Category Archives: Evangelism

ONE MINUTE GUN:“The Ministry of Walking Around”

For those of you who are part of boat racing you know that a big part of what we do as chaplains is simply walking around in the pits spending time talking about racing or any life issue that might be on someone’s mind.

Max Helton, the founder of the NASCAR chaplaincy, called our job “the ministry of hanging out.”  That’s what he did when he became the NASCAR chaplain.

He was so effective at impacting peoples’ lives from the most popular driver to the guy that drove the hauler from race to race.

The amazing thing is, when you stop to think about it, Jesus’ ministry was simply a lot of walking around, as well.

Jesus ministry was not a formal sort of thing like most churches today.  Instead it was  primarily hanging out with twelve disciples living life and responding to what came their way in the flow of life.

There is a fancy term for this: it is called incarnational ministry.  It simply means “the ministry of hanging out!”

It is what Jan and I love doing the most: spending time with people sharing our life in Christ with others … We have had a good example to follow!

“The Son of Man, (Jesus), did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

Father, often times we make spirituality complicated. All you want us to do is allow Christ to love others through us by the way we live our lives, love others and speak of the One who gave His life for us.  Amen.

Blog from LEGACY MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL, LLC

Submitted By Ken Cross, Vice-President of Sports Chaplains Network

 

 

 

 

4 Ways We Need to Grow in Evangelism

conversation-300x200This really is a must read post from J.D. Greear. I would highly encourage you to read the whole thing. Below is an excerpt:

1. Raising the temperature of intentionality.

This is probably the most crucial of the four. We need to make evangelism a habit in our own lives, and that does not happen by chance. It can be easy to look around at what God is doing at the Summit and to pat ourselves on the back for the large number of people coming to Christ. But there is a big difference between a movement of God going on around you and a movement of God that you are involved in.

 

 

 

 

Some Good Questions to Ask to Start Spiritual Conversations

questionsReally good stuff here from J.D. Greear. Below are some excerpts but I would encourage you to read the whole thing:

Because getting into spiritual conversations can be so nerve-wracking, it’s good to have a few tools in your tool-belt that can get things going. Now, a tool is only as good as the person wielding it. No evangelistic tool I’ve seen is a magic bullet, and there is absolutely no substitute for Spirit-fueled love for our lost neighbors. Fortunately, we do not need to choose between genuine compassion and helpful evangelistic aids.

One of the more unwieldy evangelistic tools out there is the “diagnostic question.

Tim Keller, the Missional Church, & Sports Ministry

Tim Keller has released a new book called Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City . In it, he outlines the marks of a missional church. Here it is (from Patheos):

1. It must confront society’s idols (esp self-actualization as the absolute).
2. It recognizes that most of our recently formulated gospels fall on deaf ears.
3. It knows all Christians are on mission in every area of their life. (Here “mission” is the transformationalist model of influencing culture.)
4. It is a servant community in the community as a counterculture for the common good.
5. It must be “porous”: the line between believers and nonbelievers/seekers/etc is not determinative for all the ministries of the church (here he sounds like the recent post I had about Andy Stanley).
6. It practices Christian unity on the local level as much as possible.

It’s amazing how sports ministry can be such a great tool and avenue to further these ideas. For example (in reference to the marks above):

1. Sports ministry should address the brokenness and idols in sports and offer a way of pursuing sports in a redeemed, God-glorifying way. Churches have an amazing opportunity to offer a different way to play, coach, and spectate sports. This is why our mission statement is: To redeem the idol of sports by leading a global movement of local church gospel centered sports ministries

2. We are in a post-Christian culture. Our practiced gospel presentations from the last 50 years don’t connect with the lost world because people are no longer engrained with a Christian worldview (there is a God, there is sin, there is an afterlife, etc.). Fifty years ago, even if someone wasn’t a Christian, they probably believed some of these things or at least understood the notions behind them. Not anymore. To reach someone now there is more leg work needed. There needs to be time and relationship to communicate the full message of the gospel and create disciples. Sports provide a great context for this because it’s a universal language.

3. Mission is not just things that happen inside the walls of the church or internationally in 3rd world countries. We are always on mission, always engaged in ministry (at least, that should be our mindset). The work place, the neighborhood, and where we recreate (sports) should be seen as a mission field.

4. Something that can be totally countercultural is how a church operates a sports league. Or, how Christians in a community/secular league handle themselves. These things speak loudly.

