Outdoor Nations Network, outdoors

Adventure Pastor Steve Lummer Loves To Meet People In The Great Outdoors (+podcast)

https://www.klove.com/news/positive-people/adventure-pastor-steve-lummer-loves-to-meet-people-in-the-great-outdoors-24286

(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.

Rather hear the story? Click here.

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.

Two men at Arizona Trail head
Photo Credit: Steve LummerPastor Steve and friend 

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.”

Husband and wife kiss while rock climbing
Photo Credit: Steve LummerPastor Steve and Brenda

“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.”   

Two men helping a man be baptized under a waterfall
Photo Credit: Steve LummerPastor Steve baptizing someone

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.

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Adventure Pastor, Outdoor Nations Network, outdoors, Prescott, RIM2RIM, Yosemite, Zion

MINISTERING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

by  JOHN W. KENNEDY

Steven P. Lummer has pastored Discovery Church in Prescott, Arizona, for 18 years, but the congregation today looks a lot different than when he started.

Eight years ago, the renamed Discovery pivoted, shifting its mission. Rather than continue as First Assembly of God catering to traditional churchgoers, Lummer and his wife, Brenda, decided to concentrate on the growing local demographic that loved the outdoors.

Prescott is a magnet for recreation-minded residents, at the crossroads between major hiking and mountain bike trails. So, Lummer resolved to seek those who resonate spending time in places such as Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon, or Zion National Park. For his 60th birthday, Lummer hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim for three days and 23.8 miles with his daughter, Natascha Kling. She and her husband, Adam Kling, are lead pastors at Urban Hope Church in Flagstaff.

“Our approach was to be a little bit John Muir, a little bit John Wesley,” says Lummer, who just turned 63. “Some people peeled off when we shifted and the tradeoff was painful, but we feel like it was what God wanted us to do.”

In addition to pastoring, Lummer became a U.S. Missions Outdoors Nations Network chaplain. Subsequently, Discovery Church has become outdoor-driven — hosting rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and biking events. Lummer has baptized people in rivers and parks. Lummer currently is raising funds to purchase a food truck that would be stationed at trailheads through the Outdoor Nations Network.

Like other recreational chaplains, Lummer has found that getting to know people over time is a necessary prerequisite to discussions about Jesus.

“Going to the trailheads and building relationships is a unique niche ministry,” Lummer says. “They are more open to talking when not boxed into a service.”

S. Brad Sasser says Lummer has mentored him in his recent endeavor to become a U.S. Missions outdoor chaplain. Sasser is in a similar hot spot for recreational enthusiasts, based in Damascus, Virginia, considered Trail Town USA. He builds relationships with Appalachian Trail hikers, cooking for them at hostels along the way. He also sets up at road crossings or gaps, providing fresh fruit, socks, and adhesive bandage strips to hikers.

Under his ministry Trail Servants, Sasser offers devotional content on an app that can be downloaded.

“It’s a lot of seed planting and watering,” says Sasser, who recently baptized three people he befriended. Sasser says he’s gleaned a wealth of wisdom from Lummer.

“To work with people in outdoor space really requires building relationships. It’s not, Hey, let me tell you about Jesus the first time you meet them,” says Sasser, 40. “As a church planter, Steve had to have tenacity and a tough skin to connect with people.”

Sasser, who has earned the trail nickname “Shep,” as in shepherd, says Lummer impressed upon him the need for compassion and empathy as an outdoor chaplain.

“A lot of time must be spent layering relationships with people,” Sasser says. “When people see that I care about them and what they do, they begin to ask questions about what I do.”

The Lummers, approaching their 40th wedding anniversary in August, met at Westside Assembly in Davenport, Iowa, when Tommy Barnett pastored the church. Steve accepted Christ under Barnett’s ministry.

After serving as a youth pastor in Iowa, California, and Ohio, Lummer planted Lakecrest Assembly of God (now Redemption AG) in Wentzville, Missouri, where he stayed for 13 years before moving to Arizona. Today, Brenda is a preschool teacher and Steve supplements his income as a real estate agent and adventure photographer.

