Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Why Churches should program to reach Men"

"Chris Wells is a national Christian speaker, and Chaplain for the BASS Elite Series. He has spoken at over 400 Wildgame Banquets, and preaches across the country."


Sharing the title "Why Churches should program to reach Men" is dangerous! There is always the chance of a lady reading this and immediately coming to the conclusion that this guy is discriminating against women. When in actuality, that is not the case at all. As a matter of fact, I believe that in the last 40 years, women have been the home run hitters in our Churches, and its way past time for men to step to the plate. So if women have been leading the way, why am I advocating that Churches target men. It's simple. Statistics show that when men are reached for Christ, women and children follow.


A study done by the SBC a number of years ago revealed that when a child is reached for Christ, there is a 2% chance that the child's entire family would come to Church. When a woman was reached for Christ, there was a 17% chance that that woman's family would come to Church. However the study showed that when a man was reached for Christ, there was a 94% chance that the man's entire family would come to Church!  In light of those statistics one would surmise that Churches should go after men at all cost, but that is not the case.

This summer I had some minor surgery which gave me a good chunk of time to sit still and surf the web. I chose to visit church Websites just to see how Churches are doing in the realm of reaching men. I viewed over 1000 websites across the country, and I found only a small percentage had any kind of targeted Men's ministry, and virtually none had a Minister to men. Last May we did an event in Columbia South Carolina Called "Meet the Elites" where we brought in the top named BASS Pros to give testimonies and share their faith. While promoting the event I called the local Christian radio station to see if they would be interested in doing a segment about the event. Their response was shocking yet illuminating to me. They said that they would not be interested in doing a segment because 95% of their audience is women. Now of course my response was "yes and they are married to guys who hunt and fish that they wish were in Church", but that is beside the point. The Church today does not recognize the value and necessity of reaching Men.

Jason Cruise of the Mission Media and Resource Group said it best. "Churches program and decorate for women. Most of our Churches look like a flower shop or a funeral parlor." That's a great observation. I mean how many guys do you know that want to hang out at the Flower shop? Patrick Tyndal of Iron Man Outdoors made an amazing discovery while teaching a Men's Sunday school class at his Church. He noticed that when they sat in the the whitewashed Sunday school room in suits, staring at the 1970's picture of Jesus knocking on the door, that no man ever opened up to share anything. However when they did their shrimping retreat at Edisto  Beach out by the boat, men opened up, shared their struggles, and got saved.
His response was to start a ministry where men meet at the lake, in the woods, on boats, and under tree stands. The result? Men coming to know Christ, and bringing their families to Church!

So am I suggesting that we all build Churches that look like the Bass Pro Shop? While that's not a bad idea, I think a simpler strategy will suffice. Here are some good ways to start:

1) Intentionally target Men. Have a leader or minister on your staff whose job is to seek to get men involved in ministry. This involves evangelism, discipleship, gift identification and implementation. Many men think that getting involved in ministry means they have to teach or preach. That is not the case.

2) Create an atmosphere that allows men to be men. There is no spiritual law that says a men's Sunday school class or bible study has to meet at your Church. I had a friend who started a Men's class that met out in the Church Shed. Two rules were enforced. No ties and no sitting down. They cooked over a deep fryer and talked and learned about God's Word. The result was one on the largest Men's Sunday School classes in that city. There is a reason men like the Bass Pros shop. It looks like Man world instead of a funeral parlor. Let them meet where they want to.

3) Help men discover their spiritual gifts. Most Christian men don't know they have spiritual gifts, much less what they are or how to use them! God uniquely gifts each believer, but because many Christian pastors are scared to death about teaching on the gifts, men never find out what their gifts are. This results are men being put into church positions that they are not gifted to do. They get bored or frustrated, and they quit. If a man finds out what God has gifted him to do, it sets him free to be what God has called him to be.

Our Churches need to intentionally target men. When men are reached, women and children are reached as well. I have given you a few tips in this area, but I would love to speak with your Church or group on how to make your Men's Ministry more effective! Feel free to contact me at: www.chriswells.org






Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Helpful Hints to make your Wild Game Banquet an effective Evangelistic Event-by Chris Wells

"Chris Wells is a national Christian speaker and Chaplain for the BASS Elite Series. He has spoken at over 400 Wildgame Banquets".



Wildgame Banquets have been a very effective tool over the last several years in reaching people, especially men, who would not otherwise ever attend an ordinary Church service. I have had the privilege of speaking at hundreds of these events, and I would like to offer a few hints to help you as you plan yours. There are some common mistakes Churches make that can make or break your Banquet.

1) Make a decision on whether your Banquet is evangelistic or not. There is nothing wrong with doing a Game Banquet for your Church. However if you are trying to reach people who don't know Christ, then you are going to have to plan differently. Decide up front. Don't try to do both with one event!

2) Choose a Venue that is not at your Church. -Now before you go crazy, I want to say that I have been involved in some great WGB's that were done at Churches. However, there is a reason that guy you are trying to reach doesn't go to your Church. Typically people who don't go to Church are intimidated by stepping in your building. You will get more unchurched people to attend your event at a neutral venue. Some of the best WGB's I've seen have been in High schools, warehouses, civic centers, and even cow sheds! You don't have to be "in Church" to "have Church".

3) Try to avoid Friday and Saturdays- The reason for this is simple. Guys who hunt and fish, hunt and fish on the weekends! Thursday is the best day for your Banquet by far. Guys are thinking about hunting and fishing and a Thursday Wildgame Banquet breaks up their week without interfering with their time!


 4) Secure a Speaker that can relate to your audience, but can bring a Biblical message.- This is one of my main concerns. It seems Churches will sacrifice Biblical content for a Big name. I believe that true faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Find a speaker who is funny, burly, manly or whatever, but make sure that he can handle the Word of God. I once was with a famous Hunter at a Wild game Banquet. He told tons of funny hunting stories, and then said I love Jesus and you should too! The crowd went wild. Repentance from sin and faith in Christ were not mentioned. I have a list of great speakers that I recommend.

