And Buckboard Preachers
There is a show in town. Some fella’ has parked his bandwagon on a nearby acre of ground and is inviting others to join him. He is saying, “Come on! Jump on the wagon. We’re going places.”
I wondered, ‘what sort of places might this fellow be going?’ So, I went to this man’s acre to take a look-see.
I guess I was a bit wide-eyed when I got there. I hadn’t seen something like this in a while. Right there on this acre lot was a big, freshly painted bandwagon.
But I also noticed that there was nothing attached to the wagon that would pull it. No horses, no engine; nothing. I thought, ‘maybe that’s coming later’.
I was browsing around this bandwagon when a man came up behind me and, with a cheery voice, announced, “Hi! I’m Buck. Who might you be?”
Slightly startled, I turned to greet a friendly looking man with a broad smile. “I’m Mike”, I replied. That’s quite the bandwagon. What’s your plans for it?”
“Well, I’m looking to have people jump on it. We’re going places with that wagon.”
“Great”, I replied, getting a little excited by this man’s excited style. “Where are you going with it?”, I asked again.
“Places! Lots and lots of places”, he answered, “besides, this is no ordinary bandwagon, that’s a Religious Bandwagon, and we have a calling.”
“Okay. Where are you going? And how are you going to get there? I don’t see any horses or an engine for your bandwagon”, I prompted.
“Aw, we’ll get to that later. Right now, we just need people to jump on! So, how about you? Why don’t you join us and jump on our bandwagon?”, Buck answered back.
“I just might”, I said. “But, hey, how did you get the name Buck?”, I queried.
“See the wagon’s front seat and the board in front of it?”, Buck asked.
“Yeah. What of it?”, I replied.
“It’s called a buckboard. And since I am the driver of this bandwagon, and I am the only one who can sit there, and that’s where I got my name. Buck, from ‘buckboard’”, he proudly announced.
I joined and jumped on Buck’s bandwagon. In fact, Buck was so persuasive, a lot of people jumped on board. It was exciting and fun. We had music, food, lectures, sermons, field trips, outings and movies.
Some time has passed, and we are still sitting on the same one acre lot, in the same bandwagon, doing the same things as when we started. So I asked Buck, “Isn’t it time we got moving? I mean, the Bible teaches us to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. But we’re still just sitting here asking people to jump on the bandwagon. Shouldn’t the rest of us be getting our own bandwagon and going places, too?”
“Naw. And, don’t be one of those ‘lone ranger Christians’ who wants to strike out on their own. Be part of this Bandwagon for Christ”, Buck answered.
“Okay. Sorry”, I said, “I didn’t mean to stir up any trouble. I was just asking”. And things went on as normal.
More time has passed and we finally got moving. We moved away from our old bandwagon and our one acre lot to a new, larger, brightly colored and ornate bandwagon and a larger two acre lot.
We were told we needed something new with more room in a better location. We were told the idea was to draw new Bandwagoneers. I protested, lightly, saying we had plenty of folks on his Bandwagon who were just there for a seat in the Bandwagon for the music, food, lectures, sermons, field trips, outings and movies. They weren’t actually making disciples. We need Bandwagoneers who would get on the road and make disciples for Jesus.
Buck countered with, “Naw. That’s just not right. Our folks give regularly, and we support lots of good causes, including some other missionary Bandwagoneers.”
I started to say, “But, I thought we were supposed to GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES…” but Buck cut me off.
“Yeah. You always say that, Mike. But look at all the good we’re doin’ here. Besides, ‘if you can’t GO, then just GIVE’ is what I always like to say. You need to get back on board and pull your weight, or maybe I’ll have to ask you to move along”, Buck concluded.
There was a long silence between us as we alternately looked at each other, then at the ground.
Finally, I broke the silence, smiled and said, “Buck, I think you’re right. It’s probably time I moved along. I need to go and get my own wagon, or at least find someone who will share that buckboard seat”, I said.
“Where you gonna’ go, Mike? You’ve been here a long time, and leavin’ now is a bad idea. Besides, these bandwagons are expensive and hard to manage, and you’re no wagon driver, and I am. “, Buck pleaded.
“I don’t know where I’ll end up, Buck. But, I know you don’t need me here and perhaps God is calling me to follow Him another way. We’ll have to see. But, thanks for the place in your Bandwagon for all these years. Let’s stay in touch”, I concluded and left.
Well, I left. And I got a wagon. But, not a Bandwagon. I threw in with a team of Covered Wagoneers. Covered Wagons like the early pioneers used. I knew it was a risk. I knew this type of wagon was for travel and not for a permanent settlement. But, they were less expensive, good for travel, mobile and practical. I joined a Covered Wagon Train with Jesus. Yep, a Christian Wagon Train.
All of these folks wanted to GO, AND MAKE DISCIPLES, TEACHING THEM WHAT JESUS HAD TAUGHT US; BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT; AND SENDING THEM TO DO THE SAME!
We knew we would have to stay on the move. But, the thought of thousands of us in an organic, spontaneous Christian Wagon Train was just too much to resist. We all began to feel related – like brothers and sisters from different mothers and fathers! So much so, that I changed by name to Brother Mike. (You see, it’s not about the Wagon you are pulling or riding in, it’s about the RELATIONSHIP.)
And guess what else. Everyone who came on this adventure, had their own wagon, so each of them got to sit in the driver’s seat and now can GO AND DO THE CALLING rather than GIVE and just watch.
And, oh yes. I pray for Buck.
I pray for all the Bucks out there. I pray for them to have great success on their Bandwagons. I hope this Buck prays the same for us. (The photo of Buck is an imaginary person, something like a simile of some of the Bandwagon Drivers I have met over the years.)
Let me ask you, where are you today? Are you sitting in the back of the Bandwagon, serving the needs of the local Bandwagon, or are you ‘On mission, going daily, making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow Jesus and to do all that He commanded?” One is a task, the other is an adventure!
Your Brother and Friend,
(This has been a metaphor of sorts. It is meant to encourage all the ‘Religious Bandwagon drivers’ and all the ‘Religious Bandwagon members’ to rethink your paradigm and follow Jesus on the greatest of adventures. You are now A CHOSEN PEOPLE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR GOD’S OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 2 Peter 2:9 )