NUTS & BOLTS
Now, while you are rolling along, here is something to consider: With God, nothing happens by accident. Therefore, we can only assume that He is the One that has led you down the road to this web site. If that's the case, then there must be a reason.
So with Romans 8:28 in mind, we want to encourage you to slow down a bit, and take your time to carefully and prayerfully, check out the basic 'nuts and bolts' of this ministry. As you do, it's our hope that you'll come to know us even better, and that you will also capture the Creator's vision. Who knows what you might find. Perhaps there is something here, that God Himself, wants you to personally consider - whether you ride a motorcycle or not.
How Does Iron Horse
To begin with, Iron Horse Ministries operates solely by the sovereign direction, loving provision and wonderful grace of God. We believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God; therefore, it is our final authority and our ultimate set of bylaws. I.H.M. doesn't have a lot of written rules and regulations; as a result, we have complete freedom to go where God leads, when He leads and to do as He leads. This is in part, what gives each member the ability to serve with a missionary mindset (as mentioned earlier).
This ministry is operated and governed by God, through the Board of Directors that He has appointed. The board prayerfully makes all decisions of policy, membership, and finances, as the Holy Spirit leads them.
In addition to the board, every patchholder within I.H.M., is expected to submit themselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit as well. With that, we are to always allow ourselves to be held accountable in all that we say and do (whether out on the highways and byways, in a local house of worship, or in our own homes), in order that we may bring honor and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
One of the unique aspects of this motorcycle organization, is that it has no local chapters. This means that the members of this ministry don't have to be distracted by local chapter politics and such. However, that doesn't mean there isn't any fellowship. There is. In fact, all of the members are encouraged to fellowship with one another on a regular basis - no matter where they are.
We DO NOT persuade, prospect, or proselytize anyone into this ministry. This is God's ministry, and He alone draws the people He wants; by planting the vision and desire to be part of this ministry, into the hearts of His people. Are you one of them?
On the financial side of things, there are no membership dues or initiation fees. This totally non-profit 501.c3 ministry depends entirely upon the prayerful freewill 'love offerings' of those who share in the vision of this ministry - whether they ride a motorcycle or not. All donations made to Iron Horse Ministries are gratefully and prayerfully handled with the greatest of care. In fact, we consider every donation to be a gift of love, as well as an investment in this ministry. Furthermore, 10% of all donations that are not specifically designated, are tithed to other ministries in order to help spread the Gospel, both in the U.S., and throughout the world.
So with that, if you would like an opportunity to help us continue the work that God has called this ministry to do, then please consider stopping by the "Donations" section, located on the "Contacts Etc." page of this website. Thank you so very much, for your kind consideration.
Naturally, a big part of what I.H.M. does, is minister to the riders wherever they are; whether at various events or in their own homes; at an organizational meeting or in a bar; at a 'biker' wedding or at a funeral. It doesn't matter where they are; we go where God sends us, ministering to them at their point of need, offering them hope, and a new direction for their lives, in His name.
Sometimes God will call upon Iron Horse Ministries to help another ministry get off the ground; and at other times, He calls us to help build a bridge between one ministry and another. That's because God has made it clear, that part of His desire and goal for this ministry, is to work alongside other ministries, to help promote unity; as in one effort, toward one goal, under one banner - Christ.
We also work within and through local churches wherever God leads us, in order to help them establish a motorcycle outreach ministry in their area. To help prepare the church for such an outreach, we teach, train and equip the congregation; helping to shatter the myths about 'bikers', thereby bringing about a better understanding of the riders, their culture and their machines. As a result, the churches learn how to more effectively reach out to, and love on, this sometimes feared and misunderstood group of people.
God has designed Iron Horse Ministries to serve Him as a Para-church organization. This means that it does not belong to any particular denomination; which further means, it can operate quietly behind the scenes, outside of the normal confines and traditions of a local church body. This (coupled together with open accountability of course), gives us total freedom in Christ, to work with all kinds of ministries, churches, clubs, groups, organizations and more; and to go wherever, and whenever He leads us. To God be the glory.
What Does It Mean To
Be An Intercessor?
When sharing with people some of the unique aspects of Iron Horse Ministries, one of the things that inevitably comes up, is the concept of "intercession" or "standing in the gap", and how it is that God uses this ministry to quietly do just that. As always, it is an honor to be used of God, to do such a meaningful thing.
