A highly gifted sports missioner Nelson Cook who established Coaches of Influence (COIN) 40 years ago in Los Angeles USA writes a monthly letter to the many coaches at professional, college and high school levels and the current correspondence touches the spot.
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 unleashed 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, but have a huge input into the lives of their charges.
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:
Teaching our daughters and sons, our student athletes, and all we influence. I saw this in an email some time ago.
We need to teach our DAUGHTERS the difference between: A man who FLATTERS her and a man who COMPLIMENTS her. A man who SPENDS MONEY on her and a man who INVESTS in her. A man who views her as PROPERTY and a man who views her PROPERLY. A man who LUSTS after her and a man who LOVES her. A man who believes he's GOD'S GIFT to women and a man who remembers a WOMAN was GOD'S GIFT to man. AND THEN TEACH OUR SONS ... TO BE THAT KIND OF MAN!
What kind of man are you and I? As a man thinks in his heart, SO IS HE! Let's be used of God to help train up those we influence. Let your LIGHT SHINE SAINTS! Now to witnessing.
John 11:35 – The shortest verse in the Bible. Jesus wept. Why? The context finds him with Mary and others who are weeping over Lazarus, who had died, but I don't believe He wept because of that ... He knew He would be raising Lazarus from the dead (and some of us need to be raised from the death of apathy, a lack of passion and burden, etc.). No, I believe He saw the people and their hearts of unbelief. We forget how much He loves us and wants us to know Him.
Now, here's my challenge! I've asked God to give me HIS HEART for the lost. I want to be authentic in my enthusiasm for sharing the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ with people.
Rhonda Harrington Kelley wrote about her father, Bob Harrington, an evangelist known for many years as the "Chaplain of Bourbon Street". He was a BOLD witness to anyone and everyone.
She says, "When I was a teenager, my dad took my sister ad me shopping. He was more indulging then our practical mother but also more embarrassing. I exited the dressing room to show him the outfit I wanted and was humiliated to find him witnessing to a mannequin. He finished the plan of salvation and then placed a Gospel tract in the lifeless hand. Shocked, I asked him, Dad, what are you doing? He replied sincerely, I decided to practice witnessing to a dead prospect so I will be ready when I get a live one.
There's a man who uses EVERY OPPORTUNITY to be a witness.
Coaches and friends, we have dead prospects all around us but we are not fulfilling our RESPONSIBILITY to be witnesses (Acts 1:8) in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remote areas of where we work and live.
I am asking God to break my heart with the things that break His; and one of the main areas of concern is those that are dead in their sins. Is it ok with you that family, friends, co-workers, etc. are headed toward a Christ-less eternity? I hope it is not.
Rhonda says: So lay your nose on the altar, follow Jesus, witness to a mannequin ... keeps Jesus on your mind and He'll come out of your mouth. Rhonda says.
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 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html