STEVENSVILLE - The Sportsmen Church in Stevensville has a unique approach to church, a new senior pastor and a Christmas Eve service.
Everett Headley, the senior pastor, said the church’s philosophy is to meet people where they are.
“We don’t live here for the great-paying jobs. We live here because we love Montana,” said Headley. “Montana represents opportunities to go hunting, fishing – everything creation has to offer.”
The Sportsmen Church doesn’t ask parishioners to give up their weekend with a Sunday service - they don’t have meetings on Sundays.
“We see a targeted demographic that isn’t currently being reached,” said Headley. “We want to give them the opportunity to be plugged into a family faith - a church family. We had to ask what we can do to meet their needs.”
Rather than meet on Sundays the church meets together for a full service each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. – with a nursery available.
“We also have a small group structure where they can plug in throughout the week – men’s and women’s groups,” said Headley.
Theologically, Headley said their church is conservative Christian.
“I want people to know we are a Christian church and we are unique on how we approach doing life together,” he said. “Whether you are a new believer, a seasoned Christian or just want to know a little more about who Jesus is, you’ll fit right in – we have a place for you at Sportsmen Church.
“We believe Jesus is our only hope in this world and every week we present God’s word to you in a real and relevant way.”
The description from their website says: “We are unique because of our strong passion for the outdoors. We love hunting, fishing, hiking, camping…any activity that allows us to spend time in God’s beautiful creation. We are a church family that seeks authentic relationships that glorify God. We are committed to leading the lost to Jesus and invested in loving and serving our community.
“Tired of the repetitious routine of the church doing the same thing over and over and seeing little impact on the lives of others, Sportsmen Church is devoted to worship and ministries that bring others closer to Jesus … not ritual and religion.
“The church has left the building. Whether in the community, at the lake, or in the woods, much of the ministry of Sportsmen Church takes place out and about…where people are doing life.”
Headley said he is proud to be a Montanan – he graduated from Frenchtown High School, spent four years in the military with two tours in Iraq, attended the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, South Carolina, and received a Master’s of Divinity from Liberty University.
“I’m thrilled to be back home,” he said. “I had a ‘1950s-style’ romance via snail mail and a couple months later I asked her to marry me.”
They have been married 11 years.
He classifies himself as a “total outdoorsman.”
“Last weekend I was in Dillon chasing elk, I have a yellow lab named Dixie that goes everywhere,” he said. “I hunt ducks, turkeys, fly-fish and then, do it all over again. I used to ski and I do go sledding with church kids.”
The Sportsman Church in Stevensville has youth group meetings on Sundays - an active youth group called Blaze Youth – “Igniting teens for Christ” with youth Pastor Russ Jones.
The Sportsman Church in Stevensville is a “come as you are – no-frills church that aims to guide people in their journey to follow Jesus”. They will have a Christmas Eve Service, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m. and a New Year’s Eve service, Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m. They meet at 3919 Stevensville River Road. For further information visit their website at sportsmenchurch-stevensville.com or call 406-499-2434.