If you meditate on Job 12: 7-10, you will immediately see the benefits of taking your Bible study outdoors. The good book itself teaches people to look to the animals and the earth to recognize the glory the Lord has brought.
However, there is much more you can do to capitalize on this dynamic in your worship than pulling your folding chairs out into the graveyard after services for in-depth reflection. Nature retreats and team building activities help you deepen your faith and connection to your spiritual community. Here are five tips to make outdoor Bible study more engaging for your participants.
1. Change of scenery
Now that travel has reopened, why not take advantage of your newfound freedom to book a spiritual retreat in the great outdoors? You can adopt a theme for your getaway. Some ministries prefer to focus their excursion on Bible events, while others to embrace theological or intrapersonal principles.
You can book a campsite or look for something even further afield. Please make sure your vehicles have the proper suspension to manage rutted dirt roads and somewhat rocky terrain if you are traveling off-road. You don’t want to spend the first night of retirement wondering how the hell you’re going to get home with a broken axle on your church van.
2. Add physical challenges
Yoga enthusiasts have long recognized the connection between physical challenges and spiritual growth. The first asanas were born long after the start of meditative practice. They were a means of harnessing the energy of the body, balancing yin and yang to induce the proper state for deeper contemplation of esoteric truths.
Physical challenges invite your participants to Bible study test their will and expand their comfort zones. They can also bring people of all ages into a better mental state for thinking. Almost all parents understand that tiring their child a little at playtime first makes them more receptive to homework. The same principle applies to adults.
Physical challenges also force people recognize their strengths – and the inherent weaknesses of mortal humans. Participants strengthen their connection with the divine by digging deep and finding that spark within them that enables them to overcome what seems impossible with a little help from above.
3. Combine nature and the Scriptures
The Bible is full of passages on the relationship of the human being with the natural world and on the vision The hand of God in all creation. For example, Psalm 95: 4-5 reminds us: “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the tops of the mountains belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed dry land.
One activity you can do is have your participants identify Bible passages that tell them about nature. What does the Bible say, for example, about mankind’s duty to protect the natural world? What would Jesus do about climate change? Asking these questions can open the door to volunteer ideas to further enrich your fellowship.
4. Emphasize teamwork and cooperation
One of the things Christianity teaches us is the importance of loving one another. This is, after all, how humanity survived in a harsh world without claws and fangs – uniting and sharing each other’s strengths.
You can promote fellowship through team building activities that help your participants to know and appreciate each other at a deeper level. For example, you could ask each member to share a spiritual song that will serve as the soundtrack to their life. What makes it meaningful to them?
You can also incorporate various social activities. Cooking together during your retirement is one way to encourage fellowship. The same goes for community activities like setting up and dismantling the camp and collecting firewood.
5. Make time for silent reflection.
Finally, your outdoor Bible study should allow participants to engage in silent reflection. How can you encourage this?
One way is to make contemplation more comfortable. Bring a variety of blankets, rugs, and pillows with you on your hike to make it possible to meditate on Bible principles outdoors. Include accommodation for those with mobility problems so that they can also participate.
Make Outdoor Bible Study More Interesting With These 5 Tips
Nature can add a new dimension to your spiritual contemplation. Make outdoor Bible study more engaging with the five tips above.