 

 5) Never allow people to serve themselves!- This may sound trivial, but it is the single greatest mistake I see. Always, Always, Always hand people their plate. If you don't the first person through the line will be finished eating 20 minutes before the last guy gets his food.

6) Start on time and finish on time!- From beginning to end your program needs to run smoothly and finish promptly. I have literally taken the microphone from a guy doing a turkey seminar. We gave him 15 minutes and at minute 17 we had to pull him. Nothing will kill your Banquets momentum for next year than not ending on time.

7) Use your response cards for your invitation and your door prizes.- Have your men hand them out after the invitation is given. That puts a positive peer pressure on the room. If you want a door prize you have to fill this card out. Assure folks that no one's decision will be announced out loud, but they will receive follow up information in the mail. Don't use those tickets with the numbers! Ever!

8) When it comes to door prizes go for "Quality" not "Quantity"- No one wants to win one of those Mesh trucker hats. You would rather have 3 great prizes than 60 not so greats.

9) Follow up on Commitments is Critical- Have a follow up plan in place! Don't leave guys hanging. Have your Men's Ministry ready to follow up with people who make decisions within the first 48 hours.

These are just a few tips on how to do a Wildgame Banquet well. I have many more that I would love to share with you or your Church.

Chris Wells is booking Wildgame Banquets, Men's Ministry Events, Revivals, and other speaking engagements for this Fall. For booking you can go to www.chriswells.org  or call him at 864-414-9453.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joplin 360!

There are days in your life that you know are going to be important. Today is one of those days. It's important for 2 reasons.
1) Today is the day my son Stephen was born. I'll never forget that day. He came out purple. I thought we had given birth to Barney! I never knew I could love someone so much! I love you Son, Happy Birthday.

2) I saw Joplin Missouri 360. The Tornado that Hit Joplin was estimated at 20,000 feet tall. It was over 1 mile wide. Now words can describe it. So let me give you a 360.

Joplin 360 Link


To donate, go to www.chriswells.org and click donate. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's the End of the World as we know it and I feel...well you know!




It seems to be the in thing to think about the (End of the Word) these days. The Mayans said it will be in 2012. (I always wondered how the Mayans could predict the end of the world, but not their own disappearance.) Self taught Bible scholar Harold Camping says it's tomorrow! Now I have had several people contact me asking my opinion so today being May 20th, I thought I would jot down a few thoughts on the subject.  I have several things to share.

One of the passages that I have heard most often concerning the end of the word takes place in Matthew chapter 24. Unfortunately as is the case with most passages, people generally tend to read these verses out of the context in which they are written. Hermeneutical law number 1 says that we should examine what the author intended to say to his audience. So lets take a look at Matthew 24 in that light.

The context is Jesus having a conversation with his disciples. He has just finished a vigorous discussion with the Religious teachers of the law, and after hearing Jesus the disciples have questions. Matthew 24 is Jesus' answer to 3 questions asked by His disciples. They are as follows:
1) Tell us when all this will happen?
2) What sign will signal your return?
3) And what sign will signal the end of the world?

The disciples are under the impression that Jesus is going to be setting up and earthly kingdom. One that has the goal of overthrowing Rome and restoring Israel to its prominence. Jesus shares with them a different plan.
Here is His answer in a nutshell:
1)He shares with them that the situation is much more complex than they realize. That many signs and happenings must occur. He speaks of sin, wars, and earthquakes, but the end is still to come.
2) He shares that no man knows the day or the hour that He will return. It is an appointment set by God, not a puzzle to be figured out.
3) He shares that they need to watch. The watching doesn't mean to spend your life searching the sky. It means to watch your relationship with Him. Be ready by being in relationship with Him and doing His will.

Jesus will return. He will return on the day that God has set. No man can predict or know that day. It will be a day just like any other. The key is not to figure out when, but to be ready whenever.  

If you are concerned about whether or not you are ready to meet Christ, and God's Spirit is speaking to your heart. Here is how we get ready.

1) Realize that you cannot save yourself. The Bible says we are all sinners. "We have all fallen short of the glory of God".

2) Repent- Repentance means to turn away from sin  and towards God. The Bible says "Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out"

3) By Faith trust what Jesus has done for you on the cross to pay for your sins. The Bible says " We are saved by grace through faith not by works lest any man should boast"

4) Believe that Jesus died for you and rose again." If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in you heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved"

5) Call out to Jesus in prayer. The Bible says "Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved"

If the Spirit of God is speaking to you right now, would you pray and receive Jesus and your Lord as Savior?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meet The Elites video

Meet the Elites had 21 people make decisions. 7 of those indicated that they prayed to receive Christ for the first time. Wellspoken Ministries along with Michael Lord Outdoors will be producing a video to give away free of charge of this event. Our goal is pass that DVD out at sporting events so that people who may never go to Church will watch and hear God's good news!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Truth- Please watch until the end!

video


I purchased this on Sermon Spice and used it in a message that I preach. I see that it is now on You tube so I want to share it with you. Don't give up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Call to Anguish - David Wilkerson




I saw that Pastor Ronnie Floyd posted this on Twitter. Please take time to watch it. I believe God wanted me to see this tonight. Very Very convicting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meet the Elites!



When I was growing up, I recall guys coming to school and saying " Man did you see what Terry Bradshaw did!" Now I loved football with a passion, but usually my reply was "Did you see what Roland Martin caught?" I grew up loving Bass Fishing. As a matter of fact I memorize Bass Pro stats like most guys memorize baseball stats, and I never knew why until God allowed me to be the Chaplain for the BASS Elite Series tour.

On May 9th, just before the start of the BASS "Carolina Clash" Elite series event, there is going to be a special event at Lake Murray Baptist Church in Lexington SC. The event is free to all who want to attend, and meet some of the top BASS pros alive today! The event is being done for 2 primary reasons:
1) To reach out to fishermen who may never come to a traditional Church service to hear the good news of Jesus.
2)  To create a DVD that can be shared with thousands of people at tournaments across the nation. FLW Pro Glenn Chappelear has been doing this for several years and has seen hundreds come to Christ.

I want to invite you to be my guest at this event. It doesn't matter what Church you attend or what denomination you are. If you have friends that fish and they don't know Jesus. We want you to bring them. I sincerely pray that you will be a part of this amazing event.

