The Old Cowboy offering of today is a little longer, however it is a true story from out of my past, which is true of 95% of the things I write each day. Yes, I do quote some others on my posts from time to time. In recent conversations I have spoken both in person and on the telephone with a number of church leaders who lament the fact their congregation isn’t growing, and it’s graying. They remark that they aren’t reaching the younger adults in the community as well as teens. Most of the time thier intent is to solve the problem by looking for a younger preacher with a family. They get all excited when I tell them their solution seldom works, and likely isn’t the problem.
I am in situations and conversatins like this reminded of when I was growing up as a little heathen pipeline welders son in the Oklahoma oil fields. Around 1952 or 53 when I was young it was my job to drag the shovel off the back of the truck and clean up the mess Mike the birddog left under the close line in the back. My mother didn’t much like to hang the clothes out after the dog had been around. Then when the dog was gone it was my job to take the old Sears push mower and mow the grass. Through both experiences I watched the church kids gather at the neighbors house to play games and eat hotdogs, and just have a great time. I never understood why I wasn’t invited to come over and join them. I found too that I didn’t like the attitude of some of those kids, they looked down their nose at me, and told me how bad I was and God didn’t like me.
About seventeen years later I did meet a church girl that I really liked, and she liked me. After that her dad told me I couldn’t pick his daughter up at the church door, I had to go to Bible class and worship services with her. Then I started to learn a lot from Leon Davis who was an elder in the church. He took his time to slowly teach this now preacher what the church of Christ was all about, and he introduced me to some other great brotherhood preachers and teachers who took the time to teach this welders brat a lot of Bible.
Today those church kids across the back fence back in 1953 are now the preachers and teachers and elders in the church, and they have learned a great deal in all of these years and at least in my home town their attitudes have changed. If you are ever around Seminole, Oklahoma stop and spend some time with a great group of Christians.
It is a true story from out of my past and I offer it today simply to encourage you to open your eyes and look around, and watch and learn from the lessons those heathen pipeline welders sons might be able to teach.
(Please note I was told my math was off and I needed to make one correction.)