#2 Daniel Stiles on Cowboy Churches
Date: September 9th, 2018

One of the greatest joys of doing this podcast for the past eight years has been to meet some pretty incredible people who are just “ordinary” citizens going about their daily life.  My goal from the beginning of this project was to highlight “practitioners” who “learn by doing” and to bring forth the knowledge they possess.  Such practitioners often have more valuable insights into human behavior than the scholars who study these folks.  Without doubt, my favorite category of interviews have been these episodes, and I am proud to have made an effort to highlight the voices of these folks.  My most notable one came early on with Daniel Stiles.  For those who know me, you will know that I like “cowboy culture” and The West.  I cannot remember how I exactly stumbled across Dan Stiles.  I had attended a couple cowboy church services in our area and probably decided to do a web search.  We were taking a family vacation out to Wyoming and Montana some 8 years ago and Dan Stiles was the announcer for Cody Night Rodeo, a nightly rodeo that is held in Cody, Wyoming (hence the name).  I found his insights into how difficult it is to minister to itinerant young men (and women), the temptations and difficulties they face, and ways to reach out to them to be utterly fascinating.  Scholarly books will tell you about big trends in religious movements, but here is a guy who has to figure out how to “do religion” on a day-to-day basis.  When we were out in Cody, and attending the rodeo (it was surprisingly cold that day), I took my son up to the rodeo announcing booth but the door was closed and I didn’t want to interrupt him.  Dan said later that I should have knocked, but it was a lost opportunity.  Since that time Dan has moved down to Oklahoma and takes care of good folks at a senior living center.  This guy has a heart of a saint and is everything good about humanity.  In times when the news only emphasizes the bad, this is the guy you turn to for the Good News.

As for the “honorable mentions” in this category, they are numerous and are filled with people who do incredible things on a daily basis, yet never get recognized.  I chose just a few standouts to highlight, but click the “practitioners” link for a full menu of these awesome discussions.

Original Podcast Link.


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Jeff Henig on Prison Ministry.

Robert Kinnune on Military Chaplains.

Jeff Rose on Street Preaching.

Michael Boone’s Spiritual 40 Day Road Trip.

Allison Pond on Being a Mormon Missionary.

Bill Clark on an Academic’s Spiritual Journey.

Dirk Dalhausser and Kerry Jones on Building Churches.

Martin Barret on Sozo Friends and For-Profit Charities.

Richard Hammar on Churches, Taxes, Donations, and Liabilities.

Tim Kelleher on the Nicene Creed and Hollywood.

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