Jamie Borchik – Ministry through Athletes in Action


Whisky – Alberta Premium Cast Strength RyeJamie is the local team leader with Athletes in Action in the Chicago Area. His mission is to make it impossible for someone to come to Chicago to play a college sport and not meet Jesus along the way. We sit down with Jamie to learn more about his ministry and heart for reaching student athletes.


  • Grew up a gym rat and still loves to play basketball and working out.
  • Journey to Athletes in Action.
  • Christ-followers on every team, in every sport and in every nation and Jamie’s mission in Chicago.
  • Stories of how God is moving on campus and the challenges with reaching the current generation of students.
  • Equipping today’s students to carry out their mission in their future careers.
  • Accountability and bullpen philosophy towards mentorship.

Book recommendations & Resources

Connect with Jamie’s Ministry Link

Podcast Transcription:

Hey guys, glad you could join us for another episode of core for life, where your host, Matt Mike, and Drew and Ryan and every Thursday were going to bring you a new episode to tackle for key pillars in our lives, be fit be driven, be Noble and be chill and how our faith is a backbone behind each of those pillars, were talking to some awesome gas along the way as well as tackling different topics all in the pursuit of staying accountable with each other and living Our Lives. The way God intended tune in each week to see if there may be something missing in your life. Lets jump it to todays episode. After a quick, add for our sponsor. All right, cheer fails. All right tonight we are drinking a little bit of Alberta premium cast ring cry. This is the first Canadian whiskey that we have had on the podcast. Hows it taste as the spicy kick? Bigrai? Kick ass. We got Jamie board, check with us. Jamie is the local team leader with athletes in action. In the Chicago area is mission is to be able to make it impossible for someone to come to Chicago with a college sport and not meet Jesus. Along the way, Ive gotten to experience. James Jamies Ministry, firsthand and I have had the privilege of calling. Jamie a friend since we met on campus years ago. So, Jamie thanks for joining us. Were looking forward to getting to know you more Yeah, thanks for having me on. Its great to be with you guys. Not good to see your mustache face. Just wait the beer. Oh yeah, youre welcome. And it was still been to it. So its so Jamie. Give us a little bit of your history will actually was supposed to start here. So we you work. You work with athletes on campus. Tell us a little bit about your history as an athlete yourself. Yeah. Well, I grew up in the Akron area, my dad, when I was a kid was a coach basketball at Barberton, High School, in one of the top programs in Ohio history and your group, in the gym was a gym rat, all the way through. When I finish high school, I went to Copley High School so youre in in your area and finished high school. My options were go to a division 3 school where I knew I can play basketball and what your wife said, I could fit in and contribute or go to Miami where it made the most Financial sign. Since my parents that was an easy decision for me is lot harder. But I end up one of Miami. And during my time, there was a manager in practice player with the basketball team and and as incentive, just continue to be involved in sports to my adult life as well. So, I love Athletics. I love competing, Moana for boys and so, like life at home was it was a constant composition and thats pretty fun. Awesome campus basketball was like, pretty much everything. You said. It was what you breed. What do you love? Do I love playing basketball with you on campus. Do you still play? Yeah. Well, before covid happened, I did not play to three times a week. Typically the covid 6. A m with a group of guys for like 30 years at Barberton, High School and I since I moved to Chicago, I do is want to find a group like that, like it wanted to play in the mornings and get something since its been gone. Like, if you guys going to wake up and play at 6 a.m. hes serious about it and hes not messing around. So, I wanted to be a part of some like that. And actually the week in mid-march last year, I got finally got things going. We played twice that week and then on the Friday, put Tuesday and Thursday and then on Friday everything. Shut down. The whole world shut down in this thing had been hoping for for like eight years, just died. And so, since then, Ive played a one-on-one with my brother and I have had, you have been in the gym, a handful of times and got him some shots up, but yeah, its pasteurized. Turn into a runner instead of a basketball player so Im not going to be racist or anything that you were training for. Well, I started running with one of my buddies, hes a high school, soccer coach, who lives a few streets over from me. We start running together and back in October. We we did kind of a real live basically a half marathon away from Millennium Park where the famous sculpture is in downtown Chicago, so we just ran from our house is going to be in and did a half marathon. That was those wanting to be trained for and since then weve just been kind of continuous and in shape to the winter. After this morning in the negative, wind chill temperatures. And yeah, Ill probably do some races this summer wants things open back up. Thats not an easy time to be training in Chicago around the leg. Thats going to be absolutely freezing. I was a little cold today, I will not lie about that, but gear up and go for it, then you feel it, then you feel like you accomplished something when you finish like yeah, nobody else is out there at 6 a.m. running in the dark and gold and when you finish that up you feel like youre somebody. You said is a half-marathon to the being that you like get a cab back or something or My Wife and Kids met us down there with donuts and Gatorade and then drove us home. That was nice. So whats the, whats the, whats the purpose now of Fitness in your life? So as far as you know that the competition days maybe been over but what