FM Groups derive their name from a familiar sign in rural Texas, Farm to Market Roads (usually designated FM 3350, for example, or simply Farm Road # as seen on many signs).
The first FM road was finished in 1937. It connected a single farming community to a just a few families outside of town. There are now over 3,000 FM roads, covering nearly 50,000 miles through desert, hill country, Texas brush, and everything in between. What began with just a few small families, has led to the networking of over 20,000,000 Texas residents joined by FM roads.
The intent of these roads was and is simple, to link otherwise isolated individuals and their families 1) to market, and 2) to each other for the purpose of business, trade, etc. It was a system that radically improved the well being of those in agriculture, farming, or ranching–a way to see those people thrive.
At Cowboy Fellowship, it is our desire to see the people of God thrive in Atascosa County and surrounding areas. With the busyness that modern life brings, it is all too easy to become isolated and cut off from the body of Christ (the Church) that God has called us to. Like Farm to Market roads, FM groups are designed to be that avenue of connection, and to link those otherwise isolated individuals and families 1) to God’s mission, and 2) to each other for the purpose of community, maturity, and missional living (or connecting, growing, and serving).
Community because we are created for it. Whether by way of (sinful) nature or nurture, we feel it necessary to strive for total independence, taking pride in our ability to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and handle all of life’s ebs and flows alone. And yet God has created us for a life of interdependence, a mutual submission of our lives to Him as well as other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Maturity because we are to continue toward it. The life of a believer should be marked by spiritual growth trending towards maturity. While much time can and should be spent communing alone with God through prayer and the study of Scripture, there should also be time spent learning alongside other believers. We not only learn more about God through others’ knowledge and wisdom, but also experience God through the gifts, talents, and personalities of other Christians.
And missional living because we are called to it. God invites us to participate in the same work that He is doing in the world, reconciling all things back to Himself through Jesus Christ. Missional living happens right where we are, putting our lives on display as testimonies to the grace of God, and continues wherever we go.
In time, FM Groups will become a vast and diverse network of disciples establishing the Kingdom of God and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in Atascosa County and to the ends of the earth.