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



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.

Discovery Church, Discovery Expeditions, Outdoor Nations Leadership Network, Yosemite

A Little bit John Muir and a little bit John Wesley #discoveryyosemite1


“Change of PLACE + change of PACE = change of PERSPECTIVE”.-Mark Batterson





Discovery’s trip to Yosemite really for me firmed up the soul print of our community of faith….We really are a mix of John Muir and John Wesley.


Part of the tribe that gathered at Glacier Point Wednesday.


I have found being around a group of thinkers, makers and question askers can bring profound conversation and progress for those who seek it.
One of my favorite moments was watching most of the 26 who had never been to Yosemite,  see the Valley for the first time. That gasp, smile and wide eyed stare is something that will never grow old.

Thank you to all our leaders, guides, planners and all those of you that made it happen for the tribe. Hopefully you found even more than you sought, and you will continue your path towards de-saturation and discovery. Because of you, we sat together the cliffs of Glacier point and had a conversation about “too much information has saturated the soil of people’s souls and the result is that if any new rain of truth cascades upon our mind, it washes off before even soaking in. And this is even the case for the Gospel. This creates barriers for the Kingdom of God to permeate every aspect of your life. Trying to gain a hearing with people to consider any new ideas (even the Gospel), can be tricky because people are saturated and have little bandwidth to soak it in. “


John Muir said; “…full of God’s thoughts, a place of peace and safety amid the most exalted grandeur and enthusiastic action, a new song, a place of beginnings abounding in first lessons of life, mountain building, eternal, invincible, unbreakable order; with sermons in stone, storms, trees, flowers, and animals brimful with humanity.”


John Wesley said;  “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. Give me that book! At any price give me the Book of God!”


Then nine ascend half dome.  Watch the short video here



You can do more than you think you can.











We will show you the path, but you get to walk it.

















Photo credit – Jim Nowlin







“Get OUTSIDE and let God speak to your INSIDE”




Steve Lummer


Life experiences, Ragbrai, Telluride, Travel, Yosemite

I’ve had my “ups and downs” this summer

The summer of 2011 was an amazing four months of being on the go.

From Missouri, Iowa, to Colorado and California and then back to our beautiful Arizona, it has been a great experience to say the least.

In June Brenda and I were given the opportunity to speak for our friends Pastor Jesse and Missy Quiroz and the thriving congregation called Journey Church in Troy Missouri. (Elevation: 650 ft)

Then in July we took our family vacation to Telluride Colorado. (Elevation8750 ft)

After Telluride, was a dream trip to my home state of Iowa for the RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa).

Six days and 550 miles on the bike was and amazing experience for me and 10,000 other riders in the humidity of Iowa (Elevation is 580 ft).

(“Bike Tire Dip” in the Mississippi River – Davenport Iowa.)

After Ragbrai, I was able to attend Summit Leaders for four days in Yosemite National Park.  The leadership anti conference is lead by world traveler and adventure nut Joel Malm. This years speaker was author and pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church in Washington D.C. .

What a great event. We climbed Half Dome (elevation 8842 feet ).

The Cables of Half Dome.


At the top of  Half Dome BY the “diving board” not on it.

To wrap up the summer of expeditions, my daughter and I along with 18 others from Journey Church hiked the 17 plus mile hike to the Colorado river through Havasupai Canyon. (elevation 3205 ft at Havasupai village).

It is safe to say that I have traveled some 8500 vertical feet this summer.

Yes it has been a summer of “UPS AND DOWNS” for sure.

What an amazing four months.

I want to adventure as much as possible before I cannot hike, bike or explore anymore.

“The world is a big place and I want to see all of it before it gets dark”. – John Muir

Steve Lummer –  a guy who had a great summer:)

Books I'm Reading, outdoors, Yosemite


I am loving reading in his own words, is a collection of John Muir’s most thrilling experiences. From his famous snow avalanche trip down a side canyon in Yosemite Valley to his dizzying ride in the top of a tree during a fierce windstorm.

Would have liked to meet the man.

He founded the organization I work for, the Sierra Club, in 1892, and helped protect places like Yosemite. For instance, before he was a treehugger, he was an inventor who exhibited his work at a state fair. He was blinded in an accident but regained his sight. He was a world-traveler long before Southwest airlines. He’s got a planet named after him. And, hey, he’s on the California quarter!

I’ve walked where he walked.


leadership, Yosemite

Summitt Leaders Yosemite – The Anti – Conference

I just wanted to post the other side of our week in Yosemite.

Sitting in camp Curry with Mark Batterson, Joel Malm, Doug Reed and other spiritual leaders last week was a defining moment for me.
Summit Leaders put together an amazing “Anti-conference” in the words of founder Joel Malm.
Man I love that kind of thinking and I loved that kind of conference.
We worked hard physically and pressed in deep spiritually.

