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.
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