kind of keeps you drive it out there to run when its freezing cold out at 1 to Stave off all day as long as I can. But I mean I want to be able to do fun things. With my boys is there. Ive got three sons by the oldest is 774 and 1 and I want to be able to hang with them and buy stuff for them as theyre growing up. So thats a thats a big motivator for me and taking care. And I feel better when I work out, I feel better want to take care of myself and I still love to compete. And so you whenever I saw in time to get back in the basketball court, and Id love to hop in hop in some leagues again and and just continue to play the City of Evanston actually just Belt is beautiful new Rec complex across the street from our house. So I get 53 million dollar project and right at my front door, I live in a townhouse walking, my front door walk down the sidewalk. And across the street is three fields are soccer field where when the weather is nice, theres always people playing until I was never soccer player, but Im probably going to become a soccer player when the when the weather gets nice again cuz its pretty fun didnt answer that. So, Thats awesome. Thats got to be a sweet place to bring the kids to. Yeah, definitely its been. All right. Ive been there PE teacher during the middle of the last year. So few times a week at least well go across the street and well just play, its great for my boys. Should you serve as principal also? Cuz I have found that thats my rule in the in the high school life. Yes, principal. Yeah, my wife is the primary teacher, but yeah, I get called on for the disciplinary functions. Usually, I cant stand these kids anymore. Do something about it type that I have no idea what youre talking about. Never had that experience. You said your boys are how old seven 4 and 1. Ive got a trip Jet and Archer and toss joke, that theyll be fine. As long as trip isnt clumsy, that isnt slow, and Archer has good. Aim, seven, 5 and 2. And I just like to get other peoples perspective on this cuz it sounds like you like to run, play some basketball, things like that at this point in your life. What are you what are your feelings on? If you said, you want to be able to play with your boys as they get older? You know, be able to at least compete with them, do things like that. I would agree with all of that sentiment on my own. What are your thoughts on power lifting and heavy lifting? Well, as you can probably tell by looking at me, I spend a lot of time in the weight room during my basketball. Find days. I listed regularly and your got stronger. But Ive never been. Yeah. Id rather run or play something then then let the way its, I do a lot of body weight workout stuff, but Im not trying to toss around all the heavy stuff, which I mean, not looking at you guys, looks like you do get after the weight room like to toss the heavy stuff around. So lets do I say we also just really like to eat when are winter bulking phase right now. So its its just visual, I mean, what are you guys getting? Whats the whats the workout routine? Yall work out together. So yeah, so weve each got some weight equipment at our house and it started off. Ive got a set up in the garage. So these guys, I had a whole bunch of Weights in the garage so I never lifted Laura got me to CrossFit years ago and so these guys came over interest in doing some work out so we started working out together about 3 years ago. So they they keep on showing up, which means I got to get out of bed. And then these guys have also started to build their own repertoire of some gym equipment to do. So, we, you know, throughout the weeks, weve got three to four to five workouts. Them are available at the house. Now to go 5 days this week. The first in awhile. Yeah. But they actually drag mat out of his house. Sometimes he came over to my house and worked out yesterday morning, so or not. I was just today. Weather will do a lot alike, crossfit-style lifting some Olympic in powerlifting when you do it. Whats the, whats the routine for you? How do you fit in when you guys are in between us? We got like 15 boys is what Ive heard, and not, you got a few girls. So now I had to Manchuria daughters. Yes, we have got to do it early in the morning. So we do 6 a.m. we used to do some late-night workouts in the summer when it was nice out. But for the most part, see you there until 6 or 5:45 before 5:30, but 6 is kind of been the new the new normal. I dont love waking up super early but Ive started to love waking up super early because you can just get a lot done in the morning before. Your kids are out of bed and it doesnt disrupt the rest of your life. Then I feel so accomplished, when I wake up at 5:30, get a workout in, do a devotional, like read five chapters in my body and still waiting for the kids to get up. Its like, man, Im so freaking productive. Its amazing. If you have forced me to go to bed earlier, youre not up. Just watching Netflix all night, like a new female, youre getting up for a workout, you got to kind of call it, quits earlier and youre less and less wasting time then. I just fall asleep immediately when my head hits the pillow and my wife yells at me about another matter. Im cheating on you. So I meant that my other buddy Matt like today. If all we did was get out and run 5 miles in like negative temperatures, if thats all we did today, we did something today like it you can at least Ill check that off the list and feel like you think not think its disappointing when I like when I sleep in and Im like, oh my gosh, Im not going to get to anything. I want to get to until like 8 tonight is just for kids, like, thats your day is its the time, just not your own, you know. Do Jimmy Johnson Wilson a little bit about what youre doing in Chicago. And how you ended up with a i a yam at. Well you knew me back at the beginning, really, I first got involved with Athletes In Action when we were both undergrads at Miami of Ohio, love and honor and my basketball career. Thats why I started to say earlier but basketball is very much the center of my life. Like thats who I was and what I was all about. And In college my career, just