Now, before we go any further, just to be sure that we are all on the same page, let's take a brief moment here, to look at the definition of the word intercession:
Webster defines INTERCESSION as: 1) The act of interceding; filling in a gap. 2) Prayer, petition, or entreaty on behalf of another.
The word "Intercessor" is commonly used in the Christian community to describe someone who acts as a "go-between", pleading to God on behalf of those in dire circumstances. As it turns out, whether we realize it or not, God chooses to use His people as intercessors all the time, to help accomplish His intended purposes. As such, part of our responsibility as followers of Jesus, is to be willing to be used of God, as an intercessor, in the lives of others.
And so it is with Iron Horse Ministries. God uses this ministry to stand in the gap (quietly ministering behind-the-scenes), on behalf of those in the midst of a difficult situation - whether out on the road; in someone's home; or wherever He places us. In addition, God uses the members of this ministry to stand in the gap for those who have not yet found salvation through Christ. So as you can see, "Building Bridges To Christ" as an Intercessor, is more than just a slogan; it's an important part of this ministry. To God be the glory.
Now to further illustrate the power of intercession, we would like to present this very powerful video. It is our hope it will help give you a clearer insight with regards to this ministry, and that it will also inspire you to consider God's desire for you.
So with that, if this kind of ministry is beginning to interest you, then as you continue to read, please consider praying about whether God would have you become involved in Iron Horse Ministries.
Can I Be Part of
Iron Horse Ministries?
Absolutely. Check this out: Because we have a very creative God, He gives us all kinds of people to minister to, in all kinds of ways. As a result, we are more than 'just another motorcycle ministry'. All that to say, no matter what your background is, there are many ways that you can be involved. It can be through prayer and/or financial support alone; by working alongside of us to help plan and work events for different organizations; by attending events that God leads us to; or by just hanging with us, as we minister to riders and non-riders alike out in the field, wherever we find them.
With that, you'll also need to know, that no matter what make or model of motorcycle you might ride, or even if you're between bikes - it doesn't matter. In fact, you don't have to own or ride a motorcycle, or even have a patch to be involved in this ministry. (More on that later.) It's the heart that counts - not the machine or the piece of cloth. Remember, God doesn't call the able, He enables the called. So, even if you haven't been involved in this kind of ministry before, don't be afraid to step out. If God is calling you, He'll equip you.
You may be wondering, "What about my past?" Well, everyone has one, some more colorful than others. It doesn't matter what your past is, God can use you - and so can we. Remember, our God is a God of redemption and restoration. If you have become a true born again Christian, then you have become a new person. Your old life is gone, and a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, there is no limit, except the one that you put on God (Philippians 4:13). So if He is calling you, then answer His call - and see what a difference you can make.
Levels Of Service
God has laid out Iron Horse Ministries a little different than most. He has set up three basic levels of possible service within this ministry. So if you would, please prayerfully read through the material below, to determine at which level, He may want you to serve.
The first level is as a prayer partner and/or financial supporter. This is 'ground zero'. Without the faithful prayers and loving gifts from our partners, this ministry would not be able to do what it does. You are our first line of defense, and a great encouragement to us all.
By praying for us, and by helping to build up this ministry, you are both encouraging us, and enabling us, to continue to go out into the fields where God would have us go; with the prayers and supplies we need to help build bridges to Christ.
Remember, you don't even have to own a motorcycle, just a heart for those that do, and for those who minister to them.
The second level is as a Supporter Patch holder. This person not only supports the ministry as described above, but they are also vetted, and actively involved to a point, that they are allowed to wear the supporter patch on the front of their vest or jacket.
A Junior Supporter Patch is also available for qualifying minor children. For more information on this, please contact us directly.
Now, speaking of the Supporter Patch, let's say that you are already a fully patched member of another group of riders, and you feel led of God to wear this ministry's supporter patch. We think that's really great. However, we ask that you would please check with the powers that be of your organization first, to make sure that it's okay for you to wear it. Most groups will allow you to wear a supporter patch to show an affiliation with another group. However, you must always be sure to honor the group whose back patch you are wearing, and seek their permission first.
The third level is as a Fully Patched member of this ministry. This vetted individual, can wear both the small supporter patch on the upper left front portion of their vest or jacket, as well as the larger ministry patch on the back.
