Soul Hunter

Posted by

Jennifer LeClaire

Soul Hunter


Soul Hunter
Evangelist targets outdoorsmen with adventurous gospel message.

Look around your typical church and
you’ll notice a common theme: There are more women than men. Evangelist
Jay Lowder, founder of Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries based in Wichita Falls, Texas, is working to get
more men saved—and attending church—through events that target big,
strong (and lost) outdoorsmen. Lowder partners with churches and
ministries to host his Adventure Weekend, which offers events for the
entire family but includes “manly” activities exclusively for the guys
on Saturday night.

“Most of these guys would never in a
million years walk through the door of a church unless it was [for] a
wedding or a funeral,” says Lowder, who carries some clout among hunters
since ESPN Outdoors published an article on his turkey-hunting skills. “These guys don’t realize that there is an actual motive behind all this.”

For the men-only event, a church parking
lot is transformed into an outdoor exhibition hall, complete with car
and motorcycle shows, trophy mounts, golf-equipment demonstrations,
sports clinics and hunting classes. Lowder gives away elk-hunting and
Canadian fly-fishing trips, expensive rods and reels, trained highbred
hunting dogs and more. The event concludes with a “beast feast” meal at
which Lowder presents the gospel in a low-key way through colorful
hunting and fishing lessons.

“I don’t just get up and preach John
3:16. I tell four stories about what I’ve learned while hunting and
fishing,” Lowder says. “I use terms like targets, decoys, blood trails and bad decisions to explain the gospel to men who aren’t familiar with the church—because those are terms they can understand.”

Indeed, Lowder’s analogies include
explaining how deer hunters follow blood trails. Sometimes, even if the
hunter makes a perfect hit, the deer runs. To find the deer, the hunter
has to follow the blood trail. Lowder ties that back to Christ by
explaining he’s on a blood trail that started 2,000 years ago. 

Likewise, the evangelist compares looking
through the scope of a gun—and how hunters use the cross as a measure
to make sure they are on track for the hit—to what Jesus did for all men
at the cross. Lowder says typically more than 200 men come to Christ
during an Adventure Weekend.

“Churches have become really good at
building country clubs where people look like us and dress like us and
think like us,” he says. “And we’re also good at getting folks from
other churches to move to our church because we have better music or a
bowling alley. But what we haven’t done is reach out to unchurched
people—men who have never heard the gospel.”

Lowder is working to grow the Adventure
Weekend outreach with corporate sponsorships from outdoor brands such as
Benelli, Beretta, Winchester and Remington. His vision is to pack civic
centers and build an environment in which men feel comfortable and
uninhibited so they will lay their machismo aside and receive Jesus.

“At these events, we’re seeing men
publicly stand and say they are lost and hurting,” Lowder says. “A lot
of these guys are very successful, but inside they feel their life
amounts to nothing. They hear this good news that everything they have
been looking for can be found at the cross. They recognize they need
this God-man named Jesus Christ, and they accept Him.”

+ posts

Leave a Reply

We Value Your Privacy

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. This use includes personalization of content and ads, and traffic analytics. We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze our traffic. By visiting this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Read our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.

Copy link