As I look back on the first six months of my ministry opportunity with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), there are certainly some high points, as well as, struggles.
The high point is watching God’s hand at work amid all of it. It has been truly amazing to witness and see God working in and through me. Northeast Wisconsin needs more of God and FCA is one of the avenues God seems to be blessing and working in to bring more people to Himself.
The struggle has been fundraising. To be honest, I thought it was going to be easier. That’s the simple truth. FCA is a 60+ year old ministry that has been blessed and Northeast Wisconsin has never had an Area Director. So why wouldn’t the Lord bless FCA NE WI and Me??? How much of an ego did I come into this with? I said previously that the Lord has been working in and through me. Trust me, the “In” part has been significant. Humbling.
The problem hasn’t been God not wanting to bless the ministry. I truly believe that he does. The problem has been my attitude and my expectations. There was the thinking that FCA is awesome (and it is), that it is needed (and it is), and that people would simply hear what is going on and want to be a part of the ministry by giving their prayers, time, and resources. Now I must say that there have been some very faithful prayer partners and financial givers. I am very grateful for each and every one of them. Please don’t give up on the ministry or me!!
There are ample biblical precedents for supporting a ministry. You can read Exodus 25:1-2 and 35:4-5(a); 29 to see that God commanded Moses to gather contributions from the Israelites to build the Ark of the Covenant. You can read Nehemiah’s request for funding to the King to help rebuild the wall in Jerusalem—Nehemiah 2:2-8. Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians 9:3-14, as well as many other places in his writings. There are 18 different Scriptures that I read (and I am certain there are many more) that helped me understand that fundraising for a God called ministry is biblical. That should be good enough, right? Well, let sinful man enter in the equation and you get what you get. Something polluted. Filthy rags.
So, because there were expectations and attitudes, I haven’t invested the time nor have I created relationships to build for the long term that would enable people to catch the vision for FCA NE WI, understand my heart and passion, and allow God to work on their heart to give to the ministry or not. In whatever form that looks like---financially, time, prayer, whatever.
I have been the problem, not God. I sense that He is shaking His head in heaven and simply waiting for me to trust in Him and to rely on Him and to do what He has called me to do. Which is to share His Son through FCA throughout Northeast WI. That doesn’t simply mean kids in schools or coaches that are leading and impacting our athletes, but it is to everyone else in the community too. And by doing that, He will provide. God would not call an individual into a ministry and not provide the vast resources of heaven to support the ministry. He just wouldn’t do that.
Because the Lord, thankfully, continues to work and chisel and shape more into the image of His son, I have been praying for a humble heart and a desire to simply trust and do. To go about God’s business and simply be obedient to Him. I Thessalonians 2:4(b)-- so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. Lord, help me to be obedient to an audience of one and simply do as you have called me to do, trusting in you, and leaving the outcome in your capable and loving hands.
Posted on Sun, November 19, 2017
by Jeffrey Middlestead