I read a great article in the People magazine a few weeks ago.  (I don’t buy them, I get them second hand from mama)  I set it aside to blog about it, and I just keep forgetting.  I found it this morning when I grabbed all my stuff to go to Rich’s terminal, so here it is:

The Cowboy Church Network of North America has 26 congregations to date, mostly in the south.  They have weeknight services (a couple also have Sunday services) for country folk, farm-workers and others whose Sundays are filled with rodeos and horse shows.   Members come in chaps, cowboy hats, some even sit on horseback (but most people sit in bleachers).  Services consist of cowboy poetry, heartfelt confessionals, and old-fashioned preaching.  They meet in stables, barns, arenas, and other equally horse-friendly locales.  Worshippers don’t care if you have paint on your pants, or holes in your jeans, as long as the bible is preached there.

Former NC pastor, Jeff Smith, started the Cowboy Church Network in an effort to bring church to cowboys. He “gets a kick out of sharing the gospel, saddle to saddle.”  In the first year of his first church, attendance surpassed 100, and more than 80 people made professions of faith.  A typical Cowboy Church service opens in an arena with a horseback presentation of flags and the national anthem.  Baptisms are done on a flatbed trailer where new believers are immersed in a horse trough.  The preacher, dressed in boots, jeans and a cowboy hat, stands in the dirt, his Bible in hand, and preaches without notes.  “When Jesus came to earth he did not come in the robes of the religious leaders,” said Smith.  “He came in the garments of the people.  His goal was to ‘seek and to save that which was lost.’  We use the model Jesus has given, to go to the people with the gospel.”

I wanted to share this with y’all, because I think it is so awesome.   They may not be a “traditional” church, but they are out there saving souls in Jesus’ name.  How much cooler can it get?

There are some really great pics on the Cowboy Church Network website, but I couldn’t add any because of security reasons here on Rich’s company computer.  Sorry.  I hope you go to their site and check out their photo gallery. 

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