Christian Wilderness Experience – Programs for Young Adults

Young adults often seek opportunities to test themselves and to enjoy a higher level of adventure than they were capable as teenagers. Many Christian young adults are well acquainted with the technique of getting away with peers and good Christian leadership. Many churches use the format of a youth retreat for junior high and high school youth to give them the experience of getting away to country setting for the peace and quiet of that environment to seek spiritual growth..

At the same time that Christian young adults want to take advantage of the spiritual gains that can be had at a youth retreat, they want to depart from that format and be in a program that is designed for them and that is more aggressive and mature so that they no longer feel like “kids”. The variety of Christian wilderness experiences that are designed for young adults are diverse and created with that desire for a deeper spiritual experience that is tailor made for the young adult worldview..

Help for Young Christians to Find the Right Path in Life.

For parents of a young adult, whether that youth is living at home or out on their own, finding ways to influence a young adult to continue a life of Christian devotion is sometimes difficult. Ministers in churches who operate young adult outreaches such as college and career ministries have similar challenges. The young adult years just after graduation from high school are a time of searching and questioning where youth often depart from their faith to explore the world first hand..

In order to capture that fearless spirit of exploration back into the faith, a Christian wilderness experience can challenge young people with a more rigorous outdoor adventure that is also more challenging in terms of the call to spiritual discipline. One way to portraying a Christian wilderness experiences is as “Xtreme youth retreats” to capitalize on the Xtreme sports genre that appeals to that relentless quest for challenge that young adults experience during these important years in their development..

One way to guide your young adult toward heaven is to find a young adult ministry that may be planning to take a group to a Christian wilderness experience. Along with the “event” that will lie ahead, young adults will get so much more from a program designed to capture their hearts, their minds and their spirits and guide them into a commitment to spiritual life and Christian service that can change their path dramatically and for the better..

So Much More.

One of the reasons a Christian wilderness adventure is often a success with youth is that they experience surprise at the adventure that lies ahead. While they might go in to this kind of experience with the expectation that it will be, “just another retreat”, when the challenges both physically and spiritually draw out of them a greater maturity, they get much more than just a season in the country. Some of the tremendous benefits young adults can look forward to from a Christian wilderness experience include….

· Fun. Adventure is an important value to young adults. While their sense of fun is more aggressive than it was when they were teenagers, if they have a good time when on a Christian wilderness adventure, they will make the most of their time in the wild with fellow believers..

· Inner struggles. Many Christian wilderness programs are designed to serve as an intervention for young adults who have addiction problems or who are dealing with depression from loss of family or difficulty finding their identity in a confusing world. By guiding young adults back to the faith of their youth and by putting the skills of training counselors who understand the particularly inner struggles of the youth coming to the Christian wilderness adventure, the program can be customized to send that young adult home with a new hope that they have the tools to beat that addiction and live victoriously in their faith in a new and exciting way..

· Fellowship. Community is crucial to a young adult to connect to as they establish themselves in an adult world. Whether the young adult comes to a Christian wilderness adventure with a group or alone, the many challenges of living in the wild with other believers will create bonds with other Christian young adults that can be the start of a new life once they get home from their wilderness walk..

· A deeper faith. The Christian wilderness adventure has its precedent in scripture both in the exile of the Hebrews under Moses, the long ordeal in Babylon and even in Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness where he was tempted by the evil one. The spiritual value of such a time of testing is well grounded in the Christian experience. Young adults often come home from the wilderness with a similar sense of challenge and calling that they see in scripture and with a sense of mission that can ground them in the faith for the rest of their lives..

For parents, adult leaders or friends of a young adult who is need of spiritual retreat, a Christian wilderness adventure is an outstanding next step to begin the renewal of their faith. Even if the youth you know is well grounded in the faith, very often their time of intensified devotional and prayer that they can experience while on a Christian wilderness adventure may surface a call to missions or to deeper commitment that is just the right next step for that young person as they continue to grow in a deeper and more meaningful life of faith..

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