5. I’m not exactly sure what Keller meant by this point and having not read the book, it’s hard for me to understand completely. I think what he means is that some ministries of the church should have a good mix of believers/non-believers and others shouldn’t. I could be wrong. What I know for sure is that sports ministry provides one of the few contexts where Christians can develop relationships with non-Christians.

6. Sports can definitely bring unity within your church and unity in cooperation with other churches.

I hope this doesn’t come off as saying sports ministry is the answer for engaging your community missionally. Why it may not be the answer, it certainly is an answer. Certainly, not every church is called to have a large, centralized, programmatic sports ministry. However, every church can at least be involved in an organic, de-centralized sports ministry. The principles are the same regardless of the context: Use sports as a bridge to reach people and as a laboratory transform them.

 

Tim Keller – the Missional Church & Sports Ministry

Tim Keller has released a new book called Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City . In it, he outlines the marks of a missional church. Here it is (from Patheos):

1. It must confront society’s idols (esp self-actualization as the absolute).
2. It recognizes that most of our recently formulated gospels fall on deaf ears.
3. It knows all Christians are on mission in every area of their life. (Here “mission

Baby Pierce

 

Today in our blog I want to share with you a post from a good friend, Baby Pierce. His Mom, Lindsay, and I are good friends and I had the privilege of being their pastor during his birth. She helped Pierce a bit with this! Read and enjoy – then pray for both heroes’.

 

Letter to a football player

If you follow college football, you probably know by now that the Universityof South Carolinasuffered a terrible tragedy yesterday. If you were watching the game, you couldn’t help but be heartbroken as we saw a talented, young football player, one of the best in the nation, Marcus Lattimore take a nasty hit to the knee. Now this injury would be tragic regardless, but the fact that Lattimore had fought his way back from a similar injury last year only to have another major setback. This wasn’t just a set back. Everyone watching knew that this could very well be a career ending injury. We watched as the crowd grew unified in their cheers. Players from both teams flooded the field – all waiting for their hero to arise. And we watched, as Marcus was carted off the field. Across team lines, folks were flooding the internet with support, their hearts broken, for a young man whose hard work and talent seemed lost in an instant.

As you know, we’re not strangers to having our dreams turned upside down in an instant. And so, today, Pierce and I set out to do our part in encouraging Marcus. It’s funny, because it’s probably the last thing I thought I’d ever do- spend time writing a fan letter to a well-known athlete. But I remembered the messages that flooded in when Pierce was so sick. I remembered how much they touched us. And the ones we received from strangers… they were oftentimes the ones that humbled us the most.

So here it is – our letter to Marcus, from one hero to another.

Dear Marcus,

You and I are very different and yet so much alike. I’m only 18 months old, but to so many, I’ve become their hero. And yesterday, you became a hero in so many hearts.

When I was born 4 months early, doctors didn’t predict I’d go far. In fact, they only gave me a 5% chance of survival. And then, when I suffered a devastating brain bleed, their predictions for me grew even dimmer. But during my 4.5 month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, one thing became obvious: I am a fighter. And another thing is obvious: you are too.

You see you are a hero, whether you ever make another football play. I’ve found that what defines a hero lies not in his ability to do something. No, a hero is instead found when his character shines greater than his inability to do something. What makes us heroes is not our abilities. What makes us heroes is our strength to rise above the circumstances handed to us, our ability to say “Jesus is enough. He is good and He will give me the strength I need to make it through this trial.

Baby Pierce

Today in our blog I want to share with you a post from a good friend, Baby Pierce. His Mom, Lindsay, and I are good friends and I had the privilege of being their pastor during his birth. She helped Pierce a bit with this! Read and enjoy – then pray for both heroes’.

 
Letter to a football player

If you follow college football, you probably know by now that the Universityof South Carolinasuffered a terrible tragedy yesterday. If you were watching the game, you couldn’t help but be heartbroken as we saw a talented, young football player, one of the best in the nation, Marcus Lattimore take a nasty hit to the knee. Now this injury would be tragic regardless, but the fact that Lattimore had fought his way back from a similar injury last year only to have another major setback. This wasn’t just a set back. Everyone watching knew that this could very well be a career ending injury. We watched as the crowd grew unified in their cheers. Players from both teams flooded the field – all waiting for their hero to arise. And we watched, as Marcus was carted off the field. Across team lines, folks were flooding the internet with support, their hearts broken, for a young man whose hard work and talent seemed lost in an instant.

