Lyle Sankey Is Guest Speaker at Cold Creek Cowboy Church Sunday

Lyle Sankey
Lyle Sankey

Rodeo champion Lyle Sankey, one of only four men to ever qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in three different events, will speak at Cold Creek Cowboy Church this Sunday.
The cowboy church meets at the Douglas County Livestock Auction Barn on Highway 5 south of Squires. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. and it’s a come-as-you-are atmosphere. You come in straight from the barn and don’t even have to change your boots.
Sankey is a Kansas native, but now makes his home in Branson. The former rodeo cowboy now devotes his time to teaching others how to achieve their goals through Sankey Rodeo Schools.
The Rev. Mark Hatcher, pastor of Highway Church of the Nazarene, is a former bull rider himself, and a former student of Sankey.
“Lyle Sankey is the type of person you instantly like and never forget meeting,” Hatcher said.
“I had the privilege of first meeting Lyle as a student of his at two different bull riding schools,” said Hatcher. “One summer, Lyle asked me to be an assistant instructor at other bull riding schools. I can say, without a doubt, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Sankey is someone who has achieved fame and set records at the highest levels of professional rodeo competition, and yet he is so humble, genuine and does everything for the glory of God.”
Following the service at Cold Creek Cowboy Church this Sunday there will be a free cook-out lunch and live cowboy music jam session, with everyone invited to attend.
Those who follow the sport of rodeo will recognize the name, Adriano Moraes. Back in 2009, Adriano Moraes did a bull riding school  with Lyle in Rose Hill, Kan., where Lyle grew up. That’s where Hatcher rode bulls every weekend and where he attended his first rodeo school with Lyle.
Sankey said it was “unbelievably incredible” for him to have Adriano part of his school. “We are very selective whom we work with, and we seek out high character, quality people who certainly care about the kids they work with.”
Other world champions who have been associated with Sankey’s schools are Cody Custer and Mike Lee.
Sankey’s life now is more than just bull riding, however. Although he conducts about 35 rodeo schools a year throughout the country, his life-focus has changed.
“With all the success I had in rodeo, I thought I ought to be happy. However, for many years no matter how great my achievements, I never seemed to experience any real or lasting joy from my success,” Sankey admits.
It wasn’t until 1980 that he began to realize there was more to life than gold buckles and statistics. “It came through an understanding that God cared about me,” Sankey says.
“I now have an ever-increasing desire to help young people see the importance of keeping God first in their lives. I realize that real joy comes through my relationship with Jesus Christ and that has eliminated the pressure of competition.”
Sankey says he still struggles with selfish desires and ambitions, but he also knows how to overcome them. “If my goal is to be the best I can be for Christ, then I will be more effective in my effort, because I’ll be concentrating on improving with each attempt, rather than measuring my success by wins or losses.”
Sankey sums it up: “In my life there’s no question that I will never have the joy and happiness I want solely through my rodeo accomplishments. That can only come through my relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”