Outdoor Approach and Philosophy

College student climbing trip with the McCall’s home church in Virginia

Relationships: Effective campus ministry happens through relationships. The outdoors is a great venue for bringing groups together and growing relationships naturally.

Reflection: Outdoor activities promote deeper reflection about life and purpose.

Revelation: God’s existence is clearly revealed to us in creation (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20). The outdoors is a powerful witness to those wrestling with that fundamental question.

Growth: Outdoor adventure activities involve challenges that push us outside our comfort zones and produce growth, particularly when we learn to rely on God’s strength in our weakness. We can learn healthy practices from the challenges we face in the outdoors (i.e. weather, terrain, working with others) and connect them to how we face challenges in daily life. God’s grace is sufficient for us and his power is perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Gospel: The goal is to connect what we do with the gospel and continue that conversation in Bible studies and become fully engaged in the local church.


Vale-la-Pena, the website name, mean’s “It’s worth it” in Spanish. It refers to things we do that are difficult, but worth the outcome. Outdoor ministry aims to connect the challenges people face (physical, emotional, spiritual) to teach participants to trust others, but most importantly to trust God. For throughout our lives God puts challenges and trials in our lives that are intended for our good. They teach us to depend on Him, produce steadfast character, and make us more like Christ. (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:6-7)

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

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