“My 500 Nitro Express double rifle was already on my shoulder, safety off, ready for instant response. When the charge came, time stood still. A flurry of action and this magnificent lioness lay at my feet. When I reached over to touch her, my heart broke into a race like a quarter horse breaking from the chute.”
This excerpt from Paige Patterson’s Gospel tract “Hunting the Most Dangerous Game” proves the Southwestern Seminary president’s credentials as an expert hunter. In addition to the lioness mentioned above, Patterson’s years of hunting experience also boast such unique harvests as two other members of the “big five game” in Africa: a cape buffalo and a leopard.
This evident passion for hunting has afforded Patterson some exceptional ministry opportunities. Among the most fruitful are his speaking engagements at “Wild Game Banquets” across the United States. Combining his passion for hunting with his zeal for evangelism, these banquets have seen thousands of men and young boys who otherwise would never grace the doors of a church fully surrender their lives to Christ.
On Feb. 20, Southwestern Seminary will host one of these banquets—the “Men’s Game Banquet”—in order to attract men from the Dallas/Fort Worth area through the venue of hunting and present to them the Good News of Jesus Christ. Patterson will be one of the primary speakers at this free event.
“This is about nothing in the world but reaching lost men for Christ,” Patterson says. “We have discovered that, in those banquets where we’ve had 2,000-2,500 people present, invariably we will have 300-400 who make professions of faith.
“The problem we have in the church today is we are not getting lost people there. This kind of banquet is not the only way to do it, but it is one way.”
Kyle Walker, dean of students at Southwestern and one of the organizers of the Men’s Game Banquet, says sportsmen’s banquets such as this are among the most effective means for reaching lost men with the Gospel, as they are constructed around interests that many of them have: hunting, guns, and the outdoors. This will be the first game banquet hosted on the campus of Southwestern Seminary, and local churches have the opportunity to sponsor the event and bring the lost from their communities. In addition to Patterson’s presentation, the event will comprise a “wild game cooking contest,” giveaways, and a presentation by Tecomate President David Morris.
“There are a lot of men and boys out there who will never come to your church for church service,” Patterson says. “But you can get them to come hear some guy who puts his life in jeopardy on a regular basis to go out where the big ones prowl, and he’s going to tell them how to stay alive hunting dangerous game.”
“Many of them never intend to put themselves in that kind of situation,” Patterson continues with a laugh, “but they are curious about an idiot who will do that. So they will come, and they will hear the message.”
To learn more about the Men’s Game Banquet, including how to register and how to get your church involved, visit swbts.edu/hunt.