As athletes, we understand the importance of staying focused throughout our season. There is this little voice in the back of our mind reminding us that every action has an implication.
Do you have a big competition tomorrow? Stay off your feet and rest.
Do you have a tournament this weekend? Be conscious of how you fuel yourself.
Do you feel that dull ache in the bottom on your foot? Get to the training room and take care of yourself.
When our goal is to win a championship, we are willing to make adjustments in order to move us towards the prize. Our mentality as followers of Jesus is similar in approach. We have an assignment that is greater than ourselves that should impact every part of our lives. Our Kingdom Call is to “Go and make disciples.”
“Jesus came and told His disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20)
How do we live out this Kingdom Call?
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Your words, deeds and attitude produce a ripple effect that will impact eternity.
Every believer has the same calling: love the Lord and love others. Yet, the way that God leads us to live out this love looks different for everyone. As a coach or athlete, God has assigned you a specific group of people and arena of influence. He has assigned you to love your team, family, friends, fans, and yes, even your opponents!
As you go about your days, you GET to be an ambassador for the freedom that the Kingdom of God brings. Every action has an implication. Your words, deeds and attitude produce a ripple effect that will impact eternity.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:21)
So many things war for our attention as we try to stay focused on God’s heart. We are tempted to live for our own glory, overlook the marginalized and prioritize ourselves. We must surround ourselves with a community that encourages us to seek the Lord and serve one another.
“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Jesus laid the groundwork for the Kingdom of God to come on earth and we are commissioned to build upon His foundation. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to love one another within our community and then share it with others.
Living out the Kingdom Call is not a solo sport. You need a team of Jesus followers to run before you, beside you and behind you. Could you imagine trying to play in a basketball game by yourself against a team of five? Apart from the Spirit and a community of believers, it could feel like you’re fighting a hopeless battle.
We are in “championship” season. In this time, every move matters for the sake of the Kingdom advancing upon the earth. Your team and your focus have never been more crucial. As Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is near.” (Matthew 3:2)
This quarter, we’re exploring what it means to Pursue Team. This month, our focus is on how to Commit to the Team. Join us as we journey through this exploration and prepare to Pursue Mission next month.
One way to actively Pursue Team is through joining an FCA Huddle. The Huddle is one of FCA’s greatest teams. It is an important resource to help coaches and athletes grow in the essentials of their faith and become fully devoted followers of Christ. As a coach or athlete connects to an FCA Huddle, they will surround themselves with teammates who point to Jesus. Bring a friend and find a Huddle near you!
Want to learn more about pursuing team and surrounding yourself with the right spiritual teammates? Head to FCA in Action and read our September Pursue articles:
Anchor Article: What It’s Worth: Commit to the Team
*If you read this article and aren’t in relationship with Christ yet but would like to know more, we invite you to go through FCA’s The FOUR (need link) that explains how an everlasting and fulfilling life with God is possible.
About the Author:
Jolee Paden currently serves as the FCA Director in Washington, DC. She grew up in East Central Illinois and then attended Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, VA), where she ran cross country and track. While at EMU, she published a devotional book for runners (Spiritual Runner: A Runner After God's Own Heart). You can often find her running around DC (literally) and traveling the world. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash