Resort missions is communicating the Gospel to a people caught up in a distinct leisure lifestyle.
To be caught up in a leisure lifestyle means that one takes his value system not from where or how they work, but from where and how they play. This target group, then, consists of persons on vacation, seasonal workers, and long-term residents on the resort.
A resort is any private, public, commercial, government administered location or special event established for people to spend leisure time.
A key to resort missions is identifying with the people within the leisure lifestyle. This means being there with the people; playing with them; doing what they are doing; and looking like they look. Even as the missionary makes the effort to identify with the leisure lifestyle, he or she must remember that they are there with a purpose. Resort missions entails identifying with people, yet maintaining the initiative and purpose to witness and minister.
It is important to remember that resort missions is greater than simply performing in a resort setting. Day camps, music, relational creative arts, hiking, chaplaincy, etc. are all tools which we use to: (1) get peoples’ attention, (2) earn the right to be heard, (3) build a relationship that enables us to be heard, and (4) be heard with the Good News of Jesus. Resort missions requires that we to beyond performing and cross-culturally communicate the Gospel into the leisure setting. We must be personal and intentional with our ministry. Further, we must design our program and our personal language to reach a secular-leisure people.
CHARACTERISTICS OF RESORT SETTINGS:
- Secular: Resorts are not religious. There are no sacred persons, places, or times.
- Urban: Even though they may be in a rural area, the people in resorts are generally urban people.
- Massive: They are big business; big money; big crowds; and big time. Where people are together in this way, there are big problems which call for Christians to give a caring (big) ministry.
- Mobile: The population is transient in activity and time.
- Professional: Resorts are very competitive with their attractions. Ministry efforts must respond with a professional attitude.
- Impersonal: Resorts are basically a lonely place.
THE GOALS OF RESORT MISSIONS INCLUDE:
- Evangelism: Our evangelism must be personal and intentional. It cannot be careless or pushy. We are to tell the Good News with urgency and sensitivity.
- Ministry: Ministry is meeting peoples’ needs and hopes in Christ name.
- Church Growth: Our task is to build up the Church through discipleship of Christians and through modeling and enabling the mission of calling all Christians.