Run for God Ambassador

In Matthew 9:37, Jesus says to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

Hey everyone, Mitchell Hollis here with Run for God. Have you ever sat down and really thought about what Jesus was talking about in this statement? When Jesus spoke those words, He was traveling from village to village preaching the Gospel, and was moved by what he saw. He saw sickness, greed, corruption, hopelessness, and disorder. In verse 36 it says that Jesus was moved with compassion because the people were moving through life like sheep having no shepherd. In that moment He asked His disciples to pray for laborers, missionaries who would rise up and go to the ends of the earth to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

At Run for God that’s exactly what we are doing nearly 2000 years after Jesus spoke these words. Until Jesus parts the Eastern Sky and returns again, there will always be sickness, greed, corruption, hopelessness, and disorder. There will always be a need for laborers, missionaries who will go out and share the good news, the hope of Jesus Christ.

Our incredible team of instructors are our missionaries. Now serving in over 4500 communities around the world, these men and women not only help others achieve or regain a healthy lifestyle, but they clearly and boldly share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Our Run for God missionaries represent over 200,000 students who have walked through the 12-week study known as The Run for God – 5K Challenge, which is a simple Bible Study that parallels faith and endurance and takes those who have never run to their first 5K. This is a great accomplishment. But it’s what’s found in this study that can change a person’s spiritual life for eternity.

Chapter 9 and 10 of The 5K Challenge takes a break from running lessons all together. Instead our instructors, our “Missionaries,” walk students though their testimony and how to share the gospel with others. They encourage believers to be BOLD for Christ. But there are another group of people in these classes. Our estimates are that 30-40% of students taking The 5K Challenge are unchurched and possibly lost. They are the people that Jesus described as walking around hopeless.

Friends, God is preparing to take this ministry, which will be celebrating its 10thyear next year, to the next level. 4500 communities may sound like a lot, and it is, but there are over 300,000 Evangelical Churches in the US alone. Hundreds have come to know Jesus since we changed our focus to evangelism a few years back.  

There are people wandering through this life thinking that everything is okay, and they have everything right. But one day, they’ll come face to face with Jesus, and find out they had it all wrong.  

I want to share a story about a man named George, who I met recently at a Run for God race.  George is a 72-year-old elder at his church in Pennsylvania who was faced with the question, “Do you know that you know where you’ll spend eternity?” By George’s own admission, he’d been playing church for over half a century, but that day he bowed his head and surrendered his life to Christ.

This is just one of the hundreds of stories that God has written through this ministry, and He’s calling us to do more, to move further outside our comfort zone. God wants us to recruit more and more laborers who can speak life into runners all around the world. In doing some demographic research, we found that there are over 1 million people who call themselves runners and followers of Christ. That equates to over 1 million people who could potentially be missionaries in the Run for God ministry.

On average we will spend over $200 to recruit just one instructor. That’s one missionary who will go into their communities and form meaningful relationships by pouring into and investing in the lives of their students. 10-weeks into that relationship, these missionaries will have the opportunity to introduce their students to a Savior named Jesus, a Man who many do not know. And the best part is, this doesn’t happen just once. We have instructors who have been teaching the Run for God Challenge multiple times a year for several years.

The harvest is plentiful, and the laborers ARE out there, but we need your help reaching them. That $200 per instructor is used in searching a world of over 7 billion people for that one who loves running and loves Jesus. Selling books and t-shirts will never cover the cost of a marketing effort like God is leading us to do. 

In closing, God has richly blessed this ministry, but He’s only scratched the surface. Will Run for God be the next tool God uses to spark a spiritual revival in towns all across our nation? I don’t know, but I do know that He’s up to something. I know that He’s changed my heart and the hearts of thousands of others for a reason. I know that He used a simple builder from Dalton, GA who didn’t know the Bible as well as he should and wasn’t even that great of a runner, knowing that he could never take the credit for what He is going to do. I know that God loves runners and He’s made that our mission field. I know that the harvest is very plentiful, over 60 million runners in the US alone, and the laborers are very few. It’s time to rise up. I know that God has called me to get to work, and I also know that He has prompted me to ask for your help. 

Click HERE to become a Monthly Ambassador of Run for God today?

Do you KNOW?

Can God use us even when we do not desire to be used?  Yes!

Hey everyone, Mitchell Hollis here with Run for God.  Run for God recently hosted it’s 9thannual Run for God – Run at the Mill 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon.  This is our oldest running race and it’s also my favorite.  The different distances always brings out many levels of runners. And it seems that the spring weather is always perfect.

As with any of our races, I like to start the day with a challenge to our participants.  My routine has always been to finish setting up on Friday and then find some time to sit down, pray, and formulate my challenge into a 2-3 minute talk which I deliver on race morning as we are giving the final race instructions, praying, and paying our respects to the stars and stripes while the National Anthem is sung.  I love this time because it’s the only time where everyone in attendance is giving you their undivided attention.

That was the plan once again this year as we approached race day at The Mill.  But if you’ve ever been a part of planning an event, especially an outdoor event, things don’t always go as planned.  Rain was in the forecast.  In the nine years that Run for God has been hosting races, we’ve only had rain during one event, and it actually came and went before the race ever started.

