Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Josh Sweeden

Second Advisor

Phillip Carnes


People who own and utilize their second homes frequently live in such a way that they rarely intersect with the local church in either locale, limiting opportunities to follow the Way of Jesus. An understanding of this population can help the church in a resort community to engage these second-home owners. This thesis explores two driving needs of second-home owners: the longing to escape the daily routine found in their primary home community, and the desire to significantly attach to a place of personal meaning. Play is one key way that they meet these desires. Spending rejuvenating time outdoors is another. The resort church that learns to play well outside will discover opportunities to invite these friends and neighbors to follow the Way of Jesus.

Chapter one introduces the North American context and the challenges it represents, particularly for the church in a resort setting. Chapter two explores responses to the post-Christendom context. Celtic Christianity will be investigated to highlight the challenges of contextualization. Chapter three reviews a biblical theology of place. Placemaking as a form of contextualization will be investigated. Chapter four presents a rethinking of the understanding of place in light of the relatively new phenomenon of amenity migration. Chapter 5 investigates characteristics of play as well as several theologies of play, making the case that play helps meet the need of second-home owners to escape the daily routine of life. Chapter six explores play through the lens of Christian outdoor adventure strategies, concluding with several play ideas for churches in resort areas seeking to play well with others. Chapter seven concludes with several concepts for local churches seeking to revitalize their outreach through play and outdoor adventure, providing the framework for playful pilgrims seeking to follow the Way of Jesus.

Included in

Christianity Commons