One night at basketball practice, Becky was talking with Sue (not her real name), one of the parents she had met a few weeks prior. It had been a rough day for Sue because it was the birthday of her child’s father who had died of cancer two years earlier. She began opening up to Becky and sharing her life story. She grew up in the church and had accepted Christ but had turned away from the Lord and made a lot of mistakes. She allowed Becky to pray for her and through their conversation she felt like the Lord was drawing her back to following Him, but she didn’t feel worthy. They talked about God’s grace, love, and Christ’s finished work on the cross. Sue walked away feeling encouraged and challenged that God was pursuing her and drawing her back to Him. After the conversation, Becky had to leave the gym to take care of a couple of things but came back toward the end of the practice. Suddenly, Sue returned and introduced Becky to a 6th grade boy she had been talking to for the last 10-15 minutes. He had been asking her questions about Jesus and was interested in becoming a Christian. She brought him to Becky to answer more of his questions, and he ended up accepting Christ that night! Thirty minutes earlier, Sue hadn’t felt worthy of God’s love, but now God was using her to lead someone else to a relationship with Jesus. Sue and Becky are now meeting on a weekly basis during her son’s practice for Bible study, she is starting to come back to church, and together they are helping this 6th grade boy learn what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ!
More about Becky’s ministry in Indianapolis:
This past year, SQ staff member Becky Bowden, has taken on a new role in Indianapolis running a youth basketball and cheerleading league in partnership with a local church. Through this league she is able to train and invest in the coaches, build relationships with close to 200 athletes, and connect with their parents in the stands during practices and games. Using a strategy called “GameLife 123”, athletes are challenged every week through experiential learning games that connect to Bible stories to obey what God’s Word says and to share it with others. In the past couple of months, several athletes have come to salvation and are learning and growing in their understanding of God. Not only are the athletes being challenged, but the parents are as well. During practices, Becky spends her time in the bleachers getting to know the parents and sharing her story and God’s story with them. Over half of the families involved in this program are not plugged into a local church or do not understand basic truths of the Bible. Through various conversations, she has felt led to begin two Bible studies that meet during practice times on different nights to help parents grow in their faith in Christ and obedience to the Bible. The season only has one month left, but plans are already in place to continue an off-season program for the older athletes, which would take place on the same night as the parent’s Bible study in order to continue that as well.
In addition to the youth sports league, Becky also teaches a weekly leadership class. This class trains local leaders in the basics of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, providing tools on how to study the Scriptures, how to pray, and how to hold one another accountable in walking in obedience. It also teaches leaders how to be effective disciple-makers, training them in how to share their personal story, how to share God’s story of the Gospel, how to lead groups, and how to train others. As this group wraps up over the next month, leaders will be challenged to start their own groups and equip people to to love God, love others, and make other disciples.