By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
Through Cowboys of the Cross, the most visible work I get to do is lead cowboy church, a short service with the contestants and sometimes fans before the start of rodeos and bull ridings. But a small team of us work together producer content for the ministry website and social media.
Most recently, we started doing something called The Short Go—short videos meant to teach and encourage.
But we mean short. We’re trying to work within a two-minute limit and that caused a lot of discussion about how we could do that effectively and still treat the word of God with the care and respect it deserves.
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
“Rightly handling the word of truth.”
Biblical teaching like that from Paul in his letter to Timothy is what caused a lot of discussion before we started to do these short messages last month.
Social media is pushing millions of people toward consuming short content through apps like TikTok. Instagram, that was started as a photo site is switching to short-format videos. All of it is creating a culture that is consuming information in short chunks when we know Scripture as a whole has incredible depth.
So, could we handle God’s word carefully and correctly in that amount of time? We all know the consequences if we don’t.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
However, when we look at a typical church sermon, while it may be 40 minutes long, when someone in the sanctuary is scribbling down notes, it is usually because of a specific point the pastor has made from a specific verse.
That is partly how we’re trying to approach these short messages, by making sure that a clear and correct point is being taught.
We know we’re going to be judged by God if we’re reckless with His word and our genuine desire to teach and reach the cowboy community are strong motivators for us to be careful with this work. But we also see it as part of a bigger picture.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Paul shares with Timothy how important Scripture is for absolutely everything from how to live to making sure we’re prepared for everything God would have us do.
Everything we do through Cowboys of the Cross from a cowboy church-style devotions for a newspaper in Bandera Texas to our presence on social media or at rodeos is meant to be a part of that equipping.
Being part of a church community and doing our own Bible study are also huge parts. So even a two-minute message can contribute. We host all our past videos on the Cowboys of the Cross YouTube channel you can find with a simple search and we keep this site updated every other Thursday with new material we hope can be a part of equipping you for whatever God has planned.