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Discovery Church, outdoors

LISTEN – Outdoor Nature Lovers Experience God Everywhere

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PRESCOTT, Ariz. (K-LOVE News – Abby Aronoff) – Outdoor Nation’s the name lovingly given to millions of Americans who can’t get enough of the great outdoors. Many of these nature enthusiasts use the whole weekend to explore the world around them. But now one pastor is capitalizing on the passion of those who feel God in nature.

[Rather LISTEN to this story? Scroll down to the podcast]

In Arizona, there is a lot to discover. With over 450 miles of trails and 1.25 million acres surrounding Prescott National Forrest, locals and visitors have trouble staying indoors. Pastor Steve Lummer of Discovery Church tells PE News, “You can whitewater raft, hike, mountain climb, bike, the options are endless.” And with moderate weather year-round you can explore from dawn to dusk.

After attending his own “pastors adventure” in Zion National Park exploring canyons and discussing the things of God with other like-minded church leaders, Steve caught a new vision: Church outside.

Steve explains, “We encourage people to get outside and let God speak to their inside.”

Pastor Steve started Discovery Church, but just about everyone in leadership is an outdoor enthusiast. And whether it’s trips to Yosemite, the Redwood National Park, or rafting at the Grand Canyon, members focus on faith as the congregation continues to grow.

Creation provides a powerful backdrop to connect and talk about God. And Steve points out, “Over half of Jesus’ teachings occurred in the outdoors.” In fact, Jesus took his disciples to mountains, in gardens and on boats to show them his purposes and teach them deep lessons about themselves.

At almost every adventure at Discovery Church a campfire is roaring and people are talking about the Creator.

For Pastor Steve it is simple, “We worship in outdoor classrooms to acknowledge that there is a center of the universe, and we are not it.”

Listen to the article on sound cloud here.

http://www.klove.com/news/2017/07/25/listen-outdoor-nature-lovers-experience-god-everywhere/

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Ministry, outdoors

FORGE 2017

FORGE 2017 ON THE BANKS OF THE BUFFALO RIVER ARKANSAS

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I know that you are pleased with me,  for my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.

– Psalm 41:11-12 NIV

           What a great time with the men of Journey Church.

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America’s First National River

Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains down to the White River.

 

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Thanks for getting us there Jesse Quiroz.

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http://www.journeychurchmo.com

 

 

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Discovery Church, outdoors

Nate and Sarah Moore

This couple are U.S. appointed missionaries to the rock climbing community. They also work in Hollywood for the TV show American Ninja Warrior. http://www.anwexperience.com

The symbiotic relationship these two fields have, has created so much opportunity for Nate and Sarah to reach people who would never otherwise enter the doors of a church. Nate and Sarah have been married for 8 years and have lived off and on out of a vehicle for the last 6 years. For the first time in their marriage they have a home base in Golden, Colorado.
Join us Friday night through Sunday with this fun amazing couple.
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Discovery Church, Environmental Stewardship, outdoors, Prescott, Prescott National Forest

Discovery’s Adopt A Trail Work Day with the Prescott National Forest

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What a great day with Discovery and the Prescott National Forest.

In partnership with the PNF we have adopted 2 miles of the Prescott Circle Trail.

Saturday, December 3rd was our first day out doing some trail work.

Enjoy the video and some pics.

Thanks to all who came out to work for a great cause.

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All the best!

Pastor Steve

http://www.discoveryprescott.com

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Books I'm Reading, outdoors

BACKPACKING WITH THE SAINTS

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Diving into this tonight at the suggestion of a friend.

The only problem with me reading this book is now I know I will need to do this.

Here is the review on the Jacket cover.

“Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world’s great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters–Bell Mountain Wilderness with Søren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh–demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one’s interior landscape, and how the saints’ writings reveal the divine in nature.

The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practice not only with a wide range of spiritual writings–Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim–but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpacking is shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love.

An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints is an inspiring exploration of how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing-an ecology of the soul.”

Now to make plans of my own.

My saints will be:

Frank Boreham, John Muir, Ed Abby, Henry David Thoreau, a little Leonard Sweet  and some good maps.

Thanks Eric N for the tip on this one.

“there are those who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold- A Sand County Almanac

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Steve

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