The Worst Way To Gather Unbranded Cattle

by Kevin on May 24, 2011

I stepped out of my truck as I pulled up to help a friend gather some calves that he’d been unable to pen so he could brand them. Instead of letting me saddle my horse, the man handed me a feed sack and I knew right away that this is the worst way to gather unbranded cattle.

I stood in the gate and hollered like a wild man while shaking a stupid cake sack tryin’ to get the big calves in the pen that stood out in the pasture.

I tried every approach: the “HERE SOOK, SOOK, SOOK!”, the “Come on big fella’s!”, and even the “Get your @#!* over here!”.

Nothing worked…surprising huh? If 300 pound calves could speak, I figured they thought I was talkin’ in tongues.

Finally, I’d had enough. These cattle weren’t coming into that pen if we’d offered them a bale of side-oats grama grass. There was only one way we’d get those calves–I went and saddled my horse.

Despite the weekend rancher’s objections, I rode out towards the calves. I didn’t push them hard, I just stayed between them and where they wanted to be. The only way to get away from me was to go towards the pen.

In about 30 minutes, we were brandin’ those big calves and two months of coaxing and dozens of feed sacks had been spared.

This is an excellent illustration of the church today. Every church dreams of having pews full of unbranded cattle, but there aren’t enough folks willin’ to saddle up and go get them. The church just gathers at their front door and shakes a feed sack at all the “lost” folks driving by.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore GO…” –Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God

If you missed them, here are some recent posts that deal with the church today:

The Geldin’ of the Christian Man

Unfortunate Success of Training Lions to be Lambs

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For a deeply personal story I wrote for a friend’s website, check this out. You won’t find this on CCM. “Cowboys Cry Too”

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  • Ed

    Thanks Kevin. I’ve been telling my congregation(s) this for years and they look at me like I was speaking swahili or something. maybe your way of telling it will get through.

    • Kevin

      I think people are scared. This post was basically my sermon on Sunday and I told them that the greatest ministries the world will ever see will come from the folks sittin’ in the chairs and in the saddles–not some windbag like me. Let’s do all we can to encourage these folks to talk to their family, their neighbors, and their co-workers. This is where the battle is being fought, not in the church on Sunday morning.

  • Greg Box

    Awesome! When all else fails go saddle a horse and as the job at hand is being done quietly there also is something being taken care of quietly deep inside the heart and soul of all involved! Great stuff cowboy as always!

    Blessings to you and your family,

    Midland, Texas

    • Kevin

      Thanks Greg! It is the work going on deeply and quietly inside every man’s heart that I pray is unleashed upon this world.

  • It’s kinda like something i saw on twitter once.
    “Churches either sit behind the gates of the their building fighting off the enemy or dropping joy/love bombs guerrilla warfare style before retreating. So much for advancing the kingdom of heaven.”

    Great stuff bro!

    • Kevin

      Great quote!! It took me 400 words to say what you did in 140 characters. lol You are a cowboy!!

  • Late in getting caught up. Mare’s been hobbled by distractions along the trail. Hard to keep her pointed. Or maybe it’s me.

    Mind if I take this one a step further? All that chatter about the Great Wrangler coming back to gather His herd for the Vertical Drive didn’t happen. Well, some of us who’ve spent our years way out yonder trying to bring in mavericks, strays, and unbranded cattle, take seriously the verses from Jesus in Matthew 24, then the report from the future in Rev 5:9 and 7:9. All that sorta says He won’t ride back from On High to gather us up until all breeds have a chance to be branded. Sure, a few will come to the feed bag, but it takes those willing to saddle up and hit leather long and hard to bring in the unreached, unbranded. Think about it, when we see all those gathered around the throne, each brand, each tribe, each language is represented. Now THAT will be a glorious roundup. But, we’ve a way to go yet. Let’s ride!

    • Kevin

      I’m saddled up and ready!!!

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