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Pick-Up Men

No, this is not about singles bars.

Yesterday, pastor talked about the rodeo. He told (and showed video) of how in the bucking bronco or bull events, there are always two guys on horseback whose job it is to come alongside and catch or otherwise protect the rider when they lose their grip. These are the pick-up men, with the name deriving from picking the hapless rider up from their dirt sandwich.

Their role varies depending on the situation. If time and circumstances permit, they come alongside and the rider can be pulled off of his mount and carried to safety with them on their horses. If the rider is thrown to the dirt, they ride with the riderless mount and keep it from coming back to trample the rider. Thus, it sometimes appears to the casual observer that the thrown rider is abandoned, but he is actually being protected and given time to recover from the shock and get up.

Regardless of your views on the rodeo and these events in particular, there are some important spiritual lessons to be learned here. As the household of faith, we are to be “pick-up men (and women)” for each other and even for those outside of the faith. We are to be on hand to support one another, catch one another and protect one another. This is summed up in the commandment from yesterday’s post that we are to “Love one another.”

Another aspect of pick-up men is that they are former riders themselves, so they know what is happening and have experienced what the rider is going through and so can anticipate what is about to happen, position themselves and respond appropriately.

Similarly, this is why the Lord calls us from all walks of life and all backgrounds, so that we can be those who understand from where another is coming and minister to the real needs effectively. So, as faculty members, we are uniquely positioned to be “pick-up faculty” to our colleagues and minister to students around us.

The pastor talked of how many churches follow the “3 B’s”: Believe, Behave, and then Belong. He wants our congregation to focus on the last ‘B’--first and foremost, people are to Belong, and then let God worry about the Believin’ and the Behavin’. We belong, we hear the word of truth and His Spirit works to bring about the rest, and the rest of us come alongside to support the process and help pick up the pieces when human nature jumps in.


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