Cowboys of the Cross

Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross has been providing cowboy church for the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 15 years. The website is your source for stories of faith and encouragement as well as devotions and news and information affecting cowboys of faith. Cowboys of the Cross leads cowboy church at rodeos and bull ridings in both Ontario, Canada and across the north and southeastern United States. 

To support the mission

Cowboys of the Cross is a full time ministry shepherded by Scott Hilgendorff (His testimony can be found below). Like other missionaries, Scott relies on the generous support of private donors to carry out the work of the Great Commission within the rodeo and cowboy culture. Donations are managed through LifeSong Family Church in Lewisburg, TN. To give online, please click the button, selecton online giving and please choose Cowboys of the Cross from the dropdown menu. To give via mail, please make checks payable to LifeSongFamily Church but include a note that it is for “rodeo ministry.” Donations can be sent to LifeSong Family Chuch, 1041 S. Ellington Pkwy
Lewisburg, TN  37091

Sometimes we represent sponsors or our own interests better than we give Jesus

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

When a cowboy or bull rider reaches a level where he gets a corporate sponsorship, he works for that sponsor. When we own our own business, we want employees that represent us to the public well and we think twice about how we speak to someone. We take our commitment to our sponsor seriously and we care that he or she or the business is well-represented.

Really, it’s a terrible comparison to how we should represent Jesus and why we should take his instructions to us from the Bible seriously. The sponsorship or business ownership example doesn’t come close to the importance of following Jesus but it at least gets us looking in the right direction.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

To be the righteousness of God means that when we are truly saved through our faith in Jesus and our request for forgiveness through our repentance of sin, that despite our faults, mistakes, failures and sin, God now sees us as perfect, right before Him.

Once we’re saved, we become ambassadors of Jesus, something far more important than representing a brand paying your fees at the PBR and NFR. Jesus paid the penalty for your sin and gave you eternal life. Now we have a chance to both show others how Jesus has changed our lives by making us right with God and to tell them how to receive the same.

We also need to hold tightly to grace because as we try to live like Jesus, God knows we’re going to fail. One of the main points of receiving His grace is not so we can intentionally make mistakes and go on living the way we want to, but because He knows we’re going to blow it. Sometimes it’s privately or seen only by our closest family and friends and sometimes it’s in traffic with our “God is my copilot” bumper sticker there for everyone to see. Sometimes it’s in how we’re speaking to an employee in the lumber store because they ordered the wrong product for you and your job is going to be delayed as your Philippians 4:13 tattoo is showing on your t-shirted arm.

We’re going to blow it.

Strength: Cowboy Strong, God Honoring

Part Six, Belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness, weapons for battle

A special series from the Cowboys of the Cross

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Email: cowboysofthecross@gmail.com

Contact Us

 

Phone: 865_293_2668

 

Email: cowboysofthecross@gmail.com

 

Mail: Cowboys of the Cross, 3710 Warden Branch Lane, Gatlinburg, TN, 37738

New devotions/teaching right here every other Thursday

Where to find us

Feb 10 and Feb 24 Blountville, TN, Bull Riders and Outlaws bull riding, cowboy church

Scott is found at events sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association, the Outlaws and Bull Riders Association, the National Cowboys Association.

They can also sometimes be found at PBR Velocity Tour events, International Professional Rodeo Association events  and others.

In all your ways...

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths — Proverbs 3:6
A Cowboy of the Cross believes God comes first and strive to follow His leading from a desire that comes from the knowledge of the cost of our salvation, paid for by Jesus Christ through is death on the cross. Through a saving and repentant faith in Jesus and the knowledge of his resurrection, we know God has forgiven our sins and will take us home to Heaven when our time here is done. Through God’s grace, we’ll get through the mistakes we make and grow more like Christ with study of Scripture, time in prayer and learning to hear God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

How we treat our animals or handle a loss shows our hearts

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

How we treat a drive thru worker when the wait is long or the order is messed up.

How we handle a person trying to merge in front of us in heavy traffic.

What we do with our shopping cart when we leave the store.

How we treat our animals, the ones that are worth the least, or nothing.

How we spend the drive home after we’ve bucked off or missed our catch at the rodeo.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Thankfully, through repentance, seeking forgiveness from God and a saving faith in Jesus, God will no longer condemn us for the words, thoughts and actions that come from our hearts.

Once saved, God begins to change us through the Holy Spirit in us and though we’ll never be perfect, we begin to change how we handle ourselves and each other in this life.

How we respond or navigate in each of the described situations can be a good heart check as we try to work out our salvation or want to see just how far we still have to go to be more like Jesus.

If someone asks at the rodeo why you’re a Christian, do you have an answer?

If someone at a rodeo sees your cross necklass or the Bible verse written on your vest or someone asks you at the ranch while you’re reading a Bible as you eat your lunch, “Why are you a Christian?” are you ready to give an answer?
Is that answer going to come from thoughts and ideas you have about God or is it going to come from truths you know right from Scripture? Your answer will do one of three things: point someone to a real truth about salvation through Jesus Christ, point them completely away from Christianity altogether that leads them to eternal suffering or provide an answer about having ‘faith’ and being ‘good’ that gives them false hope that still leads to eternal suffering.
What kind of hope do you have for yourself? Is it one grounded in the truth of what Jesus did for us on the cross with a repentant heart and a secure understanding of a saving faith in Jesus? What kind if hope do you want to offer others?
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Telling others about Jesus so they can know him should motivate you.

Meet our Teachers / Preachers and Site Contributors

Keith Miller

Keith Miller

Keith Miller grew up in a strict Amish home in Indiana until discovering the freedom of an independent relationship with Jesus Christ. As a bull rider, he met his wife Natalie and together, they have a daughter Gracelyn and have settled in Westport, Indiana. Keith...

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Scott Hilgendorff

Scott Hilgendorff

Scott heads up Cowboys of the Cross, a ministry dedicated to bringing cowboy church to rodeos and bull ridings across North America but with a focus on discipleship. The ministry evolved out of Riding for Christ Ministries, the name which Scott operated under for more...

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Josh McCarthy

Josh McCarthy

Howdy! My name’s Josh McCarthy and I compete in saddle bronc riding in the PRCA and I’m the youngest of five from northeastern Wisconsin.  I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday. I accepted Christ into my life when I was little but I didn’t...

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Jim Bull

Jim Bull

I grew up always praying before meals and hearing that our friends that passed were in heaven. However, I never felt I knew who God was and definitely didn't have a relationship with Him. I lived my life thinking if I seemed like a good person, then I must be a good...

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Jesse Horton

Jesse Horton

I was 'raised Christian.' I can't remember a time before I was 10 years old that I wasn't a church-goer, though I remember several years of my teens where my family didn't attend church. I confessed my sin and my need for Christ when I was eight years old, but I do...

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