13 December 2017

Believers On Mountain Bikes

As the name suggests, Believers On Mountain Bikes (B.O.M.B.) are a local group of Christian mountain bikers. Our intention is to expound the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord, bringing the word to those who are not Christians, encourage fellowship amongst believers and present the opportunity for all to develop a lasting personal relationship with God. Our vision is one of life lived to the full and on fire for God. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). We use mountain bikes as our tool to help facilitate opportunities to make meaningful contact with individuals and reach them for Christ.

B.O.M.B. is an international organisation that originated in California. Our local group was founded in 2003 and was the first to form outside America. For the first few years we really were a Christian social group and, while that was a blessed time, we collectively felt there was so much more we could do for God. After a lot of prayer we were challenged to find 10 bikes and use them to bring groups of people out mountain biking with us so that we could share our faith with them. We estimated it would take about £4000 to gather the basic equipment needed, so we set about some fundraising.

We made contact with local bike shop Chain Reaction Cycles and told them what God had laid on our hearts and hoped they might supply us with some equipment at a discounted rate. We only had a few hundred pounds in our pocket at this stage from our fundraising activities but knew we needed to buy thousands of pounds worth of equipment. It was hard not to wonder if the idea would ever become a reality or if it would remain a distant dream. However, after much prayer we decided to put our faith to the test and commit to buying the equipment needed, regardless of cost, and that God would provide for us if it was what He really wanted us to do. It is at times like this when we are out of our depth that God shows His power. When we went back to Chain Reaction Cycles to speak to the manager again and tell him to go ahead with our order he told us that he had in the meantime met with the owners of the company and told them about our vision. It turned out the owners were Christians who, after prayerful consideration, had decided to donate all the equipment we needed, absolutely free of charge! We saw in that moment the hand of God working and were immediately assured that God was in the work of B.O.M.B.

B.O.M.B. isn’t just another bike club. True, we are a group of friends who like to get together to ride the trails, but that isn’t our sole purpose for existing.

There’s more:

Solid Christian fellowship, encouragement, spiritual challenge, service and ministry. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”. (Proverbs 27:17).

Outreach. The inherent purpose of B.O.M.B. is a ministry tool. Showing and sharing the love of God to all, and inviting non-believers to encounter and know the Lord, by sharing the Word of God and developing relationships. We welcome anyone looking to share in the thrill and challenge of mountain biking, to explore the splendour and beauty of God’s creation, as well as having some good fun on the trails. In carrying the name of “Believers” on mountain bikes, we ultimately seek to honour the name of the Lord in everything we say and do.

There are two main areas of our ministry:

Indoor events – These generally take place in church halls and community centres. Various forms of bicycle-based antics take place such as balance boxes, see-saws, limbos, rocky roads and ramps using mountain bikes, bmx’s and mini bikes. We would then share the gospel during an epilogue in the mid-part of the programme and finish off the evening with a high-speed, knock-out race on the mini bikes.

Outdoor events – Our typical day out on the mountain bikes involves travelling to one of our local forests such as Tardree, Donard Park or Inniscairn. Here we challenge our groups to the technical climbs and fast descents over rugged terrain. This is always a good opportunity to get alongside individuals and share the gospel. Time is also taken out on the trails for an epilogue.

God has truly blessed the work of B.O.M.B. since its formation and many doors have been opened to us over recent years. Like many sports-based ministries, our work is predominantly with young people. However we actively seek to work with older groups as well. To date we have worked with youth groups, Men’s fellowships and Girls’ and Boys’ Brigades as well as non-church groups. Please pray that opportunities will continue to arise to reach people for Christ through mountain biking and that ultimately souls will be saved.

If anyone is interested in hearing more about the work of B.O.M.B. contact us via facebook/Believers On Mountain Bikes Northern Ireland or our website www.ridedirt.com and follow links.

Winston Copeland