A Harvest Awaits
“I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.” — John 4:35b
A recent response to the gospel illustrates how coaching in the inner city blesses me. While waiting with my junior varsity basketball team for an evening game, I sat on a shiny gym floor and leaned against its closed wooden bleachers. A girl from the track team, who had been attending our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings, came and sat next me.
I offered to help her prepare for her exams, so she opened her book bag and began reviewing a social studies handout. She impressed me as a young person whose strong study habits will provide a way out of her public housing environment. Her diligence in the classroom and vibrant personality revealed her amazing resiliency and determination. When I noticed that her study guide covered church history, I asked her about John Calvin and what he thought about getting into heaven. She replied, “He believed that God elected some for heaven and elected others for damnation.” Her answer provided an opportunity to explain the good news of Jesus Christ.
When I finished, this girl sat silently for a few seconds and then asked, “Coach Mike, when they say at FCA that you should open your heart to Christ, what do they mean?” She told me that she had never taken this step. While I calmly spoke about God’s gift of salvation, tears streamed down her face faster than she could wipe them away. I suggested that she verbalize her faith in Christ in a prayer, because these tears convinced me that the Holy Spirit had convicted her heart to receive Him. Although theologians, since Calvin’s day, debate how salvation occurs, I am grateful that I was there when conversion happened in this remarkable young person. Through this girl’s sincere response, I found my own heart opening wider to Jesus and His wonderful spiritual harvest!
1. What are the spiritual challenges on your team?
2. Do your athletes see the love of Christ in you almost always, sometimes, or hardly ever?
Extra Reading: John 3:16; Romans 10:9–13; Ephesians 2:8–9
Lord, I pray for every member of my team and their salvation. I ask that Your Holy Spirit guide me in such a way that my players see the love of Christ in me. Amen.