Photo: Chad Gross, former University of Alabama football player, asks men and youth attending a Sept. 25 worship service at Asbury UMC in Durham, N.C., to raise their hands to symbolize their surrender to God’s Kingdom.
‘Share the Game: Share Your Faith’
by H. William Green
DURHAM, N.C. –– UM Men of the North Carolina Annual Conference discovered God can do amazing things when they invited young people to the Sept. 25 Duke vs. Army football game at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Under the theme “Share the Game: Share Your Faith,” more than 350 men and youth attended a worship service prior to the game. Recording artist, Buddy West, provided the music and Chad Goss, former “walk on” football player at Alabama, shared his testimony. Many youth came forward to accept Jesus as their savior and several men rededicated their lives to Christ.
Prior to the game, the youth were escorted on the field to meet the Duke cheerleaders and mascot. During the game, young people used food vouchers at concession stands; tickets and vouchers were paid for by local UM Men fellowships.
Following the game, youth were given a tour of Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the 2010 NCAA national basketball champions.
Many of the youth had never been on a university campus; the day inspired several to think about going to college. Testimonies are still being heard about what the day meant to these young people.
What made the day such a success? Tom Starnes, president of N.C. Conference UM Men, said, “We had a worthy mission and purpose –– to impact the lives of youth with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In order to reach young people beyond their local churches, the men invited youth from Methodist Home for Children, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Big Brothers-Big Sisters.
John Hall and Allen Shaver, recently commissioned as men’s ministry specialists, were part of the planning team. They were joined by Tom Starnes, Ricky Hines, and me.
UM Men who want to plan a similar event may contact Tom Starnes for information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Rev. H. William Green is associate pastor of First UMC, Cary, N.C., and a 1977 graduate of Duke Divinity School. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Emory University in 1993, and he became a men’s ministry specialist in 2010.