Please call me if you would like to be a part!

Fishing for Men,

Chris Wells

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's the End of March Madness!!!!............I hope!



"You've got the greatest job in the world". I hear this a lot. My standard reply is: "It's a great job as long as you don't like money, and do like driving" I mean I honestly spend more time in a vehicle than Jeff Gordon, Taxi cab drivers, and the Ice Road truckers combined! The month of March is usually the craziest month of all, however this March gave "March Madness" a whole new meaning!

I was on the road 20 days, and logged over 5,000 miles in March, but that is only the beginning of the Madness. In actuality March Madness started early. While speaking at a Wildgame Banquet in Louisiana, I got a call from my wife Pam. She said my youngest son Wesley had an allergic reaction to a routine vaccine, and had to be rushed to the hospital. 3 "Ephy" shots and an overnight hospital stay later, Wes man was ok. A week later after playing Pickup basketball at a Revival(which evangelist shouldn't do. See Pistol Pete M.), I have chest pains and have to spend some time in the ER. Turned out to be reflux.

I then jump in my car and travel to Palatka Florida where I speak to the BASS Pros, and then proceed to FBC Tavarres. As I finish speaking, I glance at my phone, and see that I have missed 27 phone calls. I return the call to my sister in law who tells me that my wife had dislocated her knee. I can hear my wife in the background screaming! And I mean Screaming! I drive the 78 miles back to Palatka, check out of my Motel, and drive back to SC in time to take my wife to her first of many rehab sessions.

So my wife is on the couch in  a knee brace, but thinks she can handle the weekend at home while I go to speak at a DiscipleNow in Georgia. I leave feeling like the worst is behind us. Not so fast my friend!
On Saturday I get a phone call from Pam saying that my oldest son Stephen has a 103 and rising temperature, and Wesley had opening day ball practice! We enlist some help from the neighbors and get Wes man to his ball game. Meanwhile Stephen gets diagnosed with the Flu. 3 Wildgame Banquets later, March ends with Wesley getting Strep Throat.........Whew!

The Bible tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust, and trouble is common to man. I am so glad that we serve a God who walks with us through the good, the bad, and the Madness of March!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Winning" ???



 I have to tell you that I've heard the word "winning" more times in the last 3 days that I have in the last 3 years combined. This is in reference to the exploits of actor Charlie Sheen who has captivated the attention of the Media world. Sheen's antics on ABC's 20/20 has catapulted him into one of the most twitter followed people on the Planet, as well as headlining the discussion of every comedian actively doing comedy. Whether its Face book, Twitter, Saturday night Live, Cable TV, or just Charlie's web cam, this week he is the talk of America.  So I wanted to take a few minutes to examine Charlie's philosophy on winning, I think that we can learn something.

Charlie Sheen's lifestyle speaks for itself, so my intentions are not to personally bash him in any way. As a matter of fact, I think that CS is the epitome of what the American media says every man should aspire to. I mean Sheen has everything that the world tells us is important, and by the world's standards it's impressive. Check this out:

1) Fame- Charlie has got it! In addition to a string of hit movies, his " Two and a half men"  TV series has been rated among the top 20 programs every season since it aired. Yesterday over 1 Million people signed up to follow Sheen on Twitter.
2) Money- Sheen's estimated paycheck per episode is 1.3 million dollars. Per episode. His web cast 2 days ago advertised his favorite brand of Chocolate milk and a hot dog. The Milk company reported record sales and the hot dog was promptly named the "Charlie dog".
3) Women- Charlies exploits with women are extensive, and he has 2 girls nicknamed the "goddesses" that live with him. One is the Nanny and the other a "porn" star.
 4) Power- When asked if he was afraid to die. Charlie replied:"Dying is for Fools". " I have Tiger blood in me". The reporter for 20/20 went on to ask how he cleaned his life up. His reply: " I blinked my eyes, and I healed my mind" "The partying run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them look like droopy eyed armless Children".

He has quite a life, a life that he describes as "Winning"! Most Americans would agree, that minus the antics, Charlie would seem to be doing pretty well. However is having Fame, Money, Women and Power really winning in life? The Bible has a different take.

In the Book of Daniel, the king in Babylon named Belshazzar comes to power. This king has everything that Charlie Sheen has and more. He has fame. When he walks the street everyone knows his name. He doesn't have to introduce himself to anyone, they bow and call him King. He has money. He evens drinks from Gold and Silver goblets. He wants for nothing. He has women. Wives and concubines are at his disposal. If he wants a girl, he doesn't have to court or woo her. He just says bring her to me. He also has power. He claps his hands and servants meet his every desire.

One day the King decides to throw a party, for a thousand Lords and his nobles. As the party is at full tilt he commands that everyone should drink from a gold or silver goblet. As people are drinking a sobering moment occurs. What looks like a hand appears and writes on the wall in a language that no one can understand. Daniel is brought in to interpret the words, and here is his translation.

*God has numbered the days of your rein, and He has brought it to an end.
* You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting
* Your kingdom is divided among the Medes and the Persians

That very night Belshazzar, King of the Babylonians was killed. All that he worked for was given to his enemy Darius the Mede.

There is a lesson for ALL of us here. Not just for Charlie. Life is not about Fame, Money, Women, and Power.  No matter how much effort we put into those things, they will never satisfy our lives. The reality is that we can't heal ourselves, and therefore we can't win on our own. Jesus said: "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."-NLT

Real "Winning" only comes by giving our lives to Jesus.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Rising cost of Fuel!



If you see my big Bass truck on the way to a speaking engagement, look closely because you will probably be entertained or at least disturbed! The reason for that is because I love to worship God as I travel down the road, and it usually involves praise music.......LOUD praise music. A number of years ago I made a great discovery that most Christians have heard about, but often times underestimate the power of putting into place. What's the discovery? Lean in and Listen..............True Worship "Fuels" the Christian life. When Christ is the focal point of adoration and praise, His Spirit activates power! This fact can change our lives. Let me explain.

