Archive for January 14, 2009

The Apostle Paul said to the Church of Corinthians, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means that I might save some.”

To the devout, this verse speaks of a desire to learn about God’s children. To the cynic, this scripture espouses fraudulent behavior. To me, a cynical devotee of Christ, it’s a game plan. Jesus can put on the high society hat and hobknob with upper crust, or he can kick off his sandals and chill with us common folk.

Either way, he will be noticed and not come off as fake.

cowboy-churchFast forward to today where many folk are scorched with the church politics, gossiping hens and uber-fake pastors. And if you are completely thrashed with the drama, where do you go for fellowship? What do you do for some Jesus joy?

Why, put on some boots, dawn a sweet lid and get your bucking on at Cowboy Church!

The movement is about 40 years old but has grown rapidly in recent years, especially among Baptists. The Midland, N.C.-based Cowboy Church Network of North America, supported by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Missions Board, has started dozens of churches in 12 states and Canada since 2003.

“It appeals to you because it’s ‘come as you are,'” said Chris Maddox, who attends the Cowboy Church of Ellis County. “You don’t feel judged based on how you’re dressed, how you talk, how you look. We’re not asking somebody to be something they’re not.”

Amen to that! These are churches that begin meeting on ranches, in barns and even… dare I say… in nightclubs?! Jesus goes where you are. He never asked for you to be pretentious, asinine and a complete megalomaniac in order to worship him.

Most church folk can’t help themselves – judge people by the way they look, act, speak and even pray. Jesus didn’t do that either. He only asked that if you love him, then follow him. Regardless of how you are dressed, or how bow legged you are.

Sounds nice. Now only if I could really love country music, I would so be in the houseer, barn.

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Most people who do not have a relationship with the Lord end up yawping his name in times of crisis, dire help, severe illness or you know, hungover.

I remember 9-11 like most, like it was yesterday. However, one of the stark realities that stand out the most for me is how this entire country seemed to put the petty, the mundane, the lunacy aside and give God a chance. Church attendance was through the roof! I was late by 10 minutes one day and had to sit way in the back… and I was on staff.

prayerNot that I was around in the 1930s, but I’m sure the Great Depression had the same affect on folk. This revised version of the Not-so-great Depression? Not so much, according to the Christian Post and a recent Gallup poll.

Over the last three months, about 42 percent of Americans reported that they attended church, synagogue, or mosque weekly or almost every week, which the Gallup Poll found to be the same percentage reported earlier in the year.

History has shown that a significant crisis usually results in fuller pews, as was seen after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. During this latest crisis of economic challenges, some reports have indicated that houses of worship have drawn larger crowds.

But while some churches have seen higher numbers, the recent Gallup Poll found “absolutely no change” in church attendance after reviewing almost 300,000 interviews Gallup conducted throughout this year.

Hrm. Towers blowing up and mass hysteria? Call on God. No money in your pocket, voluminous unemployment and OPEC sticking it to this country? Ah, I’ll watch TBN. Seriously?!

Some things just can’t be explained. Much like the faith I have my family and I will be all right during this tumultous time in American economics.

Read what the picture says. It’s proof that some of the best things in life really are free.