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First Things First

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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First Things First

Hello,

If you can see this, that is because I put you on a list. I selected you from among a number of people who have recently become part of my new Facebook-friendships. I scrolled through names looking for yours and it really amazed me just how far and wide an audience is possible with social media. I was kind of awestruck.

While scrolling, I saw the names of quite a few people, very good people, with varying degrees of influence and involvement in my life over the years. My conclusion? I've both had and have some really great mentors and really great friends and God is good.

So, why does a guy like me finally signup on Facebook after all this time?

I’m glad you asked.

Some of you know that I recently moved on in my career and began working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But even those who do know, may not know the whole story, and I thought this would be a good place to talk about that.

I recently turned 44. Way back when I was 39, I began to feel God calling me to something else. But that's all I had - just a “something else.” I'd been running a business and raising a family, and, while I was always involved with ministry in some way, I wasn't where I knew I should be. I wasn't close. So I decided a first step would be to read and pray more - that cannot be overestimated in its effect.

Despite my frequent inquiries, God didn't say much for a while, but sooner or later I began to feel that this "else" would be some form of vocational ministry. Though even that was vague. I thought, "Hmm, maybe seminary?" and began to research that. God said, "No." OK then, I'll keep praying and reading.

Then one day I met an old friend in the grocery store parking lot. She was going to establish an FCA Surf Camp in Monmouth County and asked if I would like to help. Would I like to take a week off of work, go surfing, and hang out on the beach talking to kids about God? Yes, yes I would.

Two years later the State Director for FCA NJ would invite me to his office and ask me to pray about a full-time position as Area Representative for Monmouth County. After hesitation, followed by prayer, and some sense-talking by my wife and some friends, I accepted the position. I moved slowly at first, but as of this April I sold my business and committed.

I have a vision for this ministry and a heart for the kids. FCA is well established in a number of our high schools but there are more high schools to reach. Beyond that, there are 42 middle schools in Monmouth County but only one with an FCA presence. I get to change that. I have begun working with youth leaders from local churches to identify kids that they feel could start a "huddle" at their school. I'm going to help them do it. FCA is going to reach kids in the public schools of Monmouth County as God calls and equips strong student-leaders into service. We're praying for spirit-filled kids and God-fearing faculty to come alongside them. We're praying for a revival that begins with our kids.

As this year wraps up however, I need to raise the remainder of the budget. Some of you are already supporting this ministry; thank you. Some of you I've talked to about this and some of you I've not spoken to at all in a long time. But you all have at least two things in common. You all believe that the best thing that could happen to a single student or a whole school is for God's love to begin its work. And you all understand that it takes the generosity of many people to send workers into the field.

I would like to you to pray about my ministry and ask God if this is where He would have you invest. If you aren't currently supporting my work with FCA, I’d like to tell you more and I would love to spend some time with you if you're willing. I want to share with you all that I know God has planned for the kids of Monmouth County. I believe what I am doing is very important work and I really need help to do it. I'll drive as far as I need to so we can sit together and I can share my vision with you in person.

If you are already supporting my ministry, can you think of others who might be interested in joining you?

To all of you, those who have ministered to me and those to whom I’ve had the privilege of serving for Christ, thank you for being a part of my life - I'm better for it.

Regards,

-Josh

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