This article appears in the fall issue of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.
My FCA journey began many years ago while studying at North Greenville University in South Carolina. I competed there as a NCAA cross country and cub soccer athlete. All NGU athletes were strongly encouraged to attend FCA Huddles. As a missionary and pastors’ kid, I was hard-hearted toward being “forced” to attend. In my ignorance, I believed I already had all the answers, and that my faith was already strong. Sadly, my pride kept me from being a faithful steward of the Gospel light.
By God’s grace, God used a man named Joe to impact my life forever during one of those Huddles. He asked me a question that still rings in my head many years later.
“Have you ever been intentionally discipled?” My instinct was to yell at him,“ How dare you!” But to my surprise, I replied,“ No.” Our conversation led to a journey that grew my faith by leaps and bounds. It was during our initial discipleship sessions that I truly understood the responsibly and calling to be a faithful steward of the Gospel light!
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
URGENCY TO STEWARD
As Jesus followers, it is vital for us to remember the urgency of the Gospel and the desperate need for the whole world to hear it. To hesitate in sharing Christ’s message impacts life and death. Remember, the word “Gospel” means “good news.” To be a faithful steward, one must urgently share the hope of the cross. Apart from Christ and His forgiveness, we are all lost in the darkness, doomed to the consequences of our sin.
I did not understand the urgency to steward the light for many years. I was OK with the people around me being lost, and I was content in my own salvation. What a sad and selfish perspective.
HOW TO STEWARD
Discipleship taught me what being a follower of Jesus is all about and how to steward the light of Jesus. This quote from Billy Graham put things into perspective for me:
“One of the best ways to share your faith is to live a godly life. Non-Christians often look at Christians as hypocritical because we say one thing but do another. Show those close to you that you care—spend time with them, help meet their needs and offer to listen when they have problems. You might not be able to answer all of their questions, but they can’t deny the reality of what Christ has done in your life. If you find this is hard to do, perhaps God is speaking to you about your own need to walk more closely with Him every day.”
Our godly lives and unwavering devotion to Jesus will be our brightest light and testimony of stewardship for Him. God calls some to give of their financial resources for His work while He calls others to move across the globe on mission. But for all of us who follow Jesus, we are called to be faithful stewards by living a life for Him. There is no fancy method, we simply walk with Him in obedience.
THIS LITTLE LIGHT
Shortly after university, I felt God’s call to full-time ministry. My wife and I served overseas for many years before returning to North America where we now serve with FCA Canada. Over our many years of full-time ministry, the lyrics of my favorite childhood song “This Little Light of Mine” have taken on a new meaning. The song has become a constant reminder to steward God’s Light and to be dissatisfied when those around me are hopelessly lost in the darkness. Won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine. Won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
That’s what being a follower of Jesus is all about: In the good times and in the hard, we let our light shine for Jesus our King, being a faithful steward of everything He’s given us.
Father God, thank You for giving us the light of salvation through Jesus Christ. Help us to walk in that light as we follow the urgency to make the hope You offer available to all around us. In Jesus’s name, amen.
About the Author:
Hans Ostrem serves as the Divisional Vice President for the Canadian Division. He previously served as the Regional Vice President for Canada, pioneering the FCA launch for the country. He and family then moved abroad to serve cross-culturally with the International Mission Board. For six years, they lived in North Africa and the Middle East using sports and Hans’s medical background to share the Gospel. In 2014, they moved to Toronto to serve as evangelism catalysts for the North American Mission Board and the executive director of Upward Sports Canada, launching sports platforms for churches to reach their communities. Along with his wife Brandy, they have four children and reside in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The family are dual citizens of
Canada and the USA.