Teammates and Friends

A late Happy 4th of July to each of you! I pray that you all had a wonderful weekend of fellowship, fun, celebration, rest, and worship, praising our Father for His many blessings. As you gave thanks for our freedoms, I hope you said a prayer for those who have and are protecting our freedoms, as well as those who are missing loved ones due to their previous service in our military. I also hope you remembered those who do not have American freedoms and are currently living as disciples under great persecution. May our brothers and sisters find courage and peace through our Father during this time.


As we move into the heat of summer, I'm taking at least one more month off of our endurance disciplines discussion to cover a topic more front and center for our current season. Last month we discussed the benefits of belonging to both FCA Endurance and another local secular club or team. While being a part of Christ's Church in the endurance community provides encouragement, equipping, accountability, and general blessings, participation in other local groups can also be a source of blessing. These clubs and teams provide increased opportunity to meet non-believers and intentionally expose them to Jesus and His message through your words and deeds. As I share this message though, I want to pass along some encouragement that may protect some from taking this advice too far. As you go, do not go and hide.


What do I mean by hiding? I mean, going, joining the club, wearing their colors, talking about sport and training and racing, and generally behaving just like everyone else on the team. While this may make you fit in, be comfortable, be liked, form some friendships, and make you a good teammate within the club; it may not accomplish the mission. Remember, our mission is not to be liked, or necessarily to even make friends.

Our mission as Christians is to make disciples (Mt. 28:19-20). Can we effectively do this through radically loving others on another team? Yes! But loving them includes sharing the truth of the Gospel (saving them from the catastrophic consequences of their sins!), and this may not make people love you back or make you all that popular.


Consider Jesus' example and teaching. As He traveled around and interacted with various popular groups, not only did his words and actions not always result in new friends, they often made people very uncomfortable and even angry. He also said that the world would hate us as it hated Him (Jn. 15:18-25). My point here is not to go and make people purposefully hate us through unloving behavior or speech, but simply to remind us that as we shine the light, the darkness will not like it (Jn. 3:19). Proclaiming Jesus' Gospel will make many people uncomfortable (minimally), and we need to be ready for that as we go and join.



To close this out, I'll propose one simple, practical way to help you avoid hiding. It's simple, wear FCA Endurance gear. If you're looking to hide, I'm here to tell you that FCA Endurance yellow ain't camo! I'll humbly share that there have likely been many times when my jersey spoke for me when pride or fear prevented me from opening my mouth. If you're like me, being loving and kind comes much easier than verbally sharing the Gospel. However, I don't want anyone to mistake anything I do as me simply being a "nice guy." I do not want to be a well-liked covert Christian who is completely ineffective in our mission. There is a reason for the hope that is within me, and my jersey helps communicate that, both in times when I don't step up or in times that I'm completely unaware of as I run alongside someone. Wearing yellow is not an acceptable alternative to sharing the Gospel, but it can be a wonderful tool to assist you in our mission.


Go and join another team, but please do not go and hide. Courageously shine the light of Christ as you love radically and speak truthfully. And do this all gently, humbly, and after much prayer.


For God's Glory,

Chris Anderson


As we begin our event and Huddle celebrations, we also want to share a staff celebration. In mid-June, Casey LaBue joined FCA Endurance staff as a part-time Ministry Assistant. Through this role, Casey assists our Executive Director in serving our volunteers and staff around the country as they accomplish our mission. Her focus includes communications (including sending this Aid Station) and administrative support. You can reach Casey through our office (605.335.7555) or via email. 


Huddle & Event Celebrations and Highlights:


Chicago, Illinois Huddle 

The Chicago Huddle Ministry Team was recently able to participate in a charity 5K race in Elgin, IL to raise awareness for Esophageal Cancer.  The group was able to support the charity by hosting a tent, placing items in goody bags, and runners participating in the race.  The team reported having three runners place in their age groups, and great conversations with athletes about FCA Endurance.  Way to go team! And thanks to Carissa Dahik and Zach Neff for their leadership of the Chicago huddle. 



 Auburn/Newcastle, California Huddle

The Auburn/Newcastle Huddle Ministry Team participated in the Auburn Triathlons.  The huddle provided a free pasta dinner to athletes the day before the event.  The group also provided an Iron Prayer service, pre-race prayer, expo booth, and 2 aid stations on race day.  At the Iron Prayer service, Jaime Whitmore shared her testimony on how God is using her.  To hear Jaime's talk from the event click hereA big thank you to this huddle for all your hard work and to huddle leaders Desiree Swift and Troy & Robin Soares for leading the way!


 UK Iron Prayer, Wimbleball 

Andrea Fawell touched many people with her testimony at the UK Iron Prayer at Wimbleball.  The wonderful thing about this Ironprayer is that it is held in the main briefing tent, using the organizer's sound and media equipment.  Utilizing the main sound system allows the service to be broadcast over the entire Iron Village and surrounding campsite.  Pat Cooke-Rogers shared the following as the Triathlon Chaplain, "It was interesting how many people told me (politely!) they didn't believe in all that stuff - and then casually asked me to pray for them! May God bring His word to fruition in their lives."          


Montgomery County, Maryland Huddle

On Saturday, June 7 - over 120 runners participated in the first Montgomery County FCA Endurance 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Kids Fun Run. It was an exciting day as many Montgomery County runners and staff joined us for the event. Several families the huddle had met at the Frederick Running Festival made the trip to run and participate in the race. The Montgomery County Huddle Maryland Huddle is growing and many areas in Maryland want to get huddles going in their region of the state.  Thanks to Nate Timm, Huddle Leader & FCA Endurance local area staff member!



As we close, here a few additional items to highlight:  


USA Triathlon Nationals: Are you racing the Olympic or Sprint Distance National Championships this August in Milwaukee? If so, we need to get you plugged-in with our ministry there. RSVP via the events calendar, and contact Chris Anderson to get plugged-in.


Chicago Marathon: We are looking to build on last year's blessed ministry experience at the Chicago Marathon. If you're going to be racing this year, please contact our Chicago Huddle Leader Carissa Dahik. Also, we are currently trying to raise the funds to be a part of this expo. It's a great opportunity, but it has a hefty price tag. If you're willing to help us get there, please make a gift here, noting "Chicago Ministry" in the comments/memo.

Needed: Prayer Team Leader - Do you have a heart for prayer? Are you a "Prayer Warrior?" Are you called/willing to help serve, organize, and encourage our Teammates and Prayer Team members in growing as men and women of prayer, all while bringing FCA Endurance regularly before the Lord? If so, we need you! Please contact Chris Anderson to explore this opportunity.  


God bless you as you make disciples this summer!


~Team FCA Endurance~


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FCA Endurance Mission:  To present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.


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