All day Friday I kept checking the forecast hoping something would change.  As the day dragged on it not only didn’t get better, but the forecast continued to get worse.  I’ll be honest, this did not make me happy.  I knew this would put a damper on the day, at least in my eyes.  Race day registrations would suffer, people would stay home, and our signature “blue carpet finish line” would not be possible with wet conditions.  As we finished a full day on Friday of setup and packet pickup, I was not in the best of moods.

I walked in the door that evening with a bad attitude.  I prepared for bed and the early morning and failed to prepare for my golden race day opportunity.  The chance to share Jesus with hundreds of people.

I pulled into the race venue the next morning about 5:00AM and sure enough, the rain had already started. It wasn’t heavy, but it was hard enough for us to have to make changes in our plans.  No carpet at the finish, cover all electronics, educate runners about staying off the painted lines on the road due to slickness, and hoping the wind would stay calm sparing our finish line arch.

6:30 rolled around and it was time to get everyone ready to start.  Ted Gocke, our event MC, began to announce for everyone to gather for the National Anthem, Prayer, and announcements.  It was at this moment that I began to have a bit of anxiety.  I hadn’t prepared what I was going to say.  I had allowed my poor attitude the day before to distract my time of preparation.  Now what? Ted began to introduce me like he does every year, and I had nothing.  Was this going to be one of those times that you see an individual take the mic only to freeze in front of everyone in attendance?

As I took the mic, it was almost as if a peace came over me.  I really don’t know how I started the conversation, but I vividly remember asking the question, “If you leave here today and for whatever reason you don’t make it home.  Do you know that you know where you’d spend eternity?”  I remember handing the mic off to my pastor to pray and then two ladies sang the National Anthem.  

I remember getting the runners off on their races and feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment that I had not properly prepared for that moment.  I didn’t make the time to sit down and put those words into a format that would better resonate with people.  Instead, I just got up and said the first thing that popped in my head. I felt like I had failed God and that I had not done my part.  Or had I?

Over the next few hours I stayed busy cheering runners on and just making sure that things were running smoothly.  In normal Run for God fashion the finish line was electric as that very last runner crossed the finish line.  After that we began the award’s ceremony and celebrated runners who placed in their age group.  Over all the day ended up great.  We did have a big crowd.  Yes it rained, but it didn’t dampen the spirit of our awesome runners like I thought it would.

As we were cleaning up I was approached by a man who made me forget about everything that was going on in that moment.  George Williams was his name.  George began by telling me that he was a 72-year-old elder in his church from Pennsylvania and that this was his second trip south to run this race.  But it’s what George said next that immediately had me in awe of what an awesome God we serve.  George began to tell me that he had been going through the motions of being a Christ follower for decades.  He is an active member in his church, he’s an elder in his church, and he even occupies the pulpit from time to time preaching.  He told me when I confronted him with that simple question, “Do You Know? “, he couldn’t deny what God had been telling him for years.  That was, that George was relying on his works to get him into heaven instead of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

George finished his race that day at Run at the Mill, but he embarked on the greatest race ever, and that’s finishing this race here on earth in perfect communion with the one who created him.  George bowed his head on April 13, 2019 and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

So why do I tell George’s story?  Two reasons. 

One, God uses us, but He does not need us.  In fact, He’ll often use us in spite of ourselves.  I had a bad attitude that morning.  Nothing seemed to be going right.  I was having a party in my own mind and it was a pity party.  God prompted me to ask a tough question no matter how I felt about the delivery.  God doesn’t need eloquent words.  He doesn’t need a three-part sermon.  He doesn’t need us period.  But He desires fellowship with us, He desires us to be obedient, and He desires for us to point others to Him.  That race morning, I wanted my words to have impact.  I wanted them to sound great and be packaged nicely with a bow on top. But that’s not what God wanted, and that’s not what George needed.  God wanted and George needed the simple question, “Do You Know?”

Second.  Billy Graham was right.  He often said in his sermons that many people who occupy the church pews today are lost.  They’ve relied on their works for so long that they mistake them for a true relationship with Jesus.  That’s exactly where the Devil wants us.  Do you know that you know where you’ll spend eternity is an uncomfortable question to ask. It’s uncomfortable because it demands an absolute answer that can only come from the depths of a person’s soul. There are two absolute answers to this question.  Yes or No. If the answer is I don’t know then categorize that in the No column.

Let’s be very clear about something.  The Devil will never make a person who is NOT a child of God doubt their salvation.  If you read or hear these tough questions and you have a sinking feeling in the pit of your soul, rest assured that is a spiritual battle being fought between your sinful nature and a Holy God.  Jesus is screaming, “Come to Me” while the Devil is saying “You’re Good”.

Ask the tough questions. Ask those around you, “Do you know that you know if you died today where you’d spend eternity?”  Ask it just like that.  Don’t beat around the bush, sugar coat it, or add spin to it.  Ask it as if their life depended on it, because you know what?  It Does!

Maybe you are out there and you’ve noticed my shirt.  We designed this shirt for one reason.  So people will walk up to the person wearing it and ask the question, “Do you know what?” Talk about an opportunity.  If you’d like one of these, I’d like to offer you one for half off.  Just follow the link below and use the code DOYOUKNOW at checkout.

I hope this story has touched your heart and challenged your life, I know it has mine.

Friends, I love you, but more importantly God Loves You!  Now go tell someone about Jesus today.

Mitchell