Spoon Creek Rodeo Bible Camp and the Power of Conversations
Eleven years ago, I was a freshmen on the third floor of Williamson Hall. The first Thursday night of the semester, Mike Ackerman, the RA, gave an interesting floor devo. I don’t remember most of it, but the thing that has stuck with me was the statement he made halfway through his talk:
“If you want to know how selfish you are, think about how many statements you start with “I”!…always ask more questions than you make statements.”
I remember taking his advice and trying it out on the girl behind me in Acts class. I don’t remember her name, but I do remember a glare from Mark Moore.
Spoon Creek Rodeo Bible camp was a chance for me to again practice asking questions. It’s easier to do when the people around you are interesting. Every Rodeo Bible Camp that I am a part of has a different feeling to it. Gardener is full of people that are just like me: same stage of life, same struggles, same experiences. We sat around at night and talked ministry: how to find your “sweet spot in ministry”, when ministries need to change direction, how much should ministry use culture?. We talked about how to better serve our wives, to honor them more, and how to avoid sin. We discussed the future and dreams. We ate cake….alot of cake.
I got to know a junior in high school and his awesome family. He sprained his wrist in the bull riding and I took him to the hospital. We talked school, trucks, and girls… not in that order.
I got to talk horse-shoin, bull riding, and how sometimes kids get overlooked because of their circumstances. I got to see the hearts of the leaders as the talked with their students. I got to see the passions of the leaders when rodeo and scripture collided. When Scott Brooks talked about a great save made by our bullfighting student, it was hard to tell wheter he was crying because of joy or laughing so hard the tears had to go somewhere…but he ended it with scripture. Pages of the Bible were worn out as we discussed Scripture.
Looking at the ministry of Jesus, particularly in the book of John, conversations were a central part of his ministry. Lives were changed because of words exchanged. I know this: my life was changed and I met Jesus, during conversations that were had during that week.
Great conversations were had in the horse barn, the passenger seats of gators, at lunch, at Sonic, in the back pens, and during instruction. I talked with some of the most passionate men I know (Scott Brooks), some of the most talented (Caleb and Thomas), some of the most gifted Rodeo hands (Daniel Unruh, Tyler Forell, Little “D”, Vincent Oulette, and James) and some of the most consistent and revered (Ed Oulette, Terry Newell, Dave Head, Scott Petish, Bob Hennessy, and Brian Barrett), and do ministry with people who think like I do (Brent Noe, Thomas Benton, Bandy Brooks and Chad Chambers)…when it comes down to you couldn’t have asked for a better week.