Recently I was in Louisiana for the BASS Classic. On the Saturday of the Classic I had a Wildgame Banquet In Ruston La. As I made the 5 hour drive to up North, I felt tired. I was in the middle of a 13 day road trip away from my family, about to make a 21 day trip and I my focus was totally on me. Then it happened. I was turning the dial on my radio when a song caught my attention. I knew that I had heard it before but it the sound was a bit different. The radio voice says " for the next 2 hours we will be hearing from the recently released "Back to the Rock" album by Petra." When Christ introduced Himself to my heart, Petra was the only contemporary music group that had made any type of real impact in the world. The were the pioneers of the new wave of Christian music. I was introduced to Petra's music the week after I came to know Christ. Their music made a profound impact on my life.

As I drove and listened I began to sing along and praise God. Pretty soon my focus was totally off of me and totally on Him, and my entire outlook on life began to change. As I worshiped in song the Spirit of God began to fill me up. Song number 4 is entitled Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows. I listened to the words, pulled my car over and came undone! I sat in silence and wept realizing that the God of the universe lives in me! Not because I deserved it, but because while I was a sinner, he loved me. I get to tell people about Jesus! In the silence, God spoke to my heart! Chris you GET  to tell people about my Son!

I have to tell you that night and the next Sunday God's Spirit made His presence felt in my life! He moved in amazing ways that weekend! Here are some things that I learned:
1) Worship is essential- If you do not worship, you will not be filled up. My truck can be clean, look shiny, be perfectly maintained, but without fuel its going nowhere. It's the same with worship.
2) Worship costs- It takes time and effort to truly worship. The Bible speaks of the sacrifice of praise. Most Church goers won't pay the price.
3) Worship is why we were created. When we worship something inside radiates.....Yes! We function at our optimum level when worship is accomplished.

If you are feeling sluggish in your Christian Walk, it may be time to check your Fuel gage! Pull into the presence of God and let worship fill you up. It's fuel worth buying!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jesus hung out with Fishermen, Not golfers!



Now before you get too bent out of shape and hook your ball over in the lake, let me say that I know that Jesus loves golfers too. My point is that in the time that Jesus lived he chose to spend his time with regular people. In my world fishermen are the end all be all, but in His day, a different story. Fishermen were grinders. Guys who had to get out their and work for a living. No 21 ft boats, fancy rods, or shiny lures for these guys.  No fans wearing their tournament tunics and asking for autographs. Just nets, sun, work, and stink! And yet these are the type of men that Jesus picked to carry his message around the world.

There were some other types of  guys, but their prestige doesn't get much better either. Tax collectors, cheats, murderous persecutors, and a couple of guys named "Sons of Thunder"(motorcycle Ministry?).
Basically what I am saying is that if our Churches today were looking to reach the world, these guys would not make the "Big time" Speakers list. Have you noticed that our approach to doing evangelism and enlisting folks to reach the world is vastly different than how Jesus did it? As a matter of fact we do it exactly the opposite!

I heard controversial speaker Dr. Tony Campollo speak once about how our Churches love to glorify the ones that are already glorified! Now despite how you may feel about Dr Campollo, he's right. Our approach to reaching people is to take the greatest golfer, beauty queen, former rock star, big time Actor, biker king, comedian, millionaire hunter, successful businessman, and most of all Former superstar Football players, and bring them in to tell us like it is! I recently had a representative of a Non profit organization share what a deal they got on a former actor to come and speak. "We got him to speak for 45 minutes for only 15,000 dollars!" I quickly volunteered to do devotionals everyday for 6 months for 14 thousand! No takers. Now I want you to know that I am not picking on what anyone makes, that is between them and God.

What I am saying is that we have created a culture of "Christian Stars". I'm afraid  that instead of being "Salt and Light" to a world that needs truth so desperately, we look like a cheap mirrored subculture. Can God use Christian stars? Yes, He can do use whatever He wants, but I think we would do well to look to His example. The guys and girls He used, only brought glory to Him, not themselves. Former Christian singer Steve Camp sang " We give God the glory, but we are happy to a take the award".

I would really love to see this on an event flyer: He's not a star, he's not a millionaire, hes not an actor, or even a former football player. He's just an ordinary guy with an extraordinary message! The problem is often times most people won't attend unless the big name is there. Wouldn't it be cool if Jesus was always the big name?

P.S. To all my golfing friends I just want to say that there is nothing like spending a day at the golf course catching big Bass!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Favorite Bass Fishing Trail



(Words cannot do justice what I am about to share with you)


I am about to leave the Classic to drive to Ruston La for a Wild Game Banquet. Earlier this week I was invited to stay with a group of Men that have had a profound impact on my life. Now I love the BASS tournament trail, and I have followed it since I was a kid. However BASS is not my favorite trail. My favorite Trail is The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail.

In the late 1990s, the founder Al Odom was praying about how he could use his life to make an impact of the Kingdom of God. One afternoon while looking through a magazine, he saw an add for a Outreach Fishing Derby, and that's when God implanted the idea to start Fishers of Men. FOM's goal is to reach out to competitive bass fishermen and their families to challenge them to know and follow Jesus. Over the years it has become the fastest growing tournament trail in the country! Over 28 states and counting have one or more FOM divisions. Literally thousands of people have come to know and follow Christ through this organization. Talk about an impact!

Al serves as the National Director and is supported by a great staff of Men and women. I had the pleasure of rooming with the Vice President of FOM this weekend. Bob Eads is one of the finest men that I have ever met. Over the years, FOM has allowed me to be a small part of the work that God is doing, and I am so grateful. Al Odom and I became friends in 1995, and as I say this with tears in my eyes, he has been a true friend and mentor in every sense of the word. The list of people that have had a profound affect on my life are not very many. Al Odom is in that number for me. I want to share with you a few things that I know about him.

Al is the only man that I can truly say loves to fish as much as I do. Its a passion that only people who fish know, however fishing is not what drives his life.  I am not going to share this story in its entirety, because I cannot do it justice. I am going to give you a glimpse of it. I fished with Al's youngest son Sam for 2 seasons on the FOM trail. As a matter of fact, the only FOM tournament that I have ever won was with Sam. I have known Sam and his brother Dane for years, and I love them dearly. On August 8, 2008 Sam lost his life in a car accident.

