Reaching The Lost With Horseshoes
By Gail Phippen
The Heart of Kansas Southern Baptist Association (HOKSBA) sponsored its first “horseshoe ministry” event at the Kansas State Fair this year. The horseshoe ministry was first used by the association at the annual River Festival in Wichita and was such a success that it was decided to try the event at the state fair.
Loren Phippen, Director of Evangelism for the association and Carl Brown, member of Country Acres Baptist Church, worked diligently to pull this event together in just a few weeks’ time. The association had never attempted an event of this size. But once the idea was out, the volunteers, the money and the interest just blossomed. The association ordered 5,000 horse shoes in anticipation of what God would do at the fair.
The horseshoe ministry worked in a very simple fashion. As people approached the booth, a greeter told them they would be given a free horseshoe with their name stamped on it if they would allow us to tell them what John 3:16 means to us.
While their name was being stamped on the shoe the gospel was shared with them, and they were given the opportunity to pray and accept Christ as their personal savior. Whether they prayed to receive Christ or not, they were given a gospel track with their horseshoe and offered a New Testament.
The Ridin’ For Christ Horseshoe Ministry in North Carolina generously stamped all 5,000 horseshoes with John 3:16 and shipped them in time for use at the fair. Around fifteen of our local churches signed up to man the booth during various days and times. We also had a great group of volunteers from First Baptist Church in Pratt, Kansas, a church in Central Association. In total we had over 120 volunteers.
There is no way anyone was prepared for the response they would see and the work that it would take to pass that many people through the booth, but they all worked like true servants of God and gave it their all. It was proof positive of what we can accomplish if God’s people are willing to come together to reach our communities for Christ.
Approximately 4,700 horseshoes were given out at the fair, and the response from fairgoers was overwhelming. Over 100 people made public confessions of salvation and were willing to give their personal information so our local churches could do follow up and discipleship.
There is no way to know what God is doing in the hearts of all the others who heard the gospel during the ten-day event. It was amazing to see how many people were sincerely open to hear the gospel message.
The world wants us to believe that no one is interested and that people will not listen to believers who are willing to share their faith. Those who saw lives touched by hearing the gospel message know better. They look forward with anticipation to see how God will use them in other witnessing venues and also again next year at the fair.