[Next Generation] Creating community within athletic programs

This article was written by Jeremy Woodall. Jeremy serves on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello(UAM) as the campus minister for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM). Jeremy is in his fifth year at UAM BCM where he has the pleasure to serve with his wife Becca, daughter Willow, sons Cash and Bear, a great assistant director C.J., and great student leaders.

The campus is one of if not the most strategic mission fields on earth. We, as Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) campus ministers, are committed to serve on these mission fields as Cooperative Program missionaries. Our mission is to reach the next generation by reaching them with the Gospel and equipping them to live on mission while they are in college and after they graduate. In reaching the campus, we know that we indeed, reach the world. 

One of the areas of influence that the Lord has given our ministry favor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) is in athletics. We have a hope and a goal to have Gospel communities within each of our athletic squads. Our athletic administration and coaches, across the board, are extremely supportive in allowing us access to their programs and players. I could not imagine a place where we could have greater support from our administration, faculty, coaches, and staff as we do at UAM. 

Our hope is that the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of individuals on these teams and that they will think of their team as a mission field. One of those individuals for us has been Cade Thompson. Cade is in his fourth year at UAM. He expressed interest in the things of God early on in his time here. We began discipling Cade, along with a few of his teammates last year, but a shift occurred at the beginning of 2021. Cade took steps on his own to start studying God’s word more consistently and started to express a further desire and burden for his teammates to know the Gospel. Cade has started inviting his teammates to come with him to the discipleship group in which he has been meeting with assistant campus minister, C.J. Womack.  

Womack along with other influencers have instilled in Cade a sense of urgency to step outside his comfort zone and to share the Gospel with his teammates. Cade says, “I knew it was time for me to stop playing games with my faith and to start to own it; to do what the Lord would have me to do, and to live the way He would have me to live.” 

I am not sure we have had a more intentional leader within our ministry this semester than Cade. Will you pray for more intentional disciples within our athletic teams, that they live sent lives amongst their teammates and make their team their primary mission field? 

Editor’s Note: We were informed by Jeremy Woodall, before publication, that Cade committed to believers baptism last week, and they look to baptize him in a few weeks.

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