I had the opportunity to excel in fishing and hunting. As a Hall of Fame fisherman and record-book archer, I’ve been around the world on various fishing and hunting excursions. Over thirty-three years ago, through the encouragement of another of my mentors, I utilized my passion for the outdoors as a bridge to connect with men. I remember during one trip when several things had gone wrong and we were trying to keep warm so we wouldn’t freeze to death, I had an opportunity to share with my companion the faithfulness and protection God provides to those He loves. Our conversation over that campfire changed the heart of this man toward things of the Lord. Knowing that there were over sixty million fishermen and almost thirteen million hunters over the age of sixteen, and figuring that over half of these populations are male, there is no shortage of unsaved guys to communicate God’s truth through outdoor adventure stories. People have a way of remembering something if it’s in the context of a good adventure story. I think Jesus knew this and often hid transforming truths within His stories (Matt. 13:11-13) that not only impacted His twelve disciples but have resonated with followers for over two thousand years.
I’m always amazed how I can remember details of those things that interest me. Batting averages of key baseball players, quarterback ratings, and the speed of the latest Corvette are easy things for me to remember because they connect with information that have stories behind the statistics. The apostle Paul stated:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Often men see themselves as independent self-starters, and maybe even a little bit prideful or hard-hearted. Storytelling has a way of breaking through barriers and softening hearts so they can hear and feel emotion. When transformation takes place, men are more willing to share their experiences at a deeper level than might be expected.
Taken from The Spiritual Mentor,by Jim Grassi