GraceConnect E-News, No. 91, Week of March 16, 2015

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
SEEDNet church planter Nathan Wells (back row on right) and his bull-riding friend Greg (far left) have started a ministry reaching out to the rough-and-tumble world of rodeo.

Rodeo Church

Jesus spent the majority of his ministry years discipling 12 men. It wasn't the multitudes that spread God’s church…it was those few disciples, following the model Jesus set, who grew into the worldwide Christian church that changed the course of history.
 
That’s how SEEDnet church planter Nathan Wells hopes to see God’s church spread in a little-known area of spiritual need: the rodeo. Twenty years ago, Wells was an amateur bull rider. While working another part-time job, Wells rode about 50 bulls in his short but exciting career. Last December, he felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to visit one of his old friends.
 
“I felt an overwhelming and uncomfortable feeling in my heart that God wanted me to drive to my friend’s ranch and tell him about SEEDnet,” said Wells. “Professional rodeo cowboys go to 50 to 100 rodeos across the country in five months while trying not to lose their marriages and kids,” he continues. “Many become addicted to pain killers and lead very sexually immoral lifestyles. Most of the professional rodeo cowboys’ earnings are under America’s poverty line and many of them lead a SEEDnet lifestyle similar to those in low income apartment complexes.” (SEEDnet ministers to those in Spiritually, Economically, Emotionally and Developmentally oppressed areas.)
 
So Wells did just that. “As I was explaining SEEDnet [to my friend], a man who was shoeing a horse behind me stood up, turned around and said: ‘It sounds like you’re talking about me.’”
 
The man’s name was Greg, a professional rodeo championship roper. Wells soon discovered that Greg had come to Christ at a young age, got lost in the rodeo lifestyle and had recently come back to Christ.  “We ended up talking for an hour about rodeo and Jesus,” Wells noted.
 
They met again the next day and talked for four hours straight – this time, about planting churches in the rodeo. And then they got to work. Making use of the winter “slow season” for rodeo riders, Wells began meeting with Greg on a weekly basis: studying the Bible, riding horses, and praying for the new churches they hoped God would establish.
 
“We started a church in [Greg’s] house and…he’s led several people to Christ,” notes Wells. “He’s got a Bible study going with several of his friends already.”
 
Once the rodeo “busy season” starts in May, Greg will start his rodeo tour and spread the news of the Gospel to his rodeo peers. Wells is praying very specifically: for God to move, and for 10 men to come to Christ this season and join Greg in his church planting efforts.
 
“The idea is to take those 10 people and to do what we just did with one…start Bible studies, preach the gospel to others, and disciple other men. Greg and I can travel to wherever these guys live and empower them to start churches wherever they are at, and then those guys could do the same at different rodeos.”

By starting this multiplication process – man-to-man discipleship after the biblical model given by Jesus, focusing on small groups of people and keeping the Gospel in the center, the potential for results are enormous.

Stay tuned with prayer requests and updates at seednetblog.wordpress.com.

Send Nathan Wells a note of encouragement at
seednet208@yahoo.com
 

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[Your Turn]


[Listen:]

Roxanne Fetterhoff, wife of Bob Fetterhoff, senior pastor at Grace Church (Wooster, Ohio), has recorded and produced a CD album, Hymns for the Heart, with all proceeds from it's sale to go to Asia's Hope, the organization which cares for orphans in Cambodia, Thailand, and India. Click the picture below to enjoy a musical clip from "Give Thanks," one of the titles on the CD:

To order the CD, mail a check for $15, payable to Asia's Hope, to: Bob and Roxanne Fetterhoff, 912 Douglas Drive, Wooster, OH 44691. For more information, email Bob at RDFetterhoff@woostergrace.org.
 



[Watch:] 

"Most of the Japanese people are going to live and die and they are never going to come across another Christian." ~Jen Daniels

 
In this video, Encompass missionaries Matt and Jen Daniels tell how God called them as missionaries to the spiritually-impoverished country of Japan. Follow along with their story at Godlovesjapan.com 
 

[Read:] 

John F. Smith, lead pastor at Grace Church of Willow Valley (Lancaster, Pa.) since 1989, blogs at docjohns.blogspot.com. Join him for "Friday coffee", spiritual meanderings and thoughts on how biblical truth impacts all of life.
 
[Leader's Corner]

Ed Short, pastor and ministry consultant and coach at CE National, shares his insights on how to delagate gracefully and effectively in his post, The Delegation Myth.

"As pastors and leaders, many of us have a desire to learn effective leadership," he writes. "We care for the people we work with and we want to learn how to pull in team efforts. We have all read leadership books that talk about effective delegation and how we need to pull back from taking on too much. But when it comes to delegation, what does it mean? Point and direct? Or could there be something more?"
Click here to read the rest of the article. 

Events in the FGBC

March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
June 15-July 27 – Operation Barnabas, Winona Lake, Ind. (CEN)
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
June 23-July 7 City Life Tours East Coast & West Coast (CEN)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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