Most people wouldn’t think of riding motorbikes as a type of Christian outreach. Adventist biker Geoff Dodd hopes to change that perception.
“I’ve been a biker since I was 16—I’m currently 54,” he told me at South Australia’s 2017 Big Camp. “Riding motorbikes is a great opportunity to reach people. People may stop attending churches but miss the community and mateship that they had there. Sometimes God knows when we’re down and uses different ways to reach us.”
He credits his wife Jacqui as being the instrument God used to bring him back to church but notes that he also appreciated the community and mateship that he experienced as a biker. His goal is to spread the gospel of Christ in South Australia by opening the state’s first chapter of Adventist Motorcycle Ministry.
"We’re out there to communicate with the unchurched and show other bikers there’s a different way to life."
“There is a chapter in Victoria already, which is run by my literature ministry mate John Brereton,” says Geoff. “We have interest here (in South Australia) now—people who have bikes, people who want to buy bikes and those who just want to support what we’re doing.”
Statistics show that the number of men attending church is rapidly decreasing and this convinced Geoff of the need to share the gospel in a non-confronting way.
“It’s all about community and relationships,” he says. “We’re out there to communicate with the unchurched and show other bikers there’s a different way to life.” He’s quick to note that the group abides by “Christian ethics” during their rides—there’s no drinking alcohol or smoking for this group of bikers.
“There’s this 45-year-old man I know; he has been in jail half of his life. He used to be an extremely angry and violent person,” says Geoff. “We’ve been trying to share love with him. We took him and his son for a ride a while back. We got home around 11:30pm. He told us that he didn’t end up sleeping until 3am because he was so pumped with adrenaline. And he said that nobody has ever loved him like we did.”
The group’s intention is to visit different churches and share their testimonies, especially in rural areas that don’t generally receive many visitors. They are keen to run maintenance workshops where attendees can learn about motorbike safety. And, of course, they plan to go on plenty of rides.
For more information go to the Adventist Motorcycle Ministry South Australia Facebook page.
Vania Chew attended South Australian Conference big camp for Adventist Record.