didnt go the way that I wanted to. And that in addition to just raising the kind of General Life questions that come up. When you hit college-aged. Who am I, what am I living for? What is life all about for me? Or is this even greater identity crisis compounded by basketball, just not going. Wanted to be playing. I wanted to be on the team and I was just like the 16th man in a 16-man, teaming on the outside looking in. And, and I really let me ask him a lot of questions. And so my junior year ended up getting cut from the team. And a week later, a friend of mine on the cross-country team, invited me to go to and athletes in Action meeting on campus and I didnt have much else to do without my support. And I said, sure. Ill go check it out. And I went and that decision start going to those go to that meeting lead to getting involved with a I am on campus and just saw guide start to work in my life. I give me a purpose of his bigger than being a basketball player and so when I graduated, I might see in the transmission got to work to my life through AIA decided to do this one-year internship at Miami, I check it out, try it for years to administer it was like and odd that one-year internship is just never really ended. So here I am almost fifteen years later, I still.on, stop with the iaea and at what were doing in Chicago to Miami Sears in Ohio State and almost 9 years ago. Now, and my wife and I were in Columbus. We were never been there for a few years and we kind of looking at some other options. And we looked at Chicago at the time. There were 35 RC athletic Departments 500,000 college students, 10000 student-athletes. And at that point, there was one couple doing minister with athletes across the whole city here, working at Northwestern. 30 students there a little bit at Loyola, but that was about it until we came here, we saw the vision we saw the possibilities Campus Ministries, tenda tenda, struggle and urban environments drive on traditional campuses like Miamis but I have a harder time in more urban environment. So we just looked at some potential in Chicago could be until we decided to come here. Join with that couple at Northwestern grow, what they were doing and then go from there, the other schools in the city and that Vision, what you, what you quoted, the beginning of you making it possible for someone to come to Chicago, to play a sport and not meet Jesus on the way. I, thats still division today and until weve grown from back, then about 30 students on one or two campuses. Do this year, the numbers are a little tricky to covid but last year was about 300 students on 10 different camps around the city centre staff, team grow, and just hang out there. A really good work here. So Thats awesome. I love that mission. I remember even back at Miami, you trying to get in with every team. So trying to find someone that was a part of every team on campus and then really threw those students, open up opportunities, to share the gospel with their teammates, and it sounds like thats like very much still the mission and really what youve been able to do in Chicago. Yeah, yeah, I mean, not not much has changed as far as the, the DNA there. I had the privilege being in Miami being involved with a. I, a n with crew, just being a part of some really thriving strong Ministries with great leaders and caught some great DNA from that. So, youre coming here is just kind of reproducing my DNA and a growing a team thats doing that all over the city and replicating. It be, I mean, we still basically do, you know, when shell be on campus were looking for those people who can say Building with men trying to find people like that on every team. The AIA tagline globally is every team, every sport, Every Nation want to see a christ-centered leader on every team and every sport and every nations with everyone knows someone who truly follows Christ and were trying to do that here in Chicago locally. And hows the hows the reception been on campus? Has maybe give us like a a story of a like a success story and then maybe even an area where its like difficult, you know like worse whats an area that youre trying to get into this just heart and just really sweet. The two teams that sell try to lead our staff team now, and your kind of Coach, our staff all over the city. But my directa Ministry these days with the basketball and soccer teams at Northwestern primarily. And also seems just been so sweet when we first got here. Like with Northwestern soccer. There were there, had never really been anyone. Soccer involved in the Ia and about five, six years ago. Now, met this freshman named Jake and he had some Christian background, but got in beginning of the school year, actually, the cray crazy story of the coaches Ive been playing basketball at lunch time, some of the coaches and so you got to know some of them and the head coach wasnt real favor, assistant was pretty friendly and so they were recruiting a kid who was a strong Christian came from the strong, Christian family out in Wheaton by sigur and his part of the recruiting pitch. They had Ty and his family meet with me and in large part because of that relationship, that I ended up committing to Northwestern. And so is a thank you for helping lock in this recruit. They are, they allowed me to do a team meeting with the whole soccer team at the beginning of the next school year, where I knew came in the fall and just talk to him. Talk, talk to the team about a, i a And in that meeting, there was one kid who filled out a contact card and said, hey Im interested to hear more about this. In his name was Jake is a freshman that year Jake and I started connecting and over the course of a few months Jake decided that he was kind of on the fence. Like am I going to follow Jesus. We going to party while in college and belittle a little bit of both for the first 6 months year of his college career but about 6-8 months in kind of made that commitment said Im going to follow Jesus and then his older brother. Mike was a junior at the time on the soccer team and Mike should never had anything to do with God while he was on campus and just kind