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Join Another Team

June is here, and as we approach the official start of summer, I'm going to take a small break from our current discussion regarding spiritual disciplines.  We will be returning to this topic again, and often, but this month I want to capitalize on the current season as athletes continue to gather together for training and racing.  As I've considered this, I'm going to re-load an edited version of an article I wrote back in March of 2011... Join Another Team!

I begin this article by expressing my joy and thankfulness that the Lord has brought you to the ministry of FCA Endurance.  I celebrate our growing unity, both nationally and locally, and it is my prayer that the Lord continues to grow and unite this ministry in significant ways for years to come.  That said, I'm serious... as a part of your ministry with FCA Endurance, I encourage all of you to join another local endurance-related team or club.

A paraphrase of our mission might be: present Jesus to endurance athletes and make disciples in partnership with the Church.  To accomplish this, we must continue to build relationships with those who don't know and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Our Biblical command is clear, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20a HCSB).  So here's my question, "How many non-believers are you spending time with and influencing for the Kingdom?"

As disciples who enjoy endurance sports, we have a unique opportunity to impact others within the endurance community for Jesus.  In most cases, to do this effectively, we must intentionally invest in building loving relationships with those who don't know God.  Thankfully, many of these athletes are self-assembling in local clubs and teams in your communities.  Rather than praying and waiting for them to come to you, I encourage you to go to them (but continue praying!).  Join their club/team, participate as you're able, and invite the Holy Spirit to work through those relationships as you intentionally invite others to become disciples.

As you consider what this might look like for you, I realize that there are limitations on everyone's time.  As such, I simply encourage being a wise steward, intentionally investing your endurance-related time, lest it be a fruitless, self-centered endeavor.  Other teams and clubs often provide a way to meet, serve, and love people who are likely not going to church or seeking Christ.  Within this context, we bring the Church to them, building genuine and trusting relationships that may bear the weight of the gospel we live and teach - with our actions AND words.

Lastly, as you engage with your endurance community, hold fast to Biblical truth and don't for a moment compromise our King.  Go boldly as a loving and courageous ambassador, demonstrating a radical love and proclaiming a radical message!

For God's Glory!


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