Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why the name Black Sheep?
There are two answers to this question. Most basic, our first members came from a church in Southern California called “The Lamb’s Fellowship.” When a group from the church starting riding together, a few of the local punsters said, “Oh you must be the black sheep of the flock!”
This silly answer, however, leads us to the deeper meaning of our name. What did these teasers mean when they used the term, black sheep? They implied that because we were different from the rest of the church members we were the oddballs, the different, and the unique or even those under suspicion. The Bible speaks of Christians as being outcasts and aliens and strangers in a foreign land. Indeed, as Christians, this world is not our home.
Jesus was certainly rejected by his own people – even his own family and friends. As Christian motorcycle riders, we find that we are often misunderstood in the motorcycle world AND in the church. Everywhere we turn, we seem to be the black sheep.
2. Why only Harley-Davidsons?
First of all, there are more than Harley-Davidsons in our ministry. The bylaws call for any American made (American company) v-twin. This would include bikes such as Indian, Ultra, Big Dog, Iron Horse, Victory and any number of customs.
The reason for this limited membership is strategic and not meant to suggest exclusiveness. Our primary mission is the 2 million H.O.G. members (Harley Owners Group) who have been largely excluded by other motorcycle ministries with targets of their own. We feel the best way to reach such riders is from the saddle of a Harley or an American v-twin.
3. What makes this motorcycle organization different?
The primary difference between BSHDFC and other similar ministries is our target of HOG. We may also differ from some because of our commitment to the local church, the inclusion of our families and the position of women in the organization.
We are not a church and we do not believe that we can replace the church. In fact, our ministry is a means to an end – not an end in itself. We suggest to our members that their priorities must be God, Family, Church and THEN a ministry such as Black Sheep.
4. What does it take to join?
You must read and be able to accept our Statement of Faith, Values, and rules of membership.
You must own and operate an American v-twin and be at least 18 years of age.
You must complete our mentorship program. (See Membership Resources/Join)
5. What if I don’t have a church?
You will find us lenient in many things. This, however, is not one of them. We believe in and value the local church; the bride of Christ for whom He died. Christians without regular church attendance are without the necessary care and accountability that we all need. You must have a relationship with a local church to join Black Sheep. If you feel that you are an exception to this rule (live at the North Pole or just moved into a new area) please let us know so that we may consider your application.
6. What if my church is too big for me to know the pastor?
We recognize that many come from large churches where a senior pastor may not be easy to access. We settle then for a good word from your associate pastor, church elder or even a small group leader. All we want to know is that you are in good standing with a local church and are known by its leadership who will speak for your character and reputation.
7. How much does it cost to join?
New membership is one year’s dues ($120 for a single rider and $180 for a couple) plus the price of the patches. Annual dues are $120 for a single rider or $180 for a couple. This can be paid as an annual fee or we can set up monthly payments of $10 per rider or $15 per couple. The Patches remain yours for as long as you stay in this ministry. Members leaving this ministry for any reason will return the patches.
8. What if I don’t have a chapter near me?
Having begun in 1999, BSHDFC is still a relatively young ministry. Members without a local chapter are known as “area contacts”. When population and leadership skills are present, we have been successful in helping many of our Area Reps develop chapters in their communities.
9. Can women join Black Sheep?
Women can not only join BSHDFC, but they can do anything that our male members can. They can ride their own bikes or be the passenger of their spouse. They may hold office and even develop and lead their own chapter. Unlike some motorcycle organizations, the patches are all the same whether they are worn by men or women.
10. How are you funded?
Black Sheep is a non-profit corporation. We are funded by membership dues, and donations from our members as well as from churches and foundations who believe in our mission and the generous support of our members.