On the day of Sam's funeral I arrived 4 hours early and I almost did not get in the building. I waited in line trying to think of anything that I could say to my friend Al. Nothing came to me. As I rounded the corner in line, I saw Al for the first time, but it was not what I expected. His face was radiant. As we embraced I started to weep and found myself being consoled by Al and his son Dane! I will make this short. How can a man stand an event like this? There is only one answer. Jesus.

The supernatural events that have occurred in Al's life is nothing short of astounding. If you have never heard in detail how they have unfolded, please attend an event where Al shares about what happened. God is real. I see Him in the lives of people. People like my friend Al Odom.

Thank you Al for being my friend!

If you would like more information on Al Odom or the Fishers of Men Trail. Check it out here:
Fishers of Men

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twas the night before the Classic



Twas the night before the Classic and all around the show, the pressure was building among all the top Pros.  The Flippin jigs were hung on the end of rods with care, and GPS way points were Marked everywhere!

The Anglers were snug looking down at their boats, where Skeeters and Tritons will soon be afloat.  Mark Zona and Sanders  have their headsets on, and Camera's will be ready to film before dawn.

When down at the boat ramp their arose such a clatter, People from every state ran to see what was the matter. I ran down canal street in hope that I could see, a glimpse of Randy Howell and Shaw Grigsby!!

The full moon was shining on the water down below, I wished I was a Marshall, riding with Defoe! When what to my longing eyes should appear,  but Jerry McKinnis and Trip Weldon calling is everyone here!


There was a little boat driver quick as can be, and I knew in a moment it must be KVD!
More rapid than eagles the Fishermen came, as the dark water churned as they called out their names.

Go Browning, Go Chapman, Go Evers, and Go Pace! Now Davis, and Faircloth their off to the race!
From the top of the ramp, to the mouth of the Bay, the Classic competitors are all on their way!

The Bass Chaplain is headed down to the ramp. Come Sunday we will know who is the Bassmasters Champ!!

By Chris Wells and Bob Eads

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Fellowship of Christian Anglers (FOCAS) "Classic Edition"



On Tuesday I had the privilege of leading the FOCAS meeting for the BASS Elite Series Pros. FOCAS stands for the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society, and was started way back in the day by Jimmy Houston and later led by Evangelist Terry Chupp.  The meetings usually consist of a number of the BASS pros, the non fishing Marshalls, and anyone else who would like to attend.

The Classic meeting is usually one of the least attended just because not all of the FOCAS anglers qualify, and due to the hectic schedule of Classic week. Yesterday the Pre tournament briefing went about 30 minutes longer than usual so we had an abbreviated meeting time. I actually challenged them with the Philemon 1:6 Alarm challenge. (see earlier entry). My hope is that we all will pray that God will give us opportunities to share our faith.

The Anglers that attend FOCAS are some of the finest men that  I know, and it is a pleasure to be able to serve here with them. In addition to the Anglers, many of their wives and family also attend the meetings. If you are ever near a BASS Elite Series Event, then consider joining us for the FOCAS meeting. All FOCAS meeting times are listed on the official web site of BASS.

I will be on call for the Pros and Staff this week. On Friday I will be in the Fishers of Men National Tournament trail booth at the Classic Show. If you are there, please come by and say hello!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bassmasters Classic



I am currently sitting in a hotel room near New Orleans Louisiana, awaiting the start of the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society or (FOCAS) meeting. The meeting will be at 4:00p.m. Central time this afternoon at the Riverfront Hilton in downtown NO. Before each BASS tournament, I lead a Bible study for the BASS Elite Series pros, Marshalls, BASS officials, and anyone else who shows up.  Throughout the week I will be sharing glimpses of what happens at Bass Fishing's greatest event with you here on my blog, and today I am going to start with how it all got started......at least for me.

I grew up fishing and hunting on the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina, and was blessed to live through the Heyday of the greatest bass fishing in our country! My brother was a part time bass guide, and usually if he couldn't take me fishing, then my Dad could. Some of the best times of my life were spent trying to figure out the (Micropterus Salmoides) or Largemouth Bass! Now when most of my friends were talking about Football stars like Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach, I had my mind on Bill Dance and Roland Martin!  I am the only kid that I know that memorized the stats of Bass pros. I mean why in the world would I need to know the final day total of Gary Klein's winning weight at Lake Lanier in 1986? (It was 23-13 by the way). It makes no sense at all, until you factor God into the equation.

You see when I was a teenager I thought that I was just memorizing stats for my own enjoyment and personal use. However God knew that one day I would be ministering to the same guys that I admired and memorized fishing stats on! Our Lord has a plan for each life, and when we yield to His will then He will use us for His glory! Have you yielded your life  to His will? He can take the things in your life that you think are trivial, and make them something that He can use.

I hope that you will be in prayer for our meeting today, and check back each day this week for more updates on the Super Bowl of Bass fishing. I'll have some stats for ya!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The troubling sound of my Alarm Clock



I hate the sound of the alarm clock. I always have. For me there is nothing more irritating than interruption of the peaceful bliss of sleep than my alarm clock telling me time to get up! However, when its all said and done, the alarm clock is one of the most helpful devices in my life. The absence of it would cause me great trouble.

John Adams wrote: " Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you." I've heard that phrase quoted my entire life, but I never gave it much thought until recently. In light of our present day world situation "trouble" not only sums up what we may be seeing, it seems that it may be prudent to be  preparing for it. However most American Christians that I am in contact with, seem to be taking the Adams phrase to heart. My concern is that we may not be ready for the trouble that could  be heading our way. Now let me clarify that I am no foretelling prophet, but there are some things that are grabbing my attention.  I will discuss a few here today.