of walked away from his face in Mike Mikes law was happening in Jakes life. The transformation happen with him and so Mike and I started meeting and Mike start a walk with Jesus. And from there this year there are like seven or eight guys who are solid Believers on that team ever teen Bible study, were about half the guys come to the team Bible study. Jake Works in finance but volunteers with our ministry on the side. I graduated couple years ago and he was helping to lead a help lead Rai Ministry at the Paul. Now Im kind of innisfree hours might join Rai staff team. You worked in finance for a year and then quit his Finance job and Joint staff of the iaea and I he leads our ministry at you. I see now its just seeing things just its just an incredible scene that transformation on this team where is really especially dark place. And now when guys come in as freshmen theyve got you a five or six upperclassmen. You were going to reach out to him and try to share Christ with them. So thats just been a really beautiful thing. On the positive side, thats a credible. Are you got in touch with any of the other athletes in action? Programs are going on outside of Chicago, do you guys do different events are conferences or things like that, too. Share best practices or whats going on with with some of those other programs. We have this past year. Our national leadership is put together a lot more, a lot more of that actually to try to connect. People just figured out how, how do we do stuff during covid. 20 year nationally at your National staff conference and then Do you like a couple Regional things every year as well? So theres kind of ongoing relationship with the ice staff across the country. For sure, whats the, do you know, whats the program look like in Ohio? Or do you not have much connection to that right now and in Ohio, are our world headquarters actually, right outside of Dayton. So weve had a number of great Ministries in the state of Ohio historically right now. Trying to think how we got campus staff, who served in the kind of Dayton region Dunhams Dunhams. Cincinnati Miami, where Im at? And I went to school at OU. Think those are the places where I am in the Columbus area? I kind of a number of schools in Greater Columbus. Yeah, I think so. I think thats our thats the scope of things in Ohio at this minute. Jamie when your, when your ministry to athletes maybe whats whats some of the challenges compared to other Campus Ministries? When your men mistreating specifically to athletes and and the teams there on, what are some of the unique challenges? You run across a few things that come to mind. One would be the athletes and students in general, will it will give the excuse that theyre busy. But athletes in particular actually are especially working at Northwestern like the academic load and the class. Why would I used to work at Ohio State? I want to know if it tells me, Im too busy to meet. I generally speaking. It was an excuse, cuz, you know, they go there to play football, right? Not not, not to play school and I Yeah, but when we came to Northwestern and got a story to tell me that its like most of the time, thats pretty legit. Like the course, load is pretty intense, so trying to navigate that and figure out times at work to connect with guys that can be a challenge. And the other thing is in, this is more broad, but University campuses have become increasingly secular, no there, there used to be especially in sports, in there still some of this where it was like facing football, you know, its kind of kind of like they go together and and theres an expectation that you like you should have a chaplain or whatever and that plays in our favor in a lot of cases, still, but theres definitely more. You face them or just kind of apathy or hostility these days than than what they used to be into. That can create challenges where you a few years ago. I got I got escorted off of out of a jam at one of the schools. I was working at you just asked to leave campus cuz they didnt. They didnt want us around anymore until those kind of things do happen. Theyre not. I wouldnt say there are frequent but theres always that possibility and see you soon. I got to tread tread lightly and navigate to change in culture. Just for wanting to talk to people, you got escorted out of the gym. Yeah. Well, so Ive been it was at, I want name of the school to protect the guilty but we need been in a process for a few years of establishing a IA on this campus and it jumped her a ton of Hoops and had student leaders who are excited about it. And along during that time, Ive been playing basketball with coaches at lunch time at this particular school and had great relationships with the coaches and with athletes, like, theyre just really great things happen. It was really a sweet Ministry. Like in the locker room after playing like sharing the gospel with guys in the shower. Not like anything. I just really sweet. How do you have eternal life? And I and then one day I was, I was warming up sheet around before we fly in and one of the guys I played with walked up to me and just said, hey, youre not allowed to play anymore. I got to, I got to ask you to leave. So what happened? You like? I dont know anything about it, but Im just a messenger. Someone, someone told me to ask you earlier than what it came down to. Was there were some administrators you just didnt like, Athletes In Action, didnt like what our organization was about, and so they didnt want us there anymore. And so, I got escorted out and all the guys I played with her, like, what it, what is this about? Like, what, you know, but was crazy about that is your I get kicked off campus. We think the whole, I thought that was the end of the ministry for sure. And then about six months later, even like maybe 3 months, but it makes our student leaders from that year. Graduated, a few months after that, the six months later, I get a Facebook invitation to an AI. A meeting at the school. Theres a student. Been a sophomore. I never met the band. Disciple, buy one of those graduating senior. And she just started bleeding the ministry and