Today we celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and a while back I was asked to speak at a Cristian School in Burnaby about Faith in the last 150 years. I immediately knew which story I wanted to share.
In the 1920’s the Cristian and Missionary Alliance in the USA send to Canada what was affectionately called “Saddle-Bag” Preachers. There were Student Interns from Nyack New York. They were young, passionate and crazy committed to Jesus. These interns got on a train and travel across the country to Calgary Alberta for the summer.
They would meet a local Pastor or Church and be given the following; a Horse, Blanket, Days worth of food, map and a Bible. They were then pointed in a direction and told to RIDE till they got to the first homestead. There they would asked to be invited in and that was their chance TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS
Isn’t that the most crazy thing you have ever heard? So many things could have gone wrong; Bugs, Disease, Getting Lost, Water Issues, Robbers, Running out of FOOD, not finding anyone… the list could go on and on. Yet because of their work 4 “Branches” were started in the west and in the 1930s when the depression hit these church grew instead of shrinking.
If you or anyone you know attends an ALLIANCE CHURCH in Alberta or BC. Then they are there as a DIRECT RESULT of the seeds that were by these young men and woman RIDING INTO THE UNKNOW for Jesus.
The question I find myself wondering is what will be THIS GENERATIONS “Saddle-Bag” moment? What can I do to encourage and champion my students to go into the world with this same kind of conviction and change the face of our country? What will our role be over the next 150 years?
It’s questions like this that keep me focused and engaged in youth ministry and why we (Matt, Sydney and Michelle) have chosen to start Fresh Ministry Consulting. Together let’s lead a generation of students to Jesus and help them craft their own “Saddle-Bag” moment.