 One of my first concerns is that Christians seem to have to  be shaken in order to be spiritually awakened. No one that was an adult during 911 will ever forget what happened. By 3 pm that afternoon, the sanctuary of the Church I attend was filled with people on their knees begging God for direction. Where are we now? The fact of the matter is that we aren't scared anymore. Trouble hasn' t troubled us in a while and apathy has become the norm. So should we be troubled? Let me take a crack at this. The Bible states that "the borrower is a slave to the lender". Our country owes more than it ever has, and the deficit is rising every minute. This has the potential to do more damage to our country than the attacks of 911 ever hoped to do. If our dollar loses its world reserve currency status as some are predicting. The devastation that could happen will be immense. It may be time for that troubling alarm clock to go off.

Another Concern I have is our unconcern for the persecution of Christians around the world. One simple google glance on executed Christians will give you enough reading material for the day, I promise. Yet where is the outcry from US Christians? Now on my Facebook site I love to post thought provoking quips, quotes, and stories, and I don't believe there is anything wrong with that. However, it is interesting what evokes the most response. Just the other day I posted about Said Musa, who is a 45 year old convert to Christianity who at anytime is set to be hung unless he reconverts to Islam. I got zero response from that article post on FB.  Yet my joke on Jesus and golfing got 16 "likes".  This is happening in Afghanistan! The same Afghanistan that Christian men from the US are giving their lives to protect! People are being killed all over the world because they love Jesus.  Time to hear the alarm!

I am also very concerned about the rise of sympathy for every religion, in conjunction with the rise of intolerance for Christianity. Today it seems that people are tolerant for every religion, opinion, whim, and ideology except Christianity. A pastor of 54 people gets World wide news coverage for saying he would have a qur'an burning(which I don't agree with), but documented thousands of Bibles are burned by Muslims and hardly a word mentioned. Sharia law is being instituted in Britain and some US States are considering it, and yet our Constitution, based on Christianity, is ignored. The only people that I see being (Tolerant) are Christians! It may be time to stop hitting the "snooze' button.

Now I know the Bible tells me to count it all joy when I am persecuted, and to be anxious for nothing. However these verses are not a call to apathy. They are calls to action. My opinion is that we are in a time of history that the Bible plainly speaks of. A time when people will be lovers of themselves , lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  At the same time God says that in the last days He will pour out His Spirit. God doesn't need Chris Wells, but He allows me to be a part of what He is doing. So with that said, I resolve to hear the alarm. To share His good news. To invite people to hear God's Spirit calling to them to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

I am going to ask you to do something. I have an alarm on my phone. I am going to set my alarm for 1:06 p.m. everyday. I am asking you to do the same. Why 1:06? Philemon 1:6 says " I pray that you will be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ".
This is a call for you to pray that you and Christians that you know would be active in sharing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!  Then share Jesus.  I am calling this the Philemon 1:6 Alarm! I will pray everyday at 1:06. Will you set and hear the alarm? Don't hit snooze on this one!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forgotten Heroes and the Rewriting of US History.



"One thousand seven hundred and thirty two was a glorious year for America. It gave birth to two of the noblest thunderbolts of her wars, George Washington and Francis Marion."-Parson Weems


I have had many heroes in my life, one of which lived the majority of his life 15 miles as the crow flies from my front doorstep. Francis Marion was born in 1732 and served with distinction in the French and Indian war. He then made a significant impact in our fight for independence by serving as a Brigadier General in the American Revolutionary War. His Plantation is now 8 feet underwater on the bottom of the Lake that bears his name, Lake Marion on the Santee Cooper Reservoirs.

He is often credited as being the father of modern day guerrilla warfare, but the man was much more than just a great commander. Francis Marion was a man of tremendous honor, character, and faith.  His life would inspire many people, including another one of my heroes named Tom Jackson, better known as "Stonewall Jackson", and countless others as well.

 Marion is buried on his brother Gabrielle's plantation in Berkeley county SC. Part of the inscription on his grave reads:
History will record his worth, and rising generations embalm his memory, as one of the most distinguished Patriots and Heroes of the American Revolution.

Sadly this is far from the truth. There are over 70 towns and counties across the United States named after General Francis Marion, but outside of  our state very few people have even heard his name. I am a graduate of Francis Marion University, and while I was attending seminary in Texas people would ask where I went to college. "Francis Marion" I would say. Their reply nearly always the same:"Who's she?" Several years back I had high hopes that my hero would get the modern day recognition he deserves only to have my hopes dashed yet again. I watched in amazement as Mel Gibson's  movie The Patriot depicted  about 90% of the Swamp Fox's exploits, giving him none of the credit. It seems the director decided to blend several Revolutionary war heroes into one in order to up the entertainment value. Essentially they rewrote history to suit their needs.

The rewriting of our history seems commonplace today. My oldest son had a history assignment in elementary school that asked to outline from his text book the pros and cons of the Trans Continental Railroad. I read in shock as the number 3 stated con was: It hurt the environment. There seems to me to be a systematic rewriting of our history,  in order to shape and affect a present day agenda. I believe this is a danger that  could unravel the very fabric of our nation. It is my belief that an honest evaluation of where we come from, and where we are, is essential in determining where we go.

Let me give an example. When I first started taking my boat out from the Bay into the ocean I did not have a modern day GPS. I used a fixed point of reference, namely a smoke stack. As long as I could see that smoke stack I knew where I was and where I needed to go.  Now imagine if someone came and moved my point of reference. I may never find my way back.

Our country is based on the vision, resolve, and convictions of a group of people that laid a foundation for such virtues in a document called The Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. These men not only wrote down their convictions, they also lived, and defended them  to the point of death. One need only examine the lives of these writers to see that those convictions were based on Christian principles and precepts. However to read many present day interpretations of the Constitution one gets the impression that the Founding Fathers were devoid of any religious convictions especially Christian convictions. Any mention of a Christian Heritage or foundation sends many present day media personalities into a rage.

I honestly believe that the current political administration actually does not like the United States as it is constituted today. They travel the world apologizing for who we are, and what we have done.  They seek to solve problems that don't exist. My feeling is that they are interpreting and rewriting our history to fit their agenda. In short they are attempting to (move our smoke stack).

I am making it a matter of intense prayer to pray for our President and the current administration. My desire is for the US to not lose its point of reference. To remember and honor the principles of the Heroes who fought and gave their lives for us to live in this nation. To repent and call out to a Holy God for forgiveness of sin. To seek the Lord while He may still be found.

