Week 16 – The Spiritual and the Unspiritual
Here is a good question – how is it that having fun or seemingly unspiritual activities at Windermere can be considered spiritual. Think about it. The core message of Christ is very clearly, “Come unto me…” He doesn’t say, “Come unto the cave and you will have eternal life….”
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is the unspiritual.
Windermere is a camp that operates in programming spaces that do not mention “Jesus” or “God.” There are times when activities conducted at Windermere do not involve worship or Bible study. Why?
I know that every activity at Windermere must be held to a Biblical litmus test. Every methodology has a purpose and must make sense Biblically. On the other hand, churches are trying to reach an unengaged, pre-Christian or lost person who exercises free will. We want to attract them with the fun.
In Howard Hendricks’ book on the Teaching to Change Lives, he talks about a law of communication. In order for learning to occur the teacher must build a bridge of communication with the learner. Theorists who teach public communication say that the audience is sovereign. Now we all know God is sovereign but each listener is a person of free will. We must be willing to build a bridge to them. Ministry is about finding a connection.
We would expect that fishing for men (Luke 5:10) would require different types of lures and casts. For some the Good Shepherd looking for lost sheep is more like the Good Sheriff looking for fugitives.
Here is my point – it is not enough to have a message and a messenger, there has to be a willing receiver.
Sometimes people simply do not want to hear what we have to say – even if we are sharing a good news. 2 Corinthians 5: 11 says this, “…we work hard to persuade others…” We have to break through the person’s unwillingness to hear. It doesn’t matter what we say, if we can’t get people to listen.
The fun and games at Windermere is a way to build bridges with their people. We are finding ways to earn the opportunity for engagement. Fun and games allow us to earn the right to be heard. To bring people out of “hiding” so that they will come closer or close enough to see Jesus!
I can almost see many of you thinking out loud – Well, there is a point where activities no longer become an attraction and tips over into becoming a distraction. Sometimes the ends do not justify the means. True. But, Windermere can be trusted to help build a connection with their people.
Recreation opportunities like inflatables, paint ball, ropes course, putt-putt, the cave, and swimming pool, disc golf, hiking and boating on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks are available to help others come closer to Him!
The unspiritual can be a path to the spiritual. Windermere can be a strategic partner with you!
It is always a pretty day at the lake.