The opportunity to hang out with and learn from Author and pastor Mark Batterson was in itself epic and stretching for all of us at the event.
Mark Batterson shared with us out of his newest book Soul Print.

Here are just a few quotes by Mark and others I picked up on the trip.

“Everybody wants to be president, but no many want to do president”. –  Carl Kuhl

“It’s water we’re talkin about” – one of our dudes.

“Most people are on the world, not in it“.-John Muir

“it is by far one of the special temples of nature that I was ever privileged to enter.” – John Muir

“there is a difference between prayer and praying through.” Mark Batterson

“Steve, you are going the wrong way.” – Joel Malm

“If David goes into battle as Saul, he doesn’t have a chance.” – Mark Batterson

“Defining moments define your life.” – Mark Batterson

“Don’t accumulate possessions, accumulate experiences .”  – Mark Batterson

“Time is measured minutes – life is measured in moments.” – Mark Batterson

“Destiny is a by product of the decisions we make.” M.B.

“We are all just one decision away from a totally new life.” – M.B.

“If you can do this, you can do anything” – etching on the top of Half dome

“if you run away from your fears you’ll be running your entire life.” – M.B. regarding half dome climb

“It is what it is”. Me

“This trail never ends” – Doug Reed

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” — John Muir

“The greatest freedom in the world is having nothing to prove.” – M.B

“let’s do this”. – me

What an amazing out of the norm conference –

A changed leader
A challenged learner

leadership, Life Goals, outdoors, Yosemite

Yosemite/Half Dome Hikers Club

Just wanted to posted a few pics and reflection from my week in Yosemite National Park.
Each year 4 million people enter Yosemite Valley and every one of them sees Half Dome.

(double click the pic with your mouse to enlarge for a better view)

A very small percentage of them consider hiking to the top.  Of that small percentage, an even smaller percentage make it to the top.

This hike has been on my list of “Gotta Do” Hikes for a long time.  For years I’ve wanted to make this trip, but I have never found the time to prepare or train for this trip.  Last week on August 17th, A group lead by my friend Joel Malm of Summit Leaders and I made it to the top.

The top of Half Dome was worth the wait and the journey was definitely an adventure to remember.

The first view of the cables is intimidating, but the set of switchbacks cut into granite are equally intimidating.  These switchbacks are more of a Class 2 scramble than a Class 1 trail.

The “Cables” are the cable system that help you get to the top. The Forest Service requires you to have a permit to climb the cables.

The cables are very intimidating because:
• If you slip you will fall to your death, no doubt about it
• It takes a lot of energy to climb up the steep slope.
• The high elevation (8,836′) makes it very difficult to climb up the steep 50+
degree slope.  It’s steeper than the pictures render.
• You are tired from walking 8 miles uphill just to get to this point.

Once on top you feel amazing, tired and challenged…..because you have to get down.

We enjoyed the view at the top for about one hour before we headed back down.  When we were at the top, there were probably 100 other people also celebrating.  When we came back down the cables, there were at least another 100+ people climbing up the cables.  We fought our way down squeezing past the climbers.

Some overwhelming desire forces me to identify the ledge I stood on which overlooked the Yosemite Valley.  I don’t know why, but since I’ve been to the top, Half Dome looks different.

So glad I went up – So glad I listened to a friend of mine who told me “don’t even think about it Steve, just climb it”.

Here are just a few pics of some other spot in this amazing place called Yosemite.

The Valley with deer that have no fear.

El capiton had four climbers that were in day three of their five day mission….We had binoculars and could see them make the ascent.

The Valley at night is magical.

The Muir trail on the way back was fantastic.

Big time thanks go out to all the friends that joined in and Joel Malm with Summit Leaders. I highly recommend this organization if you are looking for a top drawer adventure and first class experience.

What a great event!

Steve (HALF DOME HIKES CLUB since August 2011)

Books I'm Reading, outdoors, Yosemite


Just picked up two copies of Mark Batterson’s newest book Soul Print.

Mark’s book points us to the need to know God before we can know ourselves.

Paul the Apostle say’s essentially the same thing is Acts 9 when he ask the question to Jesus, “Who are you Lord and what do you want me to do?”

“Your uniqueness isn’t just a gift from God. It’s your gift to God.” – Mark Batterson

I bought the two copies for an adventure trip I will be taking with my son-in-law this August to Yosemite. – Mark is the featured devotional speaker for the three days.

I can’t think of a better conference than the one that we are going on with Mark and  Joel Malm and

Really looking forward to the read and the MANCATION hike up Half Dome… to follow from the top of course.