3 Things You Need to Consider If You Want to Be a Cowboy Preacher

by Kevin on January 29, 2014

I answered an email from a man that wanted to learn how to reach cowboys more effectively with the Gospel. I thought I’d pass them along.

Some of the most obvious things are often the most often overlooked. Here are three things I consider to be vital in reaching cowboys. I say cowboys because they are the axle that every genre of the western heritage culture draws from. No offense, but nobody played church and indians when they were growing up.

First, I believe that people related so well to Jesus because of his hands. Jesus was a carpenter, not a soft-handed theologian. He knew how to sweat and wasn’t scared of it. If a person wants to be listened to by cowboys, they want to know that the person speaking knows the trials and tribulations of a hard life, hard work, and hard living. Soft hands will destroy credibility fast.

Second, don’t feminize the Gospel. I heard a very popular preacher say one time, “When you’re in a relationship with Jesus, being clingy isn’t a bad thing.” If you walk up to a cowboy and tell him that you want him to have a relationship with a man named Jesus and you’d like him to be “clingy” with him, that lost cowboy is going to walk right out the door and you will NEVER see him again. Words like relationship, cherish, hold on to, depend….these are all feminine words that a masculine cowboy wants nothing to do with in talking about another man. Use things like ride with, honor, and count on…

Third…don’t be a fake. If you don’t wear a cowboy hat Monday through Saturday, you better not put one on Sunday. Same goes with boots and everything else. I’m going to be very blunt….a cowboy can spot a fake from a mile away. He really doesn’t care who you are as long as you don’t try to convince him that you’re somebody else. The worst thing about cowboy churches are the number of people that think it’s about attire and decoration….and this mentality isn’t reaching cowboys, it’s running them off.

A fake preacher will have a congregation of fake Christians. Don’t fake who you are, become who you want to be.

Did you know that Save the Cowboy is now offering partnerships to other cowboy churches? These partnerships are ONLY for non-affiliated cowboy churches that want to learn how to reach cowboys in a brand new way that is changing lives. If you’d like to know more, email contact@savethecowboy.com for a scheduled visit or more information. We also offer coaching and advanced strategies for gathering the lost, whether they are cowboy or not…it works. Contact us today.

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  • Mike Hudson

    Amen! What bothers me about cowboy churches is the lack of true cowboys as church leaders!

    • Kevin

      That is a serious problem Mike. But I think the problem lies with the fact that the true cowboys aren’t going to jump in there and try to be. It took us three years to find our first leader and we have about 500 in regular attendance.

      Church leadership starts with the pastor. If he ain’t cowboy (or growing into one) then the leadership probably won’t be either.

  • Kevin,

    This is such a relevant message right now. We desperately need a Cowboy Church in my neck of the woods. I’ve been praying hard about this city for over a year.

    I’m interested though in knowing what you consider a fake Christian/cowboy. I try not to give spotlight to others’ weaknesses or faults as followers of the Lord, but I’d like to think there are some authentic people left in the world who aren’t ashamed to share the Gospel and be transparent about their shortcomings.

    I will always respect someone who is real and don’t just “look holy” or appears to have it “all together” for the sake of keeping their true selves tucked away behind a mask. There has to be a better way to reach the lost and starving without hypocrisy and judgement.

    Pray for my city and for the lives that are seeking and lost but are afraid to reach out because we like “fluff” rather than authentic faith.

    • Kevin

      Julie, you have to understand one thing before I answer your question. Just because I say someone is fake, there was no judgment or pointing out of faults. It’s an honest assessment of someone’s actions.

      I watched a man that wasn’t a cowboy in deed, action, or desire…put on a cowboy hat…walk to the front of a cowboy church…yelled, “YeeHaw and welcome pards”…and called himself a cowboy preacher. That wasn’t real, that is fake and demeaning to our culture.

      On the other hand, I watched a man from Guatemala that probably has never sat on a horse, walk up in front of a cowboy church in his tennis shoes and t-shirt, sing a song in Spanish, and got a standing ovation from 300 cowboys and cowgirls.

      There’s a difference…

      Also, none of have it all together. We are all a work in progress.

      Your last statement says, “We like fluff rather than authentic faith.” That is hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  • I agree with everything you say. I listen to you every Sunday and know there’s no judgement, all we have to go by are people’s actions. There’s a vast difference between the humble and proud. The first example is the latter. Pride goes before destruction. You’re right, if we did have it all together we wouldn’t need the Lord and that’s a scary place to be. Keep riding, Kevin. Your heart and ministry are appreciated.

    • Kevin

      And I appreciate all your support and your comment and question.

  • Mike Hudson

    To answer one of the above questions: what is a real cowboy? A real cowboy doesn’t brag about what he can do, he just does it. Its more than just ridin, its mending fences, repairing tack, shoeing your cow pony, handling the wild cows (they bring out the cowboy skills). They don’t get to buy the expensive jeans and boots, as advertised in the magazines. Their hats are worn out, not them pretty slick things. They will work for day wages (minimum wage? never hard of it). Its the life style that is attractive. However, the true cowboy understands that God made the pastures, the cows, and the horses and we have the privilege and honor to work in HIS creation.

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