Journal of a Christian Sportsman by Jim Richman
Will the day come when Sportsmen discover the real “Greatest Outdoor Adventure?” There’s always another method, there’s always a new “hot-spot” for hunting and fishing. We are always pushing the limits, in every element of our activities, of what the culture around us will allow and what the hunting and fishing communities will tolerate. Personally, I believe that as long as there are industries fueling the development and popularity of our beloved outdoor heritage, there will always be a way to level up.
What needs to be addressed, however, is that while we spend so much time, effort, and resources, the temptation is to lose our focus. The sobering truth is, that with something as simple as the signing of piece of paper, every hunting and fishing opportunity we have could be stripped from us. If our identities are in hunting and fishing, and this happens, we are left without even a shred of what we have made ourselves out to be.
That’s why Journal of a Christian Sportsman began. There will be a day, when even if all of our labor to be great sportsmen pays off, we will have to wrestle with an even more important issue. In order to make sure we leave a legacy that reaches beyond the timber and streams of this world, we have to let the people around us know that there is an “Adventure of all Adventures”. What’s absolutely sensational is The Greatest Adventure mankind has ever known can uniquely transform the sportsman’s lifestyle while governing us to keep focus on what’s of ultimate importance, our relationship with God.
That’s the JCS Mission. We want to help Christian Sportsmen and Women enjoy union with Christ while maturing in their walk with God and living the outdoor lifestyle. In our opinion, Living the Greatest Adventure is precisely that. Sportsmen understand things about creation and man’s interaction with the divine power and nature of God unlike any other demographic in the world. My goal for JCS is to exist as a place that a Christian Sportsman can stop by for a visit, sign up for our newsletter, and receive both engaging, spirit-developing insights, alongside top-tier, real-world, evergreen outdoor perspective.
I didn’t begin JCS with this kind of clarity. All I wanted was a web space to document the outdoor techniques I had been taught, the recipes my family loved, and reflections from my own study of scripture. It took about a month for all of that to change. Support began to come in from outdoor product companies, hunting teams, and other outdoor blogs, pressing me to begin developing my message and goals. JCS now has a growing email list, social media presence, and speaking schedule, all as we are working toward a book and teaching curriculum for our leadership retreats. There’s nothing quite as motivating to a writer as someone having enough confidence in you to spend their resources to promote your mission and allow you access to their networks.
That said, I had to get brutally honest with myself and ask the question, “Where is this drive to build JCS coming from?” After experiencing 15 years of multiple types of ministry, I’ve seen three areas of debilitating weakness amongst Christians. First, I’ve seen a concerning lack of knowledge for why, and practice of, the spiritual disciplines of Christianity. Second, and possibly because of the first reason, I’ve seen, and even experienced, a complete absence of father and mother led worship time with children, or as a couple in the home. Finally, I’ve seen an inability to discuss scripture in a respectful, confident, and unapologetic manner, which leads to a vacancy of effective and truthful Biblical evangelism in every day life. Because of these things, I’ve stopped asking myself why marriages are struggling amongst Christians, why church attendance is on the decline, and why professing “Christians” seem to find no value in any of the things I’ve listed. Rather than point fingers, I’ve simply chosen to take action. I know all of this can change, but we have to change to make a difference. Marriages can be healed, relationships can be reconciled, families can be healthy and growing the way God has designed them to, but Christians must live the new life God has given them through Jesus. Passivity and compartmentalization has gotten Christian culture where it is, pro-active and individual conviction, by God’s grace, can get us out.
The modern outdoor culture has changed staggeringly over the last decade, and I believe that Christian Sportsmen have an opportunity unlike anyone before them to be the salt and light that Jesus calls for in scripture. The message and networking capabilities that were once limited to the occasional wild game dinner, can now take the volume of outreach and discipleship to exponential levels. Because of social media, blogging, podcasting, and so many other mediums, we really don’t have an excuse for not working together anymore. We can be a compelling voice for spiritually healthy Christians and Families in the outdoor industry and in our respective local church congregations.
I believe that if I can communicate with people on a common-interest level, then it’s my responsibility to share and do my best to show them what it means to “Live the Greatest Adventure”. I want to see the tide shift in the outdoor community. I want to interact with people who understand that the creation we love is just a reflection of the majesty of its creator. I’m tired of hearing sad stories of divorce, idolatry, and other life-shattering events within the tight-knit culture of hunting and fishing. It’s time to hear stories of healing and redemption amongst hunters and fishermen. The JCS blog has created a platform to powerfully engaging multiple thousands per week with this message. I hope that you will see fit to join me in this effort.
If you are interested in supporting JCS, email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find JCS online at Journalofachristiansportsman.com