A bit about me, my family and things I think about
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Cowboy churches offer relaxed, come-as-you-are setting and rodeo-style outreach ministries
At a recent Sunday morning service, a small church congregation nodded in agreement to the message on fear their pastor delivered.
Identifying the common difficulties faced by area families, Stan King, pastor of Impact Cowboy Church, voiced the importance in overcoming one's fear and "keeping the faith" in every situation during an out-of-the-ordinary sermon that was given not from the church pulpit, but rather from a light brown stallion named Grasshopper.
The fact that King's outdoor sermon was given on horseback was not only unique to the morning service, but also because it provided a visual example of the context of his message.
Two years ago, King, an avid horseman, agreed to ride a horse his brother-in-law was looking to buy. He got off to adjust the stirrups and then got back on, and while he was trying to get set in the saddle the horse started to buck. He said he thinks at some point when he was getting back on, his spur touched the horse.
The accident caused eight broken ribs and a collapsed lung. It took King six months to recover, and when the time came to get back in the saddle, he explained he was a little more than reluctant.
"I had to overcome a fear of horses," he said.
King eventually did get back in the saddle, but it wasn't until Grasshopper, a neglected stallion, came into his life, that his fears were finally put to rest.
He worked with the stallion for about a year, and soon he became an intricate part of both King's family and ministry.
"We both had to work through some trust issues, and we both came out better on the other end," he said.
"We recovered together," King informed his congregation during his Sunday sermon.
In all of his sermons, King said he tries to keep the message simple, providing his congregation something that they can apply to their everyday lives. He also encourages church members to ask questions during sermons and comment on any part.
"What I've found is that if a person speaks up, it encourages the others; they get uplifted," he said. "The holy spirit may be speaking through them as much as me, and if so, I want to hear it."
In addition to the regular Sunday service, King and his wife, Kaye, the praise and worship leader (who sang backup for the famous Tejano singer, Selena) offer a number of outreach ministries geared toward both family and country lifestyles.
"We have a chuck wagon ministry where we come up here once a month and serve breakfast," Kaye said, adding they also have a trail riding ministry and rotate out with other area churches to minister to the Nacogdoches Boys Ranch.
King said the church, which is currently located at Carrizo Creek Ranch, off CR 302, is looking to move to a larger location with an arena where they will be able to expand their outreach ministries to include a youth rodeo series.
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