikers and talk about Jesus–no strings attached.