then it took off from there, and shes now on our staff team and theres a thriving Ministry on that campus. It goes by a different name. We dont call it Athletes In Action there. But theres a, theres a driving Minister there and shes been really sweet to see how God has worked even in the face of opposition. Thats so cool to hear that. Yeah. Like the the gospels going to go forth sometimes we feel like it has to go forth like Throop through us. But like thats so cool to hear that even when you get it would appear that the ministry is going to end and you cant be a part of it that that guy can still use that circumstance can still have his hand in that and work around that and weighs like you said through someone who wouldnt even. You dont even know at that point and then is going to pick up kind of where workout left off and still be driving. So that thats so cool to hear. That was a it was a good humidity check for me like guy God show me, I dont need you but Im going to do what Im going to do. Its kind of cool in in one sense. He literally moved you out of the way, so that he could do his work at, like, I got, I guess it could do something, then quite literally. Sometimes that I feel like I get in his way A lot of the time because Titan, I dont want to do, you know what, I necessarily feel like hes calling me to do. So I think its your we always say we want to remove ourself from the equation and just let God work through us and our situation. But it its cool that he literally did that in that case and you can see that the ministry thriving which is pretty awesome. Yeah. I feel like a college campus has got to be a really tough place to be right now. In what ways has, I think we did the little bit into this. Previously. What what ways is the college? Campus changing and like, what whats needed right now? That might be different from when, you know, 10 years ago when we were there. Yeah. I think it was more than ten years. Matt, were getting old, but the difference is that I noticed one theres two major ones that one is that say, 10 years ago in Ohio to sizzle of being in the Chicago and Northwestern is a little different. But 10 years ago, the average student you should have on campus would have identified as a Christian. I would have said, yeah Im Christian check that box in the census. And the reason they didnt really take it seriously was mainly because they wanted to party, not because they have like, intellectual or moral objections to Christianity and now the average student shows up on campus Avenue, starting a few steps farther back from that. Like, most of the students that I need at Northwestern did not grow up going to church, like their parents probably did or their grandparents, but they, they did not, and they would not necessarily identify as Christian check that box in the census. I remember like theres a guy whos a senior on the basketball, team Northwestern now and its a couple years ago when hes a freshman, I got together with him and I asked what he grew up in New York city in America. And I I remember asking you, Im like what do you know about Jesus? And he was like nothing Like I dont know nothing about Jesus and it was like, oh wow. Like that. Just a different starting point than most of the people that Ive been around you know. So that you just seeing it like a more secular generation arriving on campus then it was a while back and theres a lot of research to back that up to just in. This is this is jenzie who you know the genze Rajan, whatever term you want to use for him on campus right now is really the first truly post-christian generation must have burst generation in American history. However you slice it and very much a post-christian generation. I think that the data from Barnetts like 4% of gen Z has what? What qualifies a biblical worldview. So theres a lot of people who just dont know much about the Bible at all and certainly dont believe whats in the Bible. And so its a greater apologetic Challenge and I got to walk with people longer to get them to a point where theyre at a point where they dont put their faith in Jesus. Thats the one that the second thing out there than there is the influence of Technology. A lot of those students. They dont know how to have a conversation because they spend their whole lives during its glowing rectangles and their pockets. The social skills arent quite as though. Thats the last Ministry. Among athletes athletes, kind of have to be able to talk to each other, but the general student population, thats a huge difference and it plays out in athletic as well. Were just like theyre just basic social skills and conversational skills, that students are lacking that they they used to have back especially in places like Miami Matt where all of us are so socially strong, right? Social Butterflies. Going back to your nuggets. The first point theyre do you find that a lot of students coming in now have beliefs that directly or they feel directly contradict biblical beliefs or Christian beliefs? You know, a lot of gender theory that that type of stuff that that they feel conflict. So its its hard to even approach the subject. Yeah, absolutely. I mean that there is a its not so much they think that claims about Jesus or false or truth like theyre not even thinking about those things, what theyre thinking about is Like, what is Christianity say about my sexual Freedom, think about how I live my life and the view is that Christianity is regressive and goes against current cultural norms. And so. Thats thats a huge barrier. Just seeing that more and more in the general culture. In your TV shows in YouTube videos and everything that were that were hearing. I can imagine the impact that its having on those gen Z years, but thats all that theyre getting exposed to, so they dont have that Christian upbringing to even fall back on. So I think just having that as the worldview leaves a lot of Conflicting space between that and near the Christian worldview that and social media. Obviously, Ragsdale, prevalent and bathe in the past might have had more influence from people who just word of mouth about Christianity in