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Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice: How to use Time in the Wilderness and Backcountry Adventure Camping for Leadership ... Learning and Bible Study Resources Paperback – January 5, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

People today are yearning to be freed from the chaotic pace of modern life.  Busyness has only deepened our starvation for experiences that cause true transformation.  This book will show you how to find more peace and productivity by imitating Jesus Christ's rhythm of retreat.

As hectic as our world seems, first century Palestine had distractions and burdens that were equally concerning.  There were distractions of prosperity, poverty, and false religions.  There were weighty burdens of Pharisaical laws and bitter Roman occupation.  As Jesus looked into the culture of His day He settled on a surprising strategy to change the world:  He chose a group of young Disciples, He used the wilderness as His primary classroom, and He employed adventure to produce radical commitment toward His mission.  He knew that people needed time in the outdoors for soul rest and mind renewal. God has always used wilderness experiences to draw out the best in people by confronting their fears and exposing traps of entitlement.  Jesus used the wilderness with His Disciples to sever worldly entanglements that choked their faith.

From the Back Cover

It is critical in our increasingly urban world for people to have opportunities to encounter Jesus through wilderness experiences. This book will help you re-discover the ancient discipleship method, which produced leaders such as Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Jacob, David, Peter, James, John, and Paul. Each of them were profoundly called and shaped by God in the wilderness.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: SMOOTH STONE PUBLISHING (January 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615413250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615413259
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thank you for visiting my author page. You are invited to follow my blogs on international leadership development (http://www.ashleydenton.com) and outdoor leadership (http://www.outdoorleaders.com). I've been involved in student ministry and outdoor leadership for 25+ years in dozens of different countries which has given me a global perspective on outdoor leadership and student ministry. I currently live in Fort Collins, CO. I have been married to my wife Becky for 21 years, and I have 5 incredible kids. I am currently the Vice President of Nexus International and director of Wilderness Ministry Institute.

I have a Doctorate in Missions and Cross Cultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Arizona, and a Master's in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Working with leaders from over 50 countries, my organization encourages and equips leaders in the heart and skills to effectively introduce young people to Jesus Christ through combining relational youth ministry and outdoor adventure. I was on staff with Young Life for 15 years and served as their National Director in New Zealand. I also currently serve as a professor of Outdoor Leadership at Denver Theological Seminary.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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An extremely well written and well thought-out book.
David M. Dennis
As I work my way through Ashley Denton's book "Christian Outdoor Leadership" I find my heartfelt emotions being put into words.
S. Riley founder DOME Ministries
If you are leaning towards reading this book, buy one and read it!
Karen Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Johnson on January 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in wilderness ministry and youth culture today must read this book! Anyone interested in creative avenues that lead the church outside of it's 4 walls to know Christ more deeply and share Him more impactfully must read this book too! Denton provides youth today with not another "to do list" for a religion but a compelling way to see, taste, hear, smell, touch, and experience Christ. It is encouraging that there are people out there like Denton looking for innovative ways to teach the Word of God that not only are understandable but leave a lasting impact on those who hear and experience. If you are leaning towards reading this book, buy one and read it! God used the wilderness to powerfully transform people into His likeness, knowing more deeply about Him and themselves. And this book will show you why and how the wilderenss impacts those who are daring enough to step into an adventure! Learning does not need to be boring!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scott on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christian Outdoor Leadership was inspirational! This book made my top ten list after only a few minutes into it. If you've ever been on a hike that involved heart-to-heart talks between hikers as they traversed along a day's trail, then reading this book is a lot like walking behind Dr. Ashley Denton and listening to him integrate the beauty and power of the backcountry with the joy and challenge of following Christ in today's world. I loved the way he keeps pointing the reader to Jesus and how Jesus used outdoor experiences to speak truths to hungry souls. Whether you're in ministry as a Christian leader or just drawn to outdoor experiences that bring you closer to God, this book is foundational. You can read it from cover to cover, or browse the table of contents and pick your way through to your heart's content. I will always have a copy of this book in my library and recommend it without hesitation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chapman Clark on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Ashley Denton exposes something that we have clearly lost sight of today. Human beings have known since the beginning that God made his creation as an invaluable gift to help us encounter him personally and learn the secrets of his Kingdom from his handiwork. In Christian Outdoor Leadership, Ashley takes us into the reason why we need outdoor adventure and wilderness ministry. He provides a thorough theology of recreational ministry, and then brings us into a well-developed and comprehensive practical application of what it all means. Christian Outdoor Leadership is more than a book--it is an outstanding resource for every follower of Christ in that it calls us back to a simple and timeless lifestyle of ministry that patterns the life of Jesus. This is a foundational book that I highly recommend!"

-CHAP CLARK, Ph.D., Author, Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers, Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture, Fuller Theological SeminaryHurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers (Youth, Family, and Culture)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Ismert on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ashley Denton carefully builds a prominent cairn for practitioners in the field of Christian outdoor leadership and wilderness ministry by expertly pointing new and experienced adventure ministers to the ancient model of how Jesus used the wilderness for outreach and discipleship. This book is refreshing and impressive.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Doenges on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a superb resource for the Kingdom work of outdoor ministry. Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice is the first comprehensive Christian text on outdoor leadership. It should be required reading in every college and university that seeks to prepare outdoor leaders. Dr. Ashley Denton's new book will benefit both seasoned practitioners and young people seeking to be equipped to serve as outdoor ministers in congregational, parachurch, or missions contexts.

As Denton explains, the wilderness is an actual setting for transformation, not just a metaphor. God took the Hebrew people into the wilderness to test them, humble them, and to reveal what was in their hearts (Deut. 8:2). More than half of Jesus' teachings recorded in the Bible occurred in outdoor settings. He valued experiential learning and led outdoor adventures. Consider the story of the disciples and Jesus crossing the Galilee in a boat during a storm (Mark 6:45-52). Could they have learned the same lessons in the basement youth room of a church? Jesus had a pattern of taking His disciples into the wilderness to restore them and prepare them to go back into civilization to transform it. Jesus chose young people in their teens and early twenties to change the world. In the wilderness, God interrupts young people, exposes the traps of entitlement, severs sinful entanglements, establishes true identity and His authority, builds character and competencies, and more. Leaders are raised up and evangelists are trained.

In our increasingly urbanized world, young people today suffer from creation deficit disorder and yearn for a meaningful vision and worldview.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Howard L. Baker on January 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ashley Denton knows Jesus, theology, the wilderness, and young people. In Christian Outdoor Leadership he artfully and powerfully ties the ropes of his knowledge into a knot that can bear the weight of outdoor ministry in any culture. More importantly, however, Ashley's love for God, his adoring wonder of creation, and his passion for young people make this sturdy book a reliable and authentic field guide for anyone who aspires to spiritual leadership. Read it and be equipped to thrive, no matter the wilderness in which you find yourself.
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