Although appropriate pins and patches from other motorcycle organizations, and motorcycle events can be worn on the front of the vest or jacket, traditionally, there should be no other pins or patches of any kind on the back - just the back patch alone. In the 'biker culture', the patch you wear on your back, tells everyone what you are willing to die for. That's how important it is. Therefore, we ask and expect that all fully patched members of Iron Horse Ministries keep that in mind, and honor this tradition. So, by wearing only this ministry's patch on your back, you are showing the people that you are ministering to, that you are fully committed to the call of Christ in your life, and to His work through this ministry.
So with that having been said, perhaps an obvious footnote would be appropriate here. It may be considered as fun, or even cool to have and/or to wear more than one back patch. However, actively wearing more than one back patch is considered "double patching". This is absolutely unacceptable. That's because it shows a total lack of respect for the patch that is being worn, as well as the organization it represents - not to mention, the loss of any credibility you might have had. So, if you are a fully patched member of an organization and want to also become a fully patched member of this ministry, then you will need to decide which one God wants you to be patched with. "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. . . ." (Luke 16:13a).
Now, because Iron Horse Ministries has a back patch, and in keeping with the proper protocols, we feel it is very important to stop right here for a moment, and make something perfectly clear:
This ministry is NOT a Motorcycle Club (M/C) of any kind; nor is it a Ride Club (R/C); a Ride Group (R/G); or a Christian Motorcycle Club (C/M/C). It is a 100%, straight up, no nonsense, Motorcycle Ministry (M/M). And as such, we are (and always will remain), NEUTRAL. In other words, we are NOT here to try to take over any club, group, or organization; its members; or its territories - EVER.
In fact, the heart and the mission of this ministry, is to come alongside and work with any and all motorcycle clubs, groups and organizations (whether Christian or secular); and with all motorcyclists - from the occasional rider, to the hard core 1%er, and everyone else in between. As such, it is our desire to be a tool in everyone's toolbox of life, so that we might (in some small way), have the opportunity to unconditionally love on, and minister to, as many as we can - no strings attached - no questions asked.
So, is God whispering to your heart, and twisting your throttle (so to speak)? If you feel that this ministry might be for you, and you would like to learn more about becoming a patch holder, then please keep reading and praying. Thank you again.
What Is Required To
Be A Patch Holder?
If you feel that God may want you to be an active patch holder of Iron Horse Ministries, then this is where the rubber meets the road. We ask that you would please read through this list, and be willing to adhere to the following basic requirements:
You must be a born again believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ; and if someone asks you about your Christian hope, you must always be ready and willing to explain it (1 Peter 3:15).
You must be a discipled believer, humbly mature in the faith; doing what you can, not to forsake the fellowship of those of like faith (Hebrews 10:25).
You must be spending time in prayer and in God's word. How will you know what He wants you to do, if you're not communicating with Him?
You must be a self-starter (following the leading of God's Spirit alone); ready to work quietly behind the scenes (without needing anyone to hold your hand), and without drawing any attention to yourself.
You must be willing to be held accountable to anyone, in all circumstances, and at all times. Remember, you are always being watched.
You must have a heart for people, especially those that ride motorcycles. They need to see His unconditional love for them, through you. Remember, you may be the only 'Jesus People' they have ever seen up close.
Because of the nature of this kind of ministry, you must be a legal adult to be 'fully patched'. There may be times when God will have you go to where the 'leprosy' is, to bring to the captives His hope, His healing, and His love.
Finally, before you can become a patch holder of this ministry, you must be vetted, in part by completing the Questionnaire/Application below, so that we may get to know you better and see if you have truly caught God's vision for this ministry.
Obviously, this kind of ministry is NOT for everyone. So before you apply, you need to know beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it is God that is calling you - not your emotions. That's why we ask that you would be in serious prayer about your part in this ministry.
Thank you again for taking the time to consider all of this - we are truly honored.
Well, by now you may be saying to yourself, "Ok. There's been a lot of talk about the patch, but what does everything on it mean?" That's a good question. It's important to know.
