From the cliffs we climb to the rivers we raft, we help people pursue real relationships with God and others.
We believe this is our greatest adventure and our greatest reward.
What We Do
Our method is experiential learning. As opposed to a lecture or letting mountains speak for themselves, we intentionally use the activity to draw parallels and make the experience stick. We learn together in a grace-filled community, the truth of God and His Word being our guide.
A Lifelines experience has four significant elements: Adventure, Experience, Connection, and Authenticity. While most involve outdoor adventure, we also do many of them indoors or on your campus green.
We value adventure, experience, connection and authenticity. These ideals permeate everything we do.
Lifelines is network of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), which is an interdenominational Christian ministry with a presence on more than 1,100 college campuses in the United States. Our purpose is to use the outdoors to help people grow in relationship with God, in relationships with each other, in character and in leadership. Our main audience is college students, although we also serve high school students, faculty, and fellow Cru staff members.
How We Started
Lifelines began in 1998 with a group of friends, a stash of outdoor gear and a hunch. They believed at a gut level that outdoor adventure would help people form real relationships with God and others.
They had already seen it happen, on several hiking and whitewater rafting trips. Students in the Northeast would not always come to a Christian meeting, but they would come outdoors. The love of adventure and experience was contagious—and kept spreading.
Soon they bought more gear, got professional outdoor training. They named it Lifelines, because a lifeline is what one holds to save their life. This lifeline would be for all students.
The effort grew and they launched the first summer mission in 1999. Soon more staff joined and they started more teams and expeditions, from the Rocky Mountains to Patagonia.
Today, the movement continues. From the high desert of Bend to the Blue Ridge Mountains, adventure, experience, authenticity and connection are the rally cry for dozens of Lifelines staff, reps and volunteers. What began as a hunch is now a reality.
New Zealand Partnership
During the spring semester of 2017, Lifelines sent a team of staff members to New Zealand to partner with the Cru campus ministry team there (called Tandem) and train people in outdoor ministry. Based out of Dunedin and Otago University, they spent more than three months working shoulder to shoulder with Kiwi staff members doing various outreaches and leading outdoor trips with college students, including rock climbing and hiking. They trained several Kiwis in outdoor ministry, and the partnership continues to grow. Lifelines plans to send more teams there in the future, as soon as January 2018.
National Leadership Team
Every day can be an exciting adventure for the Christian who knows the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit and who lives constantly, moment by moment, under His gracious direction.
— Dr. Bill Bright —
If you had asked me what my plans were last semester, I would have told you I was transferring. Now I have my place at UVA. (Lifelines) has introduced me to a new world. The Christian community here can only be described with one word: love. You are never just a familiar face or a simple acquaintance. From the first time you meet, you are a friend.
Lifelines does an incredible job of bringing the learning environment to a new level. The intentional and challenging outdoor experience coupled with thought-provoking discussion was a powerful combination. I would highly recommend it.
I was impressed at how professional the Lifelines team was and how well they created an environment that surfaced some growth issues in my life that I was able to process with my peers in a manner that felt neither forced, nor crafted. I hope to have them come to our campus soon. They really are equipped to help our students experience the gospel and develop as leaders in ways we are not able to.