When I say having “that talk,” I mean going through the Romans Road and showing a person what the Bible says we have to do to come to Christ.
At Chisholm Trail Cowboy Church, we do not have an invitation after the message where we ask folks who want to come to Christ or have other needs to come forward. Instead, at the end of my message on Thursday night, I say something like this.
“If you are here tonight and would like to know what the Bible has to say about how to know for sure that if you died you would go to heaven, look me up after the service and whisper, ‘Dan I need to have that talk.’ Then I’ll meet with you at some place where you feel comfortable and show you what the Bible says a person needs to do to be saved. Then I promise you that I won’t put one ounce of pressure on you. It will be your decision. And no matter what you do, I’ll love you just the same. We can meet at your house, or your barn, or in your pasture, or wherever you feel comfortable. And if you’re here and have other needs you would like to talk to me about, look me up.”
It is important that folks don’t feel any pressure. Now, for those of you who are pastors, let me say to you that there is a little more to this than just saying, “Look me up and we’ll have that talk.” We do have some who come to me, but for the most part folks seem to have trouble mustering up the courage to approach me about their need for Christ. For that reason, it is important that I am careful to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way that I seem to become aware of who and when to talk to is in this way.
I work hard at building rapport with as many folks as I can. The café at the sale barn where we meet is open before and after church. (NOTE: At the time this was written, the cafe was open before church. It isn’t open on Thursday nights any longer.) I make it a point to go from table to table just “howdy’ing around” with folks. I try to get to know them and keep everything light and fun. Our service begins at 7:00 p.m., but folks start arriving about 4:30 at the café and about 5:00 for church. My wife and I move through the crowd and visit with as many people as we can right up to church time. By doing this, we build rapport with a lot of people.
After I have gotten to know someone and am impressed by the Holy Spirit, I catch them at a time when I can quietly ask them, “Have you ever had that talk?” If they say no, I say, “Well, when you’re ready, let me know.” Some will say, “Well, any time!” and we will set a time and place. Others will say, “OK. I will.” As you can see, that exchange took place with no pressure at all. If you put pressure on someone to make a decision that minute, all kinds of walls go up.
I begin to pray for them every day. As I pray for them, the Spirit will prompt me from time to time to catch them when it’s just the two of us and I will ask, “Are you about ready to have that talk?” Some will never be ready but most will. The key is to let the Spirit of God have time to move in their hearts.
When they say they are ready, we set a place and time. When we meet, I don’t just rush into going through the Romans Road, but I let them tell me about themselves and their life. Then I say, “Would you like me to show you what the Bible says you need to do in order to know for sure that if you died today you would go to heaven?” When they say yes, I take them through the Romans Road. After we have done that, I ask them if that sounds like something they would like to do. If they say yes, we pray together and they ask Christ to come into their life. Every now and again, someone will say, “Well, not today.” At that, I simply say, “Well, when you are ready, let me know.”
Over the past four years, we have had so many men and woman come to Cowboy Church and come to Christ—when other people who had known them through the years had said, “They’ll never darken the door of a church or come to Christ.” But they do! And another amazing thing is that many were 60 years old or more–some were even past 90 years old. Only God can do that!
One great thing for me is that I get to be there when it happens and get to watch, which shows you that God will pick up an old rusty hoe every now and then and use it for His glory.
We have a couple of old beat up buckets at each entrance of the sale barn. At announcement time, I welcome everyone and say, “For those of you who are here for the first time, we have a bucket hanging down there. We really like to help people who need a hand up, so if you want to drop something in the bucket, feel free to do that. And if you have a need, let us know, and we’ll help you if we can.”
That’s all we ever say about money. By meeting at the sale barn, we have very little overhead. This allows us to help people who really need a one-time hand up that will put them on their feet again. When we first started, we said the same thing except we used to say, “If you need help, feel free to take from the bucket.” Soon the word got out and we had a lot of church bums coming to get a hand full of money every week. These were people who go from church to church doing just that.
We like to help folks who find themselves in need because of something life has thrown their way, and a little help once or twice can get them back on their feet. We have given a lot of money to folks like that. I’m not sure just how much, but I know at the time of this writing, it’s getting close to $100,000 that we’ve given away. However, we do have one constant problem that keeps coming up at every Elders meeting–we have more money than we can give away. Isn’t that just like God to give us a problem like that?
All of this may or may not help some of you. I hope it will. There has to be a lot we have not covered, so if you think we could help you in any way, feel free to call me. My name is Dan and I can be reached at 580-541-7815. May God bless each of you.