The Cowboys for Cops Initiative
Cowboys for Cops is a movement encouraging the members of our rodeo and bull riding industries to show encouragement to law enforcement (and any first responders), especially in a climate where offices have literally come under attack and frequent negative criticism.
Through Cowboys of the Cross, it’s an opportunity to teach the cowboy community how to serve and pray for others by approaching the officers they encounter at events, on the road and in their communities and asking the officers how they can pray for them. The cowboys and bull riders are encouraged to pray on the spot, which for many, is new and uncomfortable.
“Almost every officer asks us to pray for the safety of their fellow police. The best part is, many will share something personal, making this real for both the officer and cowboy or bull rider,” said Scott Hilgendorff who gets to lead Cowboys of the Cross.
Cowboys of the Cross is a ministry focused on sharing the gospel and discipleship within the predominantly Christian rodeo and bull riding industry. This is done partly through cowboy church services held before events and ongoing discipleship outside their presence at events.
“With a police on the grounds at so many events and how much the cowboys and bull riders travel, we probably encounter police more than the average person. Asking these guys to pray for the officers is a chance to help them grow in their faith, but more importantly, it’s a chance to show our police that we care about them. Hopefully they are left encouraged by these encounters or through finding CowboysForCops.com,” said Hilgendorff.
ARE YOU A RODEO COWBOY, BULL RIDER, OR JUST SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT OUR POLICE AND FIRST RESPONDERS?
Here’s how Cowboys for Cops works:
Come across a cop? Introduce yourself, ask how you can pray for him or her and…pray!
When we see them in your travels or especially at the arena or fairgrounds you’re at, have your pictures taken with the officer (or a ‘selfie’) and head to Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook where you can share it with the hashtag #CowboysforCops. Tell them we’re glad they’re out there. Be encouraging and ask them how you can prayer for them, the most important part of this.
Pray with the police and for them:
We know praying is intimidating for a lot of people but if we truly believe what we say we believe, then we believe praying for one another is important. There is no shortage of examples of the importance of prayer through the Old and New Testament. Yet many of us struggle with how to do it and it can take awhile to get comfortable praying in front of others.
In the book of Acts, we see the early church forming and praying together was part of that foundation. Then, when James was executed and Paul was imprisoned to face death as well for preaching about Jesus, we see this in Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
Earnestly means, with great effort.
And an angel was sent to rescue Peter from prison.
So let’s find the courage to pray with those officers as we encounter them. If you’re uncomfortable praying on the spot, assure them you’re praying and really do take care of it on your own time. But we encourage you to try to pray with them at the time as well. It will be the most encouraging to them and in the process, we can get more comfortable praying for one another.
Some tips on praying
* Don’t be afraid to ask if you can pray for an officer or group of offices. Even if everyone feels awkward, most are going to be okay with it and be encouraged by it. If they don’t want you to pray, tell them you understand and just want them to know they’re appreciated.
* Ask the officers how you can pray for them. Some will share with you a specific need.
* Remember, God wants us to pray. Prayer is how we communicate with God. The Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew tells us to pray which includes recognition of who God is (our Father and the holiest of all) ,to seek God’s will and to present our needs. In this case, we acknowledge everything will work for God’s purpose but we can tell God of our appreciation for these men and women who protect us (not just arrest us) and ask that He keep them safe, keep them encouraged and keep them strengthened.
* If you’re a cowboy comfortable praying, please gather with a few of the guys and be the one to lead it with the police who are around.
***IMPORTANT PLEASE send the photos to us and we will put them up to the website. Also! Tell the officers about the Cowboys for Cops website and send them there so they can see more about this and the photos you’ve taken so they can be encouraged. www.cowboysforcops.com