We'll start it all off by saying, as you may know, any patch, pin, or sticker that you wear not only represents what you think and believe, it makes you a representative of that belief as well. So, when most of us see a patch we haven't seen before, we become curious; who are they, where are they from, and what are they about? By these questions alone, we can see how important a patch can be. With that having been said, the person who wears the Iron Horse Ministries patch, not only represents this ministry, but they also represent the One who started it all. So with that, let's take a moment and look at the meaning of this ministry's patch, which God Himself has designed:
To begin with, the trademarked Iron Horse Ministries logo/patch that God has designed, is full of symbolism. The large words "IRON HORSE MINISTRIES™" (in an old Wild West style font) speaks of three basic things: 1) The old font represents a time when the powerful horse was the main form of transportation. The letters, made to look like metal, signify strength. 2) The words "Iron Horse" can apply to many things in the history of this country. In this case it speaks of a modern day mechanized horse - the motorcycle, and those who ride them; free spirited and dedicated to that freedom. And 3) the word "Ministries" separates this group from any secular club, group or organization. As mentioned before, we are a motorcycle ministry (M/M) - not a club.
Now pictorially, the motorcycle in the foreground is the "Iron" - the modern form of transportation that represents freedom to so many. The ghost image behind it, is the powerful "Horse" that carried the rugged and free spirited people, who formed the foundations of this nation. The old rugged cross behind that, with its empty draped cloth, symbolizes the sacrifice Jesus made for us all so long ago - which gives purpose to the "Ministries" that we have today.
The black background represents the darkness of this world. Iron Horse Ministries is to go into those spiritually dark places and lovingly, respectfully and quietly take the light of hope (which is the love of Christ Jesus), to those that are trapped there, so that they may see the light and want to be rescued.
Finally, the phrase "Building Bridges To Christ™" is not just a slogan - it's what we do. Whether we're ministering to bikers wherever they are, or we're helping a church to organize an outreach to the bikers in their area, our goal is still the same - to quietly help bridge the gap where we can, between people, and God's love for them.
Occasionally we have been asked, "Why do you wear a patch in the first place?" We tell them, 'We wear a patch for two basic reasons: 1) To show those around us what we stand for and of whom we serve; and 2) so that we can be more easily found by those who may need us.'
Now, speaking of wearing the patch, because folks are always watching us (especially when they see us wearing this ministry's patch), we need to ask ourselves, "What is the most predominate thing they should see?" The first thing they should see in us as born again believers, is the fruit of the Spirit; which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). That's why we need to be prayed up, before we suit up (Ephesians 6:10-18). As you can see, there's a little more to it, than just a piece of material.
So, the next time you see someone wearing this patch, it is our hope that you will take a moment right where you are and pray, not only for that person, but also for all of those that wear this patch (whether supporter patched only, or fully patched). You just never know what might be happening at that very moment. We are protected and strengthened by your prayers, and we count on them all of the time. Thank you so much for your faithfulness.
How Can I Actually Become
A Patched Member of
Iron Horse Ministries?
If you feel that God wants you to be part of this ministry as a "Level One" supporter through your finances and prayers, then we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we pray that God will richly bless you for your faithfulness.
However, if you feel that God is actually calling you to be a patched member of this ministry (at either "Level Two" or "Level Three"), then we ask that you would please consider doing the following things:
Prayerfully go through this entire website (if you haven't done so already); clicking every button; watching every video; and reading every word - all, while capturing God's heart for this ministry.
Then, as God leads you, come back here, and prayerfully begin following the simple instructions, of the membership application process.
God has set everything up, so that in order to become a patched member of this ministry, you must first begin, by filling out the Application Form - no exceptions. Fortunately, He has also made it rather simple.
To start with, all you need to do is select one of the Adobe (.PDF) icons below. (If for some reason, you don't already have the FREE Adobe Reader, then please Click Here.) The first icon, is for those that would prefer to handwrite everything onto their Application Form - and is labeled, "Basic". The second icon, is for those that would rather fill out the Application Form electronically - and is thus labeled, "Electronic".
So if you would, please check out both Application Forms, and let God show you which one He wants you to use. And while you're prayerfully looking over everything, notice if you will, that for your convenience, each one of the forms comes with its own set of simple instructions.
As you're filling out the Application Form, you need to know that Iron Horse Ministries considers it an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with such important information. As such, know that we WILL NOT give away or sell any personal information for corporate gain or otherwise - to anyone - for any reason - EVER.
Finally, we want to take just a moment here, to thank you for following God's leading to this ministry. We are so very blessed and honored by it. We also want to thank you again for your willingness to go through the application process. We know that all of this will take a bit of time and effort, but we also know, it's well worth it. So with that, may God richly bless you - real good - BIG time - as you prayerfully continue to follow His leading through this important process.
Basic Application Form (.PDF)
Electronic Application Form (.PDF)