The Best Five Adventure Sports with which to Launch (and why you may not choose them)
Family Camping Trips – these weekend or longer trips can connect whole families together and offer multiple days together which always results in stronger relationship building. There are many people who can help host a family camping trip when the total attendance is kept no more than 30 people. Yes, some churches do family camping trips already as their biggest annual event and those are usually run by the church staff. Keep those going! But add smaller camping trips 6 to 8 times a year and watch the ministry grow! These are great opportunities to invite new non-church families to. Bolster these trips by offering special features or equipment as the ministry grows.
Hiking/Snowshoeing – Almost everyone can hike! Hikes can easily be offered with beginner to advanced levels and can last from 30 minutes to several weeks. Hiking requires the minimum of gear, a good pair of shoes and possibly a water bottle. Hiking is super relational because people can talk while they walk. As people advance in their skills and fitness, hiking can aim at summiting mountains, backpacking, trekking, and snowshoeing for the winter. Snowshoeing does take an experienced leader, extra gear and clothing and knowledge of safe conditions, but it’s a logical winter option that many have never tried.
Kayaking/SUPs – Also highly relational because people can paddle together, talk while on the water, and easy to learn, the paddling sports are very popular. Many already own kayaks and SUPs if they live near a good water source, and good quality used gear is readily available.
Mountain Biking – Because it’s safer to mountain bike with others and often people don’t know the trails, people like to find others of approximately the same skill levels with whom to ride. Beginner and intermediate rides are the most in demand but often the leaders of the sport are advanced riders and find themselves riding together multiple times a month. Good mountain bikes are important and unfortunately expensive but allowing people with improperly maintained or poor quality bikes only leads to frustrating experiences for all, so we recommend starting and building this division with restrictions on the bikes. Mountain bikers connect best before, after, and during rest stops since typical mountain biking is on single track trails not ideal for talking while riding.
Shooting – Shooting Sports are actually enjoyed by many people and shooting enthusiasts enjoy shooting with others. Handgun classes, trap and skeet shooting with shotguns, and safety courses taught by friendly people for all firearms are very popular.
Why you may not choose these five to start with? You may not have volunteer leaders identified or even exist in your church for some of these sports and instead, you may have some great volunteers ready to lead well in other sports, so go with the sports you have great volunteers available! A great leader will take any sport or ministry to epic levels. Encourage and reinforce the behavior of the great leaders at your church!Also, you may have other sports that are more popular in the area your ministry is located. Go with the sports that are obviously more popular for your area or your church.