about God. And now thats almost an afterthought like a lot of people might be like axure, God and the others God whatever. You know. Im but what Im influenced by is everything that Im hearing and culture and social media and thats like okay you guys are saying that its okay to choose what gender I am then you know that must be good must be cool. Then thats what Im going by and youre having to deal with that as youre going into high school and then college is crazy. So, whats happening is like were all. Were all being disciple to all the time. And that theres a, theres two different. Worldview narratives that are at play. Are we seeing this really first? And just like the school, since the public school districts? Where we lived when trip our seven-year-old last years in kindergarten, make veggie this lgbtq Equity week. They watch the last year. Were starting in kindergarten, they are teaching kids about the other full lgbtq spectrum and seeking to build kids in two allies for the LGBT community and minutes starting in kindergarten last year. With my at the time six-year-old, I had to teach him before they before they started that kratom in school and I have a conversation with him to explain like hey there are boys and their are girls boys. Have penises girls have vaginas. Like thats not language. That she was familiar with you to find those terms for him going into kindergarten. And were just wrestling to that his parents were, things were thinking about, what when things became evident is that the school system and I think this is true at the University, level is all coming out of the University like those who are kind of leading those movements. What they look at is data on lgbtq use, for example, where mental health issues and suicide rates are astronomically high, and they care about people, like they dont want those kids to suffer to struggle like they care about those people. And Christian would I care about those people? I, I want to love those people. But the two different narratives, its really a creation fall Redemption narrative on both sides and four. Like for the secular world that narrative is creation. We evolved from accidentally, so it. So therefore there are no like, what? What are we or there are no moral absolutes there. There is no like overarching on power telling us what we need to be. Like we are, we are free to kind of create ourselves, right? And then thaw, what whats, whats the problem in the world? The problem in the world, Im not narrative. Is that is societys. Its a society puts a restrictive, gender, Norms or restrictive. Paradigms on two people, Im supposed to have to conform to be like this and that pressure from society, hurts people, and it makes them into depression and leave makes him suicidal. So excited. The problem is out there, its all in society until what Redemption, whats the solution? Well, eliminate all of those Norms from society, strip them away. So that you can, I clear the deck and people are just free to be whoever and whatever they want to be. Right soon as our creation for Redemption here. To on that side where is and is a Christian I look at that exact same issue. I say hey these people are struggling and so are lots of other people but creation who are made in the image of God, where image Bears of God and then were made to be like him when he has claims on us and install. Whats the problem? If it we rebelled against him was turned away from him and because we turned away from him, all this Havoc has been wrought on Society on the world. And yeah, there are problems in society their problems out there. But theres no problems in me and I need to I need to be in my heart to be changed like I need to be changed and so Redemption. Whats the solution will I need? Jesus, you can come and who alone can do that heart change. You can transfer my heart and a nickname. Can transform Society in fix, whats wrong with Society until whats happening on University campuses? And whats happening even in elementary schools? Is a conflict of those two, worldviews you on that theyre fundamentally in Conflict. There, theres not overlap there and that just makes it really difficult for your students were spending all their time, going through as soon as your gation system, where the Bing disciple than that particular world, you all the time, but we get onto their devices and theyre being disabled by social media, by what they see. Their, would they get on Netflix and being decided by what they see their demand for an hour away from your Bible study, or they show up in church during our week and thats the exposure to get to be upset that to the true narrative. Yeah, were fine. Were fighting an uphill battle in a lot of ways and I think a lot more work needs to be done in the cycling. Our kids to cycling students. Im showing the truth and beauty and goodness of Gods Gods design of God story. But I think its a far better store in a far more compelling, story more robust story than the edge of the world is offering. So Ill get off my soapbox preaching sermon. Absolutely love it. And thats the first time that Ive heard that described as kind of a secular Christian fall Redemption, kind of theory. And yeah that thats it makes a lot of sense from that regard. And I think the I guess the Hallmark of that theory would be that of kind of selfishness. Its its all about me, its putting nothing on none of the issue is with me, its all with people outside of me. Its always Society. Its always the people who are labeling, the people who are doing this and that. So its, its a selfishness as opposed to a selflessness. Now from the, from the Christian Perspective, at least it should be Yes. I mean its expressed of individualism its the autonomy of self is supreme and then theres been a lot of scholarly work done digging and that I think I like Charles Taylors a Canadian philosopher who is written, extensively on that. And yeah, its just like that is the ethos of our of our age. Its the autonomy of self, thats the Supreme good and so anything that comes against anything, it says, no way, theres something beyond the self that has claims on the south end