The first rock climbing event of the Rock was in April 2003 and supported by the Sports Ministry, and eight months later rock climbing became it's own official Baby Rock Ministry. The rock climbing events were designed to get people in the church together for fellowship but soon became a ministry that is leading Christians to reach further in their faith.
Rock climbing is also intended for new Christians and the lost to reach new heights God's way. The leaders of the Rock Climbing Ministry have had to climb their own mountain of obstacles before reaching the goals God is working out for them as leaders of this ministry.
This Psalm verse is an expression of the passion each leader of the Rock Climbing Ministry has: Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle Psalm 144:1.
Brothers in arms, Lando and Cam, started rock climbing before coming to the Rock. With a love for rock climbing and the Rock Church they felt that it would be awesome to have a rock climbing ministry that would reach different age groups, and felt it would be a natural fit since the church was named the Rock.
With prayer and planning they started to take action toward starting the Rock Climbing Ministry, so they contacted Greg Giles of the Sports Ministry who gave them direction and an opportunity to introduce their ministry to the church as a way of reaching people for Christ.
As God was working on Lando and Cam he was also working on the other leaders of the Rock Climbing Ministry, each with interesting testimonies about how God gave them strength to endure struggles such as an unhealthy relationship, the passing of a spouse, caring for a friend with terminal cancer, and seeing God at work as a child while taking a karate class. Each one had someone who was an example of a faithful follower of Christ in their lives and a background of believing in God and knowing that simply believing wasn't enough.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2
From an initial attendance of about 35 people at the first rock climbing event, rock climbing has steadily grown over the past year so that it now attracts the interest of many more people these days. A large part of this is due to the efforts of people like Cam, Lando, Alex L. Jr., Russell, Alex S. and Holly to lead the event and introduce people to the similarities between our relationship with God and rock climbing.
Rock climbing tests your faith in many ways; you have to trust in all those rocks to hold you up just as you have to trust God is always going to be there to hold you up, you have to trust your belayer that he's going to keep you from falling by holding on to you just as you trust that God is going to hold on to you to keep you from falling.
And even though you might fail in your first climb, you learn to face failure with courage. "Are you going to roll up in a ball or walk away and not face it, or are you going to continue climbing until you get it?" That is what God calls us to do - endure, strive and step forward to ask Him, "Help me God, lead me and guide me," and He will.
When you look at where you started to climb and then see yourself climbing now, you see where you have grown in your ability to climb, which is what God wants us to do in our faith. He wants us to step out in faith and trust that He is going to be there. Rock climbing is such an awesome sport because it mirrors so much of what God wants us to do; trust in him as we would trust in others.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
The Rock Climbing Ministry accomplishes two goals: it gets people out of their comfort zone and into an activity in which they have some fun; and it introduces them to Christ through fellowship that is spiritually and physically uplifting.
It's kind of neat when people come to events like rock cclimbing and see that Christians aren't stuffy or boring, but instead they're out there having fun like everyone else. And that says a lot when people have an idea of church being merely a place with restrictions. The Rock Climbing Ministry is a place where you can be loud, move around and enjoy the abundant life God gave you. If your life is being blessed by the Lord you want people to see that.
This ministry is for everyone who attends the Rock and it's small groups, and for their friends who would normally feel too uncomfortable in a church setting.
I sometimes think of Moses, as he ascended and descended Mount Sinai in his encounters with the Lord, as really being the first rock climber. And I think of Jesus, climbing Calvary carrying His cross and then laying down his life willingly for us so we might live, as being the greatest of all rock climbers. Can we not follow in the footsteps of these two great rock climbers and do our own rock climbing? If you want to follow the example of two great rock climbers, why not come join the Rock and do some terrific rock climbing yourself - and meet new people and have fun in the process? You'll never forget it.
With every stripe, every thorn, every nail, Jesus thought of you. He forgave us of all our sins; he took it away nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14
Come Climb With Us and Reach High
The next climbing event is coming in May at:
For more information:
or e-mail [email protected].
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View the pictures from the February 2004 rock climbing event.