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When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward Sports ministry because they don’t know anything about soccer (or basketball, or cheerleading depending on the season), I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed because I know better. I know that God can not only use people who don’t know a soccer ball from a basketball, but that He is passionate—all throughout scripture—about calling people who are unqualified into ministry.  He takes the weakest and makes them strong! He takes the smallest and makes them large! He takes the follower and makes him a leader of many! He uses the blind to show others the way! He uses the paralyzed to move mountains! He uses those who persecute Him to lead thousands—millions even—into eternity with Him! And, I can personally bear witness that He uses someone who doesn’t like basketball or soccer to lead a basketball and soccer ministry that serves thousands every year.

 

When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward ministry because they don’t know soccer, or basketball, or cheerleading, I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed because I see in that person what they don’t see in themselves. I see potential in them (and you, because it’s by divine appointment that you’re reading this). I see God working in marvelous ways to use you in ways you cannot even comprehend. I see value in the work you can offer the kingdom. I see the promise of future generations coming to know Christ through your actions, words, and example. I see an opportunity for you to be blessed and to grow spiritually closer to our Lord by serving Him and others. I see the miraculous growth of the church that can take place when you rise to the call. I see the value you have to offer God, and I long for you to see it too.

 

When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward ministry because they don’t know soccer, or basketball, or cheerleading, I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed, but I think back to when God called me into this ministry and I see myself in you. I empathize with you because I remember the excuses I gave about not knowing basketball well enough, or not even liking it for that matter. I told Him I’m not a leader...not a public speaker...don’t have time...and a myriad of other reasons why I’m not qualified to serve in this way.

 

Listen, I get it. Change is hard. Stepping out onto the edge of our comfort zone is frightening. The mere thought of taking a step into the unknown can be paralyzing. But, you do get that that’s right where God wants us, right!? In fact, our spiritual maturity is dependent upon it! Our muscles don’t grow stronger physically unless we take them beyond their comfort zone. Our faith grows as we grow closer to God when we are outside our comfort zone, serving Him in ways we never imagined possible.

 

Our church family is full of people serving in multiple ministries. It’s not their time to step into this role. It’s yours!! Don’t be mistaken and think for one second that I’m saying “this role” is in Upward. I don’t know if God is calling you to serve the Upward ministry this soccer season — or this winter for basketball. What I do know is He’s calling you to serve! Maybe it’s not in the Upward ministry, and that’s okay by me...so long as you’re serving God somewhere and bearing the fruit of bringing lost souls to Christ. There’s a reason you are still alive—God has a purpose for you! I trust you’re not content to be a lukewarm follower of Christ, for there is no room in the kingdom of heaven for lukewarm followers (Revelation 3:14-16; Matthew 7:20-25).

 

Maybe your roll is teaching Sunday school, or in the nursery loving on babies, or in the HOPE ministry, or WAM, or Kids Worship, or any number of the great ministries going on here at FBCW. Maybe it’s starting up a new ministry God has laid upon you! There are all kinds of unmet ministry opportunities in our church and community…just waiting for someone to rise up! Maybe…and this is a radical thought…maybe it’s in answering the call to missions. One of the most profound things I’ve read in recent years (besides scripture) is that “there is a great gulf between the Christianity that wrestles with whether to worship at the cost of imprisonment and death, and the Christianity that wrestles with whether the kids should play soccer on Sunday morning” (John Piper). That statement has me questioning the depth of my own faith and how radical I’m willing to be for Him. What kind of radical faith one must have to step out of his or her comfort zone and into the mission field!

 

Make no mistake...God wants you uncomfortable and serving in ways you don’t think are possible. My whole purpose in writing this is to honor God in what I believe He wants me to say to you...that it’s time to get off the bench — and out of the pew — and go meet God in the mission field where souls are hanging in the balance of an eternal destination — either with Him or separated from Him. Where is your mission field? Will you rise to the occasion and go? (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

Posted by Jason Meinershagen with
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We are regularly asked about the family who once worked in Central Asia but 2 years ago moved to the Netherlands for medical reasons. They are settled in well and have been working on Dutch and will continue to do so for one more year before moving on to the heart language of their new people group. Their 2 children are doing well in Dutch school and are picking up the language quickly.  They are even able to correct mom and dad pretty regularly. The family participates in a church where the Word is preached in the heart language of their new people group, and the church is focused on reaching their people group. Though their focus is to share the Good News with their people group, they need to work to have a visa. They would appreciate your prayers for their visa to be renewed without any issues. They are also expecting their third child any day now, please pray for a quick delivery.  I know some of you would like more details but for their security, we can't disclose much in this format.  If you'd like to know more, you can be added to their email list so you can get regular updates.  Reach out to Glen to be added -

 

Posted by Glen Locklear with

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