and can inhibit the south in any way. Thats just a message that weismann is everything. Our contemporary culture stands for So it sounds like you have you met you before? You have a lot of apologetic work to do as you start to minister to these athletes. And I guess that the general student population, should you do get the opportunity to, you know, talk through some of that stuff or is that kind of yours just breaking breaking that barrier first, even get them, to talk to you, like feel like how, how long does it take General? You said, it takes a pretty long time to actually invest in a student. To get them to maybe open up to the message or even acknowledge that youre trying to maybe assis then on the right path. Yeah. So what would I find? Is one of the interesting things about University campuses. Is that? Yeah, you have kind of an average, you have a, a norm of who like the average student coming in is and where theyre coming from. But you also get a wide range of people coming in, so I can no one in very few people. In particular actually match that kind of average, and she get something you do, get some kids not a time, but you get some kids to come in, who are who are like spiritually hungry, who are curious or seeking. And with those get me what you think about it. Theres the scale and Im not you, and I probably looked at this at some point, but if you think about people on a scale, everyone from say negative times a positive time with zero conversion, my coming to faith in Christ. If the average person, 10 years ago, started at like a -2, and what they needed to hear was, hey, heres heres to Jesuss. He died for your sins, put your faith in him, and, yeah, they need to hear it just a simple gospel presentation, and theyre ready to cross the line of faith and, and move into the territory over there now. Growing as a disciple dragons believer, the average person today is probably like a -5 but we still do get negative ones, we still got people come in as positive ones and positive stories until finding those people and then building around them where like a lot, a lot of what we do. If its hard I mean I love having this conversation with the guys who were as far down the negative scale and relationships with those students. But but I think were the most fruit happens. Its finding those students were kind of right around the other the negative ones the negative to the possible and positives and building in diamond and we do a lot of work trying to equip. Those students be able to go into their locker rooms and have those conversations in the locker room. So right now, with our student leaders across the city like were going through a training specifically designed to detonate week training that I helped prettiest the summer Sibley design for having gospel conversations in your natural relationships like what are the skills you need to be able to talk to your neighbors, your friends, your teammates about your face and into engage them. And kind of walk alongside them to help them take steps toward Jesus where you maybe they dont. Maybe the guy is a -7 Dozen come to face with you. But maybe maybe through conversations you can help him go from a -7 * -3. Now, you can see him take some steps in that direction. Thats cool. Thanks for sharing man. Thats I think you got a tough task on campus and its messing with going to continue to change, but your dialed in, you know, Im obviously not surprised by that. You know, what are some, what are some ways that you are? And I always thought you were great at this. And you, youre very intentional with me as far as just going to meet me where I was and then just building a relationship. So what were some keys to kind of Bridging the Gap opening the door and just beginning to know, people and having those conversations, even in all things that we can take in our own daily life. Im just kind of sum in a danjou, lising strategy or tips and pointers. so, Ill give you give you three one would be definition of success. Most things in life, you know what a win is, you know, the losses when you step on the step into the field to compete, you know, if you end up with more points, the other team you when Im in evangelism in witnessing and talk about your face thing, sometimes we think the only win is if someone comes to say but I bill bright, who founded crew can stay for Christ. Youre back in the fifties. I love this definition of successful witness and he said, Cecil witnessing is taking the initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God and taking the initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results, the gods. If I if I take initiative with someone to have a conversation to talk about my face choir about their spiritual background. If I take that initiative, I cant control their response, I cant control where it goes, but me taking that initiative. Stepping out in faith, trust in God with it, thats Stop and see if I if I can I move the goalposts where thats what Im aiming at. That helps kind of freaked me out and take the pressure off. Like I dont have to convert people, thats not my job. My job is to be a witness. It said, it said, speak on behalf of Jesus to tell people what I what I know what Ive seen what Ive experienced and so I was like, if I do that regardless result of success, thats one to say really the key did it did a bunch of research this summer and part of this big project I was working on and theres a really interesting data were so about 50% of Millennial. Thats thats us. Millennial Christians. Think that sharing your faith with someone hoping that theyre going to become a Believer. I think that that is wrong like its morally objectionable. Thats half of millennial Christians. But Im on the flip side of that. The date data is that at is the number and thats like 48%, but when you ask non-christians, you asked, asked unchurched people what they think about that. 75% of them are open. Are they said, hey, this is a friend of mine takes their face. Its their face important, like Im good with him. Talk to me about it. Like, Im a very or somewhat open to that and only only like four or five