As you know, we’re not strangers to having our dreams turned upside down in an instant. And so, today, Pierce and I set out to do our part in encouraging Marcus. It’s funny, because it’s probably the last thing I thought I’d ever do- spend time writing a fan letter to a well-known athlete. But I remembered the messages that flooded in when Pierce was so sick. I remembered how much they touched us. And the ones we received from strangers… they were oftentimes the ones that humbled us the most. 

So here it is – our letter to Marcus, from one hero to another. 

Dear Marcus,

You and I are very different and yet so much alike. I’m only 18 months old, but to so many, I’ve become their hero. And yesterday, you became a hero in so many hearts.

When I was born 4 months early, doctors didn’t predict I’d go far. In fact, they only gave me a 5% chance of survival. And then, when I suffered a devastating brain bleed, their predictions for me grew even dimmer. But during my 4.5 month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, one thing became obvious: I am a fighter. And another thing is obvious: you are too.

You see you are a hero, whether you ever make another football play. I’ve found that what defines a hero lies not in his ability to do something. No, a hero is instead found when his character shines greater than his inability to do something. What makes us heroes is not our abilities. What makes us heroes is our strength to rise above the circumstances handed to us, our ability to say “Jesus is enough. He is good and He will give me the strength I need to make it through this trial.” If we do this, we will demonstrate to the world the courage that it takes to face tragedy head on. We will show them that a true hero gives it his all, even if it means he only gains a small amount of progress. Even if it means his goal takes years to accomplish.

Every day I work hard to accomplish goals that come so easily to healthy children. I spend hours in therapy just so I can learn to reach my favorite toy. I have to struggle to get my left hand to work the way I want it. Sometimes I wonder why? Why did this happen to me and why can’t God just heal me and take away this struggle?

But I know that God is using my pain for good. And He will use yours for good as well.

He has given me a new path, one that’s reached so many people that would not have been impacted had I been a healthy baby.

Please don’t let self pity rob you of an opportunity to demonstrate to the world your heroic capabilities. And don’t let it steal your joy. But when you do start to feel that dreaded pity (and it will come), remind yourself that God is Sovereign – that seemingly coincidental and accidental play that was ordained by Him. Just like my seemingly accidental and premature birth was also ordained by Him. And as mad and frustrated as that makes you, know that there is purpose. There is purpose in your pain. There is purpose in my pain.

Maybe one of the purposes for my pain is to encourage you?

As you go forward, remember that people will be watching. They’ll be watching to see how you handle this. Does it end your career? More importantly, does it end your faith? Does it end your joy? Or does it do the opposite- increase your joy, increase your ability to show your strength and make you more than just a football star? What if this injury is the start of a bigger and better purpose for your life?

One last thing: give your mom a hug. My mom is my biggest fan and I know yours is too. And know that in many ways, the pain she feels is far greater than yours. All of her dreams and desires for you, they’ve been devastated and destroyed in the same instant you were injured. But she will be rooting for you. She’ll likely be the one standing beside you, telling you that you can do ANYTHING, go ANYWHERE from here. (We’re all praying that we will be able to see you make more football plays!)

And you can. You can because you and I must cling to the promise that “With God all things are possible” and trust that He is at work in the midst of our pain and suffering.

From one hero to another,

Pierce

Gracious Act

After all the years of being a powerboat chaplain with tunnel boat racers the most amazing thing about our community is the way they help each other out when somebody is in need.
More than once I have seen a racer loan another racer the mystical finishing touch to their race set-up: a beautiful, competitive racing prop!

What did the fellow racer do to deserve the faster racing prop? Absolutely nothing! He just happens to be a “family

Gracious Act

After all the years of being a powerboat chaplain with tunnel boat racers the most amazing thing about our community is the way they help each other out when somebody is in need.
More than once I have seen a racer loan another racer the mystical finishing touch to their race set-up: a beautiful, competitive racing prop!
 
What did the fellow racer do to deserve the faster racing prop?  Absolutely nothing!  He just happens to be a “family” member in need.
 

What we are talking about here is grace: receiving something you really do not deserve.  A racing prop is a delicate thing, easily bent or broken…and expensive!  The loan is a gracious act.
 
This is what God does for us in the race of life.  He gives us the greatest gift of all.  Though we do not deserve it, He graciously gives us His son to add the finishing touch to our lives.
 
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  Ephesians 2:8
 
Father, I do not deserve it, but thank you for the gift of your Son as the finishing touch to my life.   Amen.

About the author – Laurie Vidal is a Sports Chaplain for Powerboat Racing. He writes an occasional devotion called the “One Minute Gun”. In powerboat racing there is a “one minute gun” to warn the boaters that they have to be in position and ready to go.