Did you know that FCA Endurance now has over 3,300 people in its database? As I think of this I am filled with joy, praising the Lord for how He has used FCA Endurance to unite people from around the world for one common purpose… to see the endurance world impacted for Jesus Christ! However, as I praise the Lord for our growth, I also begin to feel the weight of responsibility that comes with our growing influence. This prompts our leadership to ask, “How do we best steward our influence for maximum impact?” How do we make sure that we are not a self-focused, comfortable Christian endurance club, somehow justifying our involvement in an otherwise usually selfish sport? As I’ve said before, the last thing I want to be is a just another nice guy who wears yellow as I train and race. We need to be about our Father’s work!
Answering the question of how to steward our impact well may present a number of potential options. However, I believe the root begins with faithfully following the Lord’s commands and teaching, resulting in His maximal glory. Practically, a good starting place for living this out is following Jesus, individually and collectively. “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1). While following Jesus encompasses every area of our lives, today I’m going to focus on one point… service.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life —a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus is our perfect example, and as the definition of love, he lived a life of service. Whether washing His disciples’ feet or healing strangers in the crowd, he poured Himself out until His brutal torture and death on the cross. As we follow Him, living out our charge to love our neighbor as ourselves, sacrificially serving others may be our best way to demonstrate love. And thus, our charge to each person reading this… serve.
The thoughts and promptings above have resulted in the first-ever FCA Endurance National Day of Service. On June 9, 2012, we invite each of you, individually and collectively, to find a way to serve. How, you may ask? As the Lord leads! While there are perhaps countless ways to serve others, I simply ask that it be done boldly in Jesus’ name. Let there be zero doubt about why you’re doing it and who should get 100% of the glory!
Service opportunities could be divided into two potential categories, and we celebrate both! The first is endurance-related. This would include any opportunity where you serve those in the endurance community. Whether you serve at a race, serve a local secular tri or running club, or find a unique way to bless others involved in endurance sports; you are serving endurance athletes in the endurance community. The benefits of serving within an endurance context are that you get to build relationships with those whom we are specifically trying to reach. It is also a very comfortable way of serving and taps into your unique knowledge base, skill sets, and relationships. As you consider these opportunities, I urge pursuing service options where you get to love and impact others directly (vs. serving by yourself or in ways where this is little/no lasting interaction with those you serve). Ultimately, the best way to bless someone might be meeting the biggest need wherever it is. However, given the choice, choose an option where you get to interact with others, demonstrating radical kindness as an ambassador of our King. Again, I just plead with you to do it boldly in Jesus’ name (vs. as just another nice person).
The second set of service opportunities would be non-endurance related. This includes opportunities created by yourself or those available through partnering with some other evangelical non-profit/ministry or a local church. Consider where the needs are, and plug in. Possible partners include your local Union Gospel Mission, the Salvation Army, a local domestic abuse shelter, a nursing home/hospice facility, a children’s home, a prison, etc. We are all charged to take care of widows, orphans, prisoners, and the destitute, and this may be a long-overdue invitation to roll up your sleeves and love the forgotten. Admittedly, this may stretch many of you (certainly more than helping run registration at a 5K), but this may be exactly what is needed as you faithfully follow our Lord.
Lastly, as we do this together, I invite each of you to log onto The Body and our new forum on Serving to share what you’ll be doing to bless others in the Lord’s name. May this serve as a place of ideas and encouragement for us all!
Perhaps 3,300 people are a small drop in a big bucket when you consider the world population and those who need our help (even if we each involved our friends and family). However, if each of us sacrificially blessed one person, I think there’s a significant impact to be had. There is also something powerful about doing it together!
“For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:5).
Blessed to proclaim with each of you…
For God’s Glory!
Fri, June 1, 2012
by Chris Anderson filed under