Passionately Ministering the love and mercy of Jesus Christ by Using Athletics as a Weapon for the Gospel through Encountering, Encouraging and Empowering both the Body of Christ and the Lost for the Glory of God
Taylor’s Calling to full time ministry Short version
Up until age 16 baseball & self glory was my God. At a DC/LA 97’ evangelism conference in a hotel room I gave up baseball as my Lord and put Christ as the # 1 priority in my life. At that conference the Love of Christ and the Holy Spirit filled me completely and my heart and my mind were making radical changes to glorify God. I felt Jeremiah 1:9 literally happen to me, “Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me ‘I have put my words in your mouth.’” I thought I was going to be done with baseball and walk around in sandals and be a “sold out” disciple preaching the good news of Jesus’ love that transformed me. My pastor at the time steered me otherwise and said that, “God gives us gifts & talents for a reason and we should use those for him.” Baseball which was my God was now redeemed by Jesus Christ and has become the major stage in which Jesus has used me to effectively influence others. This year I will be entering into my fourteenth year of sports ministry.
Calling To CRU and Athletes In Action
DC/LA 97’ sparked a radical heart transformation in my life which is spoken of in Ezekiel when God promises to replace the heart of stone with the heart of flesh. Living that out was a regular day thing for me but the burden of the lost and the skills to clearly share the gospel to the lost with others was something I longed for. Out of Nyack College I played baseball with AIA Team Europe and we traveled to France and shared our testimonies and the Gospel with the French Olympic Team and anyone we met on subways, beaches and in the streets. It was with AIA that I met other people who had a similar passion for Christ, His word, spreading the Love of Jesus and who also played baseball. I got involved with AIA and was mentored by Sportlinc and was an AIA rep. at Nyack College for the next two years staying involved with events and retreats that other AIA campuses were doing. Then after playing professional baseball for three seasons I was released for what I felt to be the last time and immediately joined up as an assistant coach with the Texas AIA baseball team in the TCL. After this second summer tour in 2007 Jesus opened up doors for me to be on staff with AIA effectively using my gifts and talents all over the world using baseball and the bible to minister to athletes in countries like Nicaragua, Mozambique, South Africa and the United States. I was mentoring 5 college student leaders on non-staffed campus weekly during the school year, going to regional winter retreats, coaching & mentoring athletes on summer missions trips, and launching a website called everyathlete.com with Athletes stories.
My effectiveness was awesome and Jesus was using me but the spiritual pride and ungratefulness in my heart toward God in the areas of relationships started to blind me and harden my heart for sexual sin to leak out in ways that it never had before. In Dec 09’ Jesus and AIA leadership sent me on an 8 month sabbatical to Pure Life Ministries a live in program for men with sexual addiction. It was there that Jesus granted me Godly sorrow that leads to repentance (2 Cor. 7:9-10). I graduated from Pure Life Ministries with a renewed sense of God’s goodness and a deeper understanding of my daily need for Jesus because of my rebellious heart. I also have a purity that I have never experienced before in my heart and mind. Now as I return to AIA and ministering in the Athletic world I have a testimony, a story of the freedom that Jesus sets the captives free through his blood on the cross and incredible mercy.
Nine years later Katie and I are happily married with our first daughter Eve Jeru. We are experiencing God’s healing and grace in our areas of brokenness by loving each other in those places. I personally have nothing to be mad at God at anymore because of my amazing wife and family. His purity really can come through healthy relationships. Now as you can see in our PDF above we are learning to combine our skills, gifting and passions to serve Jesus and the world this best we can!
Hey Tough Guy, guess who inspired me to get a WordPress blog?!?! =) hope you are doing well… we’re still stuck in initial MPD, but we’re at 58% and rising! =) send me a shoutout when you have a chance… sending out a prayer “bomb” for you! =) (i’m not sure if I really understand what a prayer bomb is, but who knows)
-John and Ellen