By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
Bull fighter Neil Adams and funnyman Chris McCloud pray together at the opening of the Triple T Bulls bull riding in Elizabethton, TN last Friday night.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Rodeo and bull riding are one of the best places to see examples of this. The contestants and crew just naturally do this for one another but the challenge then, is to start seeing it from a Christian perspective. If Christ loved us enough to die for us, then our response is to love others and this message in 1 Thessalonians is one of the ways we do that. Remember, in this context, love isn’t a touchy feeling emotion, but an action like Christ’s action on the cross. Encouraging and building each other up and praying together or for each other are ways we do this.
The challenge now, is to go from where it is easy for us, among the people we’re closest to and spend the most time with, and look for ways to do this with others we encounter on a daily basis.
Think how often an employee at the fast food counter of a restaurant takes complaints and how many times someone says something positive, good or encouraging. A kind word of encouragement there can change the entire course of someone’s day. There’s a lot of power behind following up on this verse and learning to do this everywhere we go. And it opens the door to not just show Christ to others but to tell them about him because when you encourage and build a person up, you also build a relationship with them and earn trust to be able to share Jesus and God’s word with them.
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.
Where to find us
Saturdays, Cowboys of the Cross, Celina, OH. This will be most Saturdays now through spring.
Nov 8 and 9, Randy Dodge Rodeo Ministries, White Pine, TN, National Cowboy Association Finals.
Ongoing: Sundays, Scott/Cowboys of the Cross can be found at the Triple T Bucking Bulls and Practice Pen near Limestone, TN
Scott/Cowboys of the Cross can be found at Spur’n S Rodeos with the National Cowboy Association and he serves as the Chaplain for the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association, often found at their sanctioned events. He can also be found at PBR Velocity Tour events, International Professional Rodeo Association events and others. To find out where Scott is next, please email email@example.com
Indiana bull rider Cody West found some old Bibles when cleaning out an attic as part of his job. As much as he would like to be able to bull ride full time, and is right now holding on to the top spot with the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association that I get to serve as chaplain, he also works for his dad who runs a successful roofing business.
The Bibles were going to be thrown out but he thought they needed to held onto and then the cool part–he thought I might like to have them to at least look through and maybe pass on to someone else if I didn’t want to keep them.
Yeah I do!
Cody set them out on the trunk of his car and while others were talking about their rides, grabbing some fair food or hanging out, Cody was flipping through the pages showing me some of what he’d found in side including some dates. A couple of the Bibles were just a few years shy of 200 years old.
While we were looking at them, a spectator walking through the parking area stopped and took our picture, remarking how unusual it was to see a couple cowboys looking at antique books with flashlights after a rodeo. Yeah, I guess it was but it was pretty darn cool.
Someone suggested I look into getting them to the Bible museum but for now, when I get back home from this current road trip, I will do some research into them and see if there is any historical significance. From there, I want to get Cody back involved and we’ll decide together what to do with them. There was a lot of interest in a short social media post about them from the cowboy community so that tells me to see if Cody and I can put our heads together to try to find some kind of opportunity to apply these to a way to get the guys to think about their faith.
New stories and devotions every other Thursday
I grew up in a Christian home with Godly parents; my mother and father were the youth leaders at our church at time. Around five or six years old, my mind was wandering and I decided I wanted to get saved, I remember even standing at the top of my stairs and saying...read more
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.
Meet our Teachers / Preachers and Site Contributors
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...read more
Hey everyone, my name is James Douma. I have been involved with the rodeo for the past several years. I am a full time firefighter in Ontario during the week and ride bucking horses on the weekend. I am married to an amazing woman named Jenn and together we have a...read more
Michael Damien Moore is a bareback rider from Athens, TN and the nephew of rodeo producer Mike Moore. Originally from Alaska, Michael has started leading cowboy church, largely at rodeos in the 'south'. The hat he is wearing in the photo was his father's. You'll see...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more