It has been my privilege since 1984 to have been hosted innumerable times by Nelson Cook in my years in sport ministry, the most recent was in 2009 where I addressed coaches over breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
This is another of those Christian ministry movements where one person has a vision for a ministry area that had been untapped and gathered support to engender the dream and saw how God unleash his 'touch' upon the evangelism.
There is a growing number of these 'niche' ministries that highly specialise into a "people group" and coaches are a vital people group in the American culture who both influence the life of high schools, colleges and professional teams, and have a huge input into the lives of their charges.
I spoke of the extent of this influence upon their charges in my column on Mentors last week. (christiantoday.com.au)
To this extent Nelson Cook's vision grew its feet and with the Lord's blessing that this ministry is now a light on the landscape and this is Nelson Cook's latest letter to his coaching personnel:
Here's a strong exhortation for all of us as we are into our summer time mode (northern hemisphere). In that mode we only do one Coaches Fellowship letter a month until September. Please continue to send in your prayer requests throughout the summer to email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll put them out.
To those CALLED according to HIS purpose, I recently read an article that recognised a fellow saint who is now with the Lord Mother Teresa. Several things caught my eye and especially my heart.
A lady watching Mother Teresa reach out to touch the cheek of a little girl in an orphanage said, now there's someone who truly MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
This same lady made a couple of dresses and sent them to Mother Teresa to give to little girls in the Calcutta orphanage and said she wished she could have done more. I loved Mother Teresa's answer, she said, it's not how much you do, but how much love you put into what you are doing. That is a stopper.
After reading that, I thought of you Coaches of Influence DIFFERENCE MAKERS.
With every look, touch, word of encouragement to those who hungrily receive it or even those who appear to disdain it – when done in the name of Christ – you change things. Go out there today and let God change you and those you touch.
MOTHER TERESA'S BUSINESS CARD
The fruit of silence is PRAYER
The fruit of prayer is FAITH
The fruit of faith is LOVE
The fruit of love is SERVICE
The fruit of service is PEACE
Onward and upward.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html