At 17 years old, Lori Nellist drew up plans for a camp to reach kids for Christ and to prepare them to stand firm in their faith. It then sat on the shelf until she met Larry Nellist. Soon Larry and Lori found their hearts intertwined and were married in 1986. Together they decided they had a ‘divine appointment’ and the project came off the shelf and into reality. They used wedding gift money to secure a down payment on the original property in 1987 and then they moved down to Tennessee in 1988 and incorporated New Frontiers.
Hundreds of volunteers have helped create the pillars of NF, which now affects thousands of lives across the United States and the world and is known for providing opportunities for people to encounter themselves, the people around them and God in a powerful way. Participants find themselves learning to live intentionally for God by anticipating their own divine appointments with God, thinking metaphorically about God and seeking emergent truth (eTruth) from God.
The name New Frontiers was chosen because it depicts a step from the known into the unknown. An intentional step across a metaphorical line that leads us into God territory.
The ‘dude’ was created as the logo for NF because it depicts someone who is reaching and stretching. Someone who is an Overcomer. This idea of overcoming is core to New Frontiers thought and derives its origin from the overcoming promises in the book of Revelation. New Frontiers is about changing lives and fighting the apathy that is prevalent around us. The goal is to prepare students, not entertain them, to encourage them to identify their fears and their callings alike and to pursue them with undying commitment through the confidence they can find in living for Jesus Christ.
Three Pillars | One Foundation
At first glance NF seems to be about ropes courses and adventures. Upon a closer look you will see that the New Frontiers approach is not about games or activities. It is about using the tools of experiential education to minister at home and abroad to people across economic and social boundaries, teaching them to discover truth potential in the things and circumstances around them in order to gain insight into their lives and their interactions with God through the grid of Biblical truth.
New Frontiers achieves these goals by utilizing three pillars in their organizational structure:
- PIVOT and YES Camps, including missions and corporate training
- the ARISE’s Home
- Think Metaphorically
While there are three pillars at NF there is only one foundation on which all else rests and that is the unwavering hope we can have in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; His son Jesus the Christ, and His Holy Spirit to whom we give praise.
To live on purpose. To erase apathy from your life style, especially in relationship to your walk with God. To live for God is the highest calling one could ever hope to receive. It requires faith to believe that it is possible for God to not only exist but to desire our service and devotion. To live intentionally means to believe intentionally and then to allow those beliefs to dictate the actions of our lives.
anticipate divine appointments.
“To anticipate” means “to expect”, “to be ready for”, even “anxiously waiting”. If we are to be successful in our attempt to live intentionally, then we will have to begin by anticipating – expecting, being ready for – appointments with God. In the book of Revelation there are seven promises and they are all made to the Overcomer. Being an Overcomer begins by intentionally believing that God would meet you, that He has something to say to you to help you understand Him or your life. To intentionally believe and to anticipate that He has an assignment for you to complete. It is the idea that we check our calendars each morning for appointments not made by human hands. It is the idea that we expect that our daily activities will be interrupted by His missions. To anticipate a divine appointment is to be ready, expecting the God of the universe to intersect with our lives in such a way that we are able to respond.
To think metaphorically is crucial to our awareness of God. The truth of God is revealed in our circumstances, our relationships, the movies we watch, the books we read, the tools we use, and the natural environment around us. These are things we observe and interact with constantly. If we can make it a habit of looking at the things we do as pictures of our walk with God, we will be amazed at the truth He will communicate. This is how Jesus taught His disciples to think. “I am the vine, you are the branches.” In eight words Jesus succinctly put our relationship to Him in a way we can all understand. He used parables. Often he taught along the way of walking. He would begin comparisons on the road saying, “The kingdom of heaven is . . . “If we train to think this way, then we will begin to look for God’s messages to us in everything around us. If we have committed to living intentionally and are anticipating a divine appointment we will likely see and hear God’s truth revealed to us metaphorically on an almost constant level. This is a way to “bind yourself to him'” so you never wander too far from Him. It is possible to think metaphorically so well that His presence is continually felt.
Unveiling truth is the agenda of the divine appointment and is often understood or revealed metaphorically. It is the truth that is unveiled or steps out from behind the event, encounter or activity. It resonates with your current spiritual needs and speaks directly to your heart. Sometimes these truths are for a group of people together or for yourself personally. Truth is something to be sought after, not to be missed. It brings conviction of behavior or celebrates choices; it can be very poignant and can not easily be dismissed. It is the truth, explained to others with metaphor in tact, that you walk away from knowing you have had a divine appointment. These moments do not come to the disinterested, but to those who intentionally seek them; they are a continuous source of strength.
Custom group retreats.
Y.e.s. Camps (youth empowered to stand)