Did you know, (I am sure most of you didn’t) that there are hundreds, yes hundreds of independent ministries focused on rodeo cowboys and cowgirls (do women like to be called cow-girls?) There are at least 12 rodeo circuits of varying sizes in the PRCA alone and there are all kinds of amateur rodeos as well and just about all of these rodeo circuits are populated with multiple and competing ministries trying to minister to the rodeo participants and those who follow the sport. At least ministry is their stated goal. If you did a search of the words “cowboy ministries” it would return multiple thousands of hits like this one. For whatever reason, there are all kinds of people who want to follow the rodeo around and do “ministry”. A large number have no accountability and less credibility.
Yesterday, all day, I sat in a meeting of an organization called Forever Cowboys (visit site here). It was started by and is led by a man named Allen Bach, who if you are a rodeo fan, especially of the roping genre, you know the name. Al won his first world championship in 1979 and his last of four in 2006. That is longevity in any sport and just plain amazing in rodeo (info on Al here).
Because Allen has been a rodeo professional for 30 years he has seen every kind of rodeo ministry and it has concerned him the way rodeo professionals are “used” by some of these ministries for their own benefit and the detriment of the cowboy and the sport, not to mention the Kingdom. So Allen is trying to develope an “association” of sorts to bring accountability to rodeo ministry. He invited several of the legitimate ministers here to Trinity to talk about what could be done to bring some accountability and organization to the profession.
Pastor Andy Taylor and Trinity are part of the covering for Forever Cowboys and it has become a place for these ministers to come for support and encouragement. Convergence, the School of Ministry we are helping to build, has volunteered to provide training and mentoring for men and women who will staff each of the 12 professional rodeo circuits around the country.
It was an interesting day and some of the opportunities that came out of the day are proving to have significant implications for Convergence and our ministry here.
The rodeo world is huge and for whatever reason there is a lot more openness to the Gospel in it than in any other sport I know anything about. So we are praying about how we can serve in this arena (pun intended).
I am impressed with Allen and his leadership. A man of his stature in the sport could do a lot of things with his time and his hard earned reputation, but he invests significant amounts of time in ministry because he is a Kingdom guy and wants to see that what is done in the name of Jesus is done with excellence and credibility.
I met a lot of nice people, learned a lot and had a good time. The meetings seemed to last forever but what would you expect when your name is Forever Cowboys!