Outdoor Recreation Meets Church Planting
Reports have been rolling in the past couple of weeks confirming the suspicions. Outdoor recreation is an absolute behemoth and an important contributor to the US economy. The industry generates 887 Billion in annual consumer spending and creates some 7.6 million jobs.
To put things in perspective this makes the outdoor industry larger than Pharma, and only eclipsed (potentially) in the US by Financial Services/Insurance and Outpatient Healthcare, according to a report co-released by The Western Governors’ Association (WGA), Outdoor Industry Association, Motorcycle Industry Council, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, and National Marine Manufacturers Association.
In a complementary study, recently released, Whistler resort has calculated the internal economic benefit of mountain biking alone to be approaching $59 million annually. Whistler Resort mountain biking alone brings in an estimated $76 million annually to BC through the spending of 533,000 resort bikers.
These studies reveal the value that US and Canadian populations place on mountain biking recreation. The Pauline expression of becoming all things to all people so that all peoples might be blessed with the gospel should motivate missional believers to interact within the outdoor ministry, generally (1 Corinthians 9). For those of us who are passionate about mountain biking ... it is a no brainer. Intrepid is all about the notion that you can use your gifts and passion to reach people for Christ in ways that are underrepresented. Is God calling you to lay your hobby at the foot of the cross to see if He might transform it into a calling for the sake of the gospel and His glory? Are you in?