First Lowry City witnesses through cycling
LOWRY CITY—First Baptist Church here recently used cycling to reach a lost and hurting world.
Several church members capitalized on the arrival of the Tour of Missouri, a 600-mile, six-day world-class bicycle race featuring internationally recognized professional racers, to form a cycling team of their own. (The Tour of Missouri took place Sept. 11-16.)
The First Lowry City team was called “4GIVN,” referring to God’s forgiveness of our sins when we convert to true faith in Jesus. It went forth on a mission to reach people with the Gospel of Christ and glorify God in all that its members did.
The seven-member team was captained by Jeff Swain and included Pastor Jeff Ferguson and Chairman of the Deacons Steve Mason. For an earlier race Sept. 8-9, the team had special cycling jerseys imprinted with “4GIVN by Grace” and Ephesians 2:8-9. Riders talked about the unique jerseys, often asking for an explanation. The team also distributed special cycling tracts entitled “You Can’t Pedal Your Way To Heaven” at rest stops and the overnight camp at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.
For the Tour of Missouri, First Lowry City focused on Stage 2, which ran from Clinton to Springfield on Sept. 12. Borrowing an idea from the old “Burma Shave,” road signs that progressively completed an advertising slogan, the church placed signs along the race route. The signs began with, “What must … I do … to be … saved?” That thought was completed with the sequence, “Believe … on the Lord … Jesus Christ … and thou shalt … be saved!”
The Bible reference for that idea is Acts 16:30-31.
Soon after the signs were set up, the large Tour of Missouri entourage of 115 riders and over 60 support vehicles began to file past.
“With riders from over 12 countries, including Cuba, Ukraine, Spain and Australia, we know that we were able to touch the world with the saving Gospel of Christ right from our own back yard,” Ferguson said. “We’re claiming the promise found in Isaiah 55:11, ‘So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’”
Ferguson noted that one year ago, the church had no cycling ministry whatsoever.
“A year later, the Lord has used cycling to begin an exciting new work,” he said. “I encourage all Missouri churches to be sensitive and available to unique ways the Lord will move them to reach men and women, boys and girls for Christ.”