If you want to learn more about the Rewriting of our History check out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlfEdJNn15E

Monday, January 31, 2011

I will preach for Food!



This  past weekend was exciting! On Friday night I drove to Ridgecrest, NC to speak to a group of High School students on a ski trip. The next morning I preached to them at 9:00am and again at 11:00am. As I finished my message I literally ran out the door, jumped in my car and drove 5 hours to Newnan, Ga. That night I got to speak at a Wildgame Banquet. God moved in a powerful way, and 21 people prayed to receive Christ! Many others made decisions to repent of sin and come back to God! At 9:00pm I jumped back in my car and drove back to Ridgecrest, NC, arriving at 2:00am. Sunday morning at 9:30am I had the privilege of speaking to my High School students again to finish out their Retreat. 3 Students indicated that they gave their life to Christ. About 14 made other decisions to repent of sin and get right with God!
I was sharing with someone about this weekend, and they asked me why in the world would I run and drive so far in one night?  It seems crazy! People actually ask me this all the time, and the answer is simple. I love to preach the Gospel! In December of 2004, we started WSM with very little money and a little bit of faith. Since that time God has provided every need that my family has. Not every desire or want, but every need. We still have very little money, however we have a lot more faith!

As I  closed in prayer on Sunday morning there was a young girl in the second row. She was sitting there with tears running down her face. Tears of joy over the decision she just made.  I thought to myself, "Shoot I will preach for food". It is such a privilege and an honor to tell people about Jesus!

Will you share Jesus with someone today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Emerging" from "The Shack" to become a "Radical" with a "Crazy Love" for the "Sovereign" God



Have you noticed the rising proliferation of Christianity's interest in Christian books over  the last few years? Boy I have. It seems that a month doesn't go by without someone coming up to me saying: "YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK!" As a matter of fact I had been watching this realization with great interest, when my heart Doctor of all people asked me about it. Periodically I have a stress  test due to my family's history of heart disease, and while  I was walking on the treadmill, he brought up the subject.  As we chatted, we both came to the conclusion that it seems evident that present day Christianity seems to have a dangerous obsession with Christian books! Now let me clarify. I read many Christian books, and believe that there is great value as well as insight that can be gained by the study of Christian authors who are grounded in the faith. A few years ago, I read a book by an author that changed the way I look at the wonderful grace that God has given us. However there are a few trends that I think we should handle with caution.

The trend of (40 Days of "Porpoise" Programming)  -This is not a slam on Rick Warren. Of all the men that inspire me to live the Christian life, he is at the top. However this name  often accurately describes the manner in which many of our Conventions, Associations, and Churches program their mission. Its like a porpoise jumping from one warm section of water to the next. Let me explain. For 15 years I served as a Student Pastor to several different Churches both in South Carolina  as well as Texas. Each year the mission of the nation, state and Church seemed to be programmed by the next "Hot" Christian book that came out that year. We would come in, read the book, begin to put it into action. By the time I would get everything in place, a new book would come out with a new program that totally contradicts everything I just put into place!  This happened over and over and very few people ever take notice. I see this all over Christianity today. People and Churches seem to be motivated more by the opinions of men instead of the inspiration of God.

The trend of Studying the book instead of Studying the Word.  I recently called a friend who told me that she was on the way to her Bible Study, so I inquired about what they were studying. Her answer was we are studying "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Now I am going to point our here that I have nothing against Francis Chan, Jackie Chan, or Charlie Chan, but his book is not the Bible.  And just so you know that we aren't just talking about semantics, I have seen many Churches that have Bible studies that abandon the study of Bible, for the hot Christian book of the month. I had a seminary professor that used to caution us about Bibles that contained commentaries. He said "remember this: above  the line is inspiration, and below the line is opinion."  Call me silly, but I just think Bible Study should actually study the Bible.

The trend of counseling from the book instead of the Word. It seems to me like many Christians today want me to  know that they are reading the "In" books. I can tell by the phrases they use. For instance in the last month I have been told numerous times that  I need to forsake the American dream and take back my faith, which I know comes from David Platt's book. Over the years Ive also been told to "Look what God is doing and Join Him", " To have Jesus as my treasure",  "Don't waste my life", "It's not about me", and to be in a "Simple church" that is "Emergent". All of these are great quotes from great books, but whose content can all be found in the Word of God.

So in conclusion, I want you to know that I am not advocating the abandonment of all Christian books, but a return to the primary book. A realization that there is really only one that " I HAVE GOT TO READ". I'll sum it up this way:

I hope that "The Simple Church" will "Emerge" from the "The Shack" to become "Radical" with a "Crazy Love" for the "Sovereign God" and to ultimately realize " For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ( Hebrews 4:12)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bucket List: Share Jesus to Pro Fishermen in a Casino



 I don't have a bucket list in my life, but if I did have one, I could cross off some unique entries.  (For instance:)
*Pulling another man's 21ft Bass boat across the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the snow at night.
*Taking that same 21ft Bass boat Across the Hoover Dam.
*Pulling that 21ft Bass boat down the strip in Las Vegas, and then across the United States.
*Preaching the gospel in the Robinson Ranchero Resort and Casino to a group of fishermen.

If any of those were on my list. I could cross them all off!!

Last year the BASS Elite Series made a stop on Clear Lake California. My plan was to fly out and speak at the FOCAS meetings, but after overhearing several Bass pros talk about the long journey across country I had another idea. So I volunteered to drive one of the Bass Pros rigs to California and back. Now I know what you are thinking, but honestly how many times in your life have you gotten the chance to drive across the United States? Well for the kid from Summerton South Carolina this was probably my only shot. So I took it!

The BASS Pro I drove for is a friend of mine named Randy Howell. The professional fishing tour is blessed with many of the finest Christian men that I have ever met, and Randy is among the best. So I loaded up Randy's truck in Alabama and started the roughly 2500 mile trek to California. Now I have to say it was pretty "cool" to be driving a wrapped Bass rig. People kept blowing the horn and waving, because I imagine they thought that I was Randy Howell. What's not cool is when I had to get out to refuel every 200 miles, and those same people would come up and say: "Wow you look a lot thinner on tv!"

The Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society meetings occur about 30 minutes before the official B.A.S.S. tournament meeting and usually is at the same location. Clear Lake's  tournament meeting was at the Robinson Ranchero Resort and Casino. Now I don't know if you can appreciate the irony of a Southern Baptist preacher going in to preach at the Robinson Ranchero Resort and Casino, so let me share with you.
As I was growing up, there were 2 things in my grandmother's eyes that would send you to hell quicker than anything else. Revving the engine of a car, and playing any kind  of card game! I didn't even learn to shuffle a deck of cards until I graduated from college. So here I am, walking into the Casino with my Bible in hand, thinking of my grandmother, when my cell phone rings. It was a pastor of a Church that I was scheduled to do a Revival for the week following my trip to Ca. Without thinking I said: Pastor I'm going to have to call you back. because I'm about to go and preach in the Casino. His response:(long pause) WHAT!


I ended up having to take a minute to explain what was going on. In retrospect I have come to the conclusion that I really shouldn't have given preaching in a Casino a second thought. The Bible tells me to be ready"in season and out" to share about my hope in Christ. Jesus said: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners".   We should have no hesitation to share the good news wherever God puts us. Two men prayed to receive Christ that day.  On the way home,  Jason Corbett, a lifelong friend and a WSM Board member flew to California to ride back with me. As I thought about the trip it occurred to me. I'll "bet" I'm the first person to ever preach in that casino!

Friday, January 14, 2011

" I can feel God speaking to me right now!! What do I do!"


One of the greatest encouragements in my life is when I get to hear first hand the stories of how God works in the lives of people. I have so many to share with you, that I find myself having to pace myself. I honestly believe that if we would take time to look around, we would see His daily activity in our lives. He often doesn't get the credit for what He does. His work is dismissed as coincidence or happenstance.  I am here to share, that is not the case!

I am blessed to be able to speak to groups literally across the country, but one of my very favorite places to share is in Florence, South Carolina. You see for me that is where God put a stamp on my life that would forever change my destiny. I graduated from Francis Marion College (now University), and spent some of the best years of my life in the "Magic" city. In the fall of my sophomore year I laid down under a pecan tree at a Fraternity party(another story) and gave my life to Jesus Christ.

Now I am known for being a Men's Ministry speaker, however about 40% of the audiences that I speak to are Students. College students are particularly exciting to speak to because it is such a formative time in their lives. For the last 7 years I have been invited to speak at the Francis Marion BCM. BCM stands for Baptist College Ministry. It used to be called BSU when I was a student. Francis Marion has one of the most successful BCM's in the country, and reaches out to hundreds of students each year.

Now for the Good stuff! Several years ago I was speaking at BCM in Florence, and the students had invited a number of Fraternities and Sororities to attend the event. As I closed my message I invited people who need to make a decision for Christ to come and speak with a counselor and I exited to the side door. As students began to come to the altar, a young lady wearing a sorority jersey followed me into the hallway. I will never forget as long as I live the look on her face. With tears in her eyes she exclaimed in a joyous yell: " I can feel God speaking to me right now! What do I do! What do I do!"
I'll tell you what she did: that night she gave her life to Christ!

(Kendal Danford is the Campus Minister for BCM at FMU. )

Saturday, January 8, 2011

God puts us where He wants us!

I'm going to share many God stories that have occurred throughout my life, but I thought starting with a recent one is more fitting. My nephew Keenan just completed Basic training in the Army and upon his completion he flew home to Greenville. His intentions were to purchase a one way ticket to Dallas/Ft Worth when time came to report for his first assignment in Korea. As the day approached he realized that his plane ticket was going to be somewhere in the astronomical range, and so I volunteered to drive him to Dallas.

Now I have to tell you that driving is probably one of the only things that I really do well. However, at the same time, I am not as young as I used to be, and driving 16 hours is not as easy as it once was. On top of that my friends opinions of me driving to Texas were colorful to say the least. I was met with phrases like "You are crazy", "Sucker", and "there is no way!".  In spite of their taunts, I had a great time visiting with my nephew, and we got to Dallas with little or no problems at all. The next morning I woke up and dropped him off at the airport and began the 16 hour journey back to South Carolina. That's where God stepped in!

In addition to being a full time speaker, I also serve as the Chaplain for the BASS Elite series for the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society. As I got about 10 miles outside of Dallas my cell phone beeped. On the other line was the Nutrition Expert for BASS. His voice was shaky as he shared with me that his mother had just suffered a bad stroke, and he felt like he was overwhelmed. I asked him where he was. His reply:" Im in a hospital in Ft Worth Texas!"................. A quick check of my GPS confirmed that I was 35 miles away. I have no doubt at all that God is real, however sometimes He just shows off! I called my wife and told her what happend. We both felt like that if I didn't go to that hospital, I was probably going to be swallowed by a giant fish!

God is at work in our world. Our job is to join him!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bass Chaplain Blog is Launched!


In 2008, I was picked to be an Observer of the Bassmasters Classic on Lake Hartwell SC. As God would have it, I was paired with Alton Jones who went on to win that year's Classic. During the final day of practice Alton said they were looking to get a full time Chaplain on the tour to run the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society Meetings. He and BASS pro Randy Howell said that my name kept coming up, and asked if I would be interested. My reply was let me pray about that for 2 seconds-yes!

Well God did lead me to be the Chaplain and in addition to my full time speaking schedule I am the Chaplain for FOCAS. I lead a Bible Study and message time before the Pre- tournament meeting, as well as acting as a pastor to counsel and pray with the Anglers and their families.  God is at work on this trail and it is amazing to be a part of it!

The name "The BASS Chaplain" has become a new title in my life, through my website WellSpoken Ministries you can find more information about my ministry and how to contact me about speaking to your Church, men's ministry, or student ministry.  Through this blog I hope to share the heart of this ministry with you as I recount how our amazing God continues to pursue his people as fisherman, young and old are coming to know Him like never before.

You can also find me on twitter!  I look forward to connecting with you soon!

“Come follow me,” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men.” - Matthew 4:19