Athletes in Action (AIA), Cru’s ministry to college and professional athletes, encourages Christian athletes to use any opportunity to point people to God. As you know, athletes often have a platform to reach thousands, and even millions, of people with the gospel.
God always opens doors for ministry at the Olympics. For instance, in spite of limited accessibility and many restrictions, people from sixty-five different countries accepted 2,500 evangelistic DVDs by the end of the Beijing Olympics.
AIA will again send staff and volunteers to share God’s good news at the games this August. Many events are already in the planning stages. For instance, our staff and volunteers coordinate outreaches with local churches and distribute the Struggle and Triumph DVD. This evangelistic DVD features the faith stories of Olympic athletes as well as a copy of the JESUS Film and is available in forty languages.
This summer, you could have a part in this ministry, too, reaching people for Christ through AIA’s ministry at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. You might:
- Sign up to pray for AIA and also for five Olympians by name. You’ll receive ministry updates, specific prayer requests from the Olympics chaplains, and social media alerts as well.
- Give the Struggle and Triumph DVD to someone who follows sports or share the link to the video on the Internet or through the JESUS Film Media app. (See NOTES for additional links.)
- Follow the 30-day Struggle and Triumph devotional on the YouVersion Bible app. Learn from athletes’ stories of when they relied on God through their own struggles and incredible triumphs.
- Share inspirational stories through Facebook.
- I have shared a few, so check out my Facebook profile for videos and stories to share.
- Two Cru staff bloggers have posts you may like to share:
- We All Need a Cheerleader by Mick
- Why It’s Good When We See Olympians Fail by Gina
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
I Corinthians 9: 24 – 25 ESV
The Apostle Paul would allude to athletic competition in his writings, as he did in his letter to the Greeks in Corinth. We’re avid Olympics fans. We love the opening ceremonies, are touched by the individual stories, and cheer on the teams and athletes. When we watch Olympic competitions and think about Paul’s admonition, we know God desires for us to run our Christian race with the same dedication and drive. We’re both “long-distance runners” in missionary work, serving at Cru since 1975. God willing, we plan to have many more years of ministry ahead of us, still striving toward the finish line.
You’re also our “team,” cheering us on and making sure we have what it takes to finish well (Hebrews 12:1). We greatly appreciate your prayers, encouragement and financial commitment. Together, we have the privilege of taking Christ to the nations.
It’s because of Cru’s effective ministries, like Athletes in Action, that we’ve committed ourselves to sharing the life-changing message of Christ to people everywhere. We’re blessed and privileged to be in this race together with you.
THANK YOU for your part in Cru’s Athletes in Action ministry by helping us serve our AIA staff through our work at Cru’s International Headquarters.
I just checked AIA’s Olympics site and found articles about:
- Two-time Olympic medalist Lauryn Williams, a U.S. sprinter and bobsledder.
- Olympic medalist and current U.S. freestyle record holder Missy Franklin, a U.S. swimmer.
- 15-time Paralympic medalist Daniel Dias, a Brazilian swimmer.
- Olympic medalist Li Yan, a Chinese short track speed skater, former U.S. team coach, and current Chinese national team coach.
- Olympic medalist and former world record holder, Wilson Kipsang, a Kenyan marathon runner.
- One of the key tools for outreach at the Olympics is the evangelistic short film, Struggle and Triumph. Visit the website to learn more about the DVD. Share a link to the video:
- on YouTube
- through the JESUS Film Project (in 24 languages)
- or download the JESUS Film Media app which has many videos, including the JESUS Film.
- The image for this post is of Pelé, a world-renowned soccer (football) player from Brazil. Learn more about him in this NBC Sports article. You may see him in the opening ceremonies in the Olympics in Rio. The photo is in the public domain.
This work (Pelé 1960, by unknown), identified by Sus Schmitt, is free of known copyright restrictions.