percent of people are opposed to it. So even the other like 20% theyre like, yes it is. There really a spot. Okay. Fine. You know, so surprisingly receptive and open to Christian friends, having conversations with them. But and this is a third thing, the way you do, it is really important. So the quality that non-christians most value in someone who are going to talk to you about spiritual things, Is listens without judgement. And one of the skills that I think Christians Lac, and then, which were perceived to lack, is the ability to listen. And so, the Practical tip is, like the way that I get into conversations as I asked questions and I listen to ask questions. I listen, so Im always kind of questions kind of open windows to the soul. So, so that I ask a question, like, it might be a question, like, whats your kind of spiritual background? Whats his first record of any kind of current, religious beliefs? Whats been your experience with Christians? Im a Christian. I would inquire along those lines and need a looking for you on the course of life, like something challenging happens. When someones life just acting like. How do you how do you navigate through that? What what what kind of favor do you like that? This really difficult, you just lost a family member or something hard happened at work or something else going on with your kids. Like how do you process that, what aunt and just kind of falling out the conversation, really listening and listening for cute for Clues to continue the conversation to keep asking good questions to keep moving forward. And I find that most people, if you listen to them long enough that they pretty quickly reciprocate, and Ill ask you a question, and it creates opportunities been to share and to show your faces on. I like, I like all that didnt read the books, Im sure you probably have questioning evangelism evangelism. Yeah, I like talking about this. I mean, everything that you said there those three points are very encouraging to me. I mean I talked about it with these guys and other people. Im Im not the most intellectual or necessarily thoughtful person when it comes to all of that. But I have a sales background. Its always come back to you. No asking questions to people and you know, cuz our car training in my training. Ive always had is if youre youre trying to push something on somebody. Like if youre trying to throw your face at them, then theyre just in their inner core are going to want to push you away or pushed back. You know they dont they dont want somebody coming at them. But if youre there like youre saying to listen to ask questions and almost pull away from them, you know, theyre more more likely to gravitate towards it. And you know, if I think your first point was talking about Just being open to those conversations and and maybe even praying to meet up to God to help, you know, bring about those conversations and just see where it might take you and leave the rest up to him. I mean, thats all we can do because I feel like sometimes Im Im spinning my wheels with different conversations and people Im talking to him. Like I dont even know if anything is getting through to anybody thats talking to, you know? But I think like said as long as were continuing to seek those opportunities then thats all we can really do. And hopefully, you know, one day, we get a call from somebody, dont know, 10 years down the road and like a man, I appreciate you having that conversation because you ended up turning my life around. Yeah, I dont know. That would be probably a Pipe dreams. I got to move the movie moment, but I think the main thing is just to, like you said, do do what Gods calling you to do and just have those conversations and talk to people and listen and see what they see where theyre at. And then not doing it in a judgmental way. Like, I think when I was younger, I probably thought you dropped the four spiritual laws and you drop a couple gospel Bonds on someone like thats that was it and kind of Miss like the heart behind that and that like like you said, theres that Redemption narrative and like just caring about that person when youre talking to them and when youre when youre asking them questions and wanted to get to know them and have pet fellowship with them and then she said its not always about bringing them all the way up to his back to a zero, if theyre -5 but like taking one step at a time and being in a relationship with them and pointing them towards in a towards Christ and it and its a process and show. Not that you care, you know. So I think thats thats okay. Ive learned along the way being in a relationship with people that arent Christians and that its the other steps to this. And thats living that out. Consistently and having no just being willing to go through life with them a little bit, makes a big difference. Absolutely. I was it, you guys are are are are doing that. I mean, I dont know what all of you, what you all do, vocationally. But like, Ive a friend who works in finance in the city and keep calm and talk to Summer students before and and wanting to eat. He says to them as look, I work in finance. Jamie works in Ministry but we have the same job. We just wear different uniforms to work. Every day. I got some, I we have the same job. Our job is to Witnesses for Jesus, no matter what, no uniform. We wear that, who wear to the office like that. Thats our ultimate job as got people. It sounds like you guys are living that out. So way to go, thats been, I mean, weve known each other for a long time and I think thats been one of the constant topics is, how do we bring the gospel into a workplace? How do we be an example in our businesses and your? We just want like getting getting your Insight on, on how to reach students or or people who havent had that experience at all with Christianity with faith. Like, thats great, great inside. I really, really appreciate that the inside that youve learnt here because thats really helpful to get into the mind of of people who havent you had any experience with, with Christianity in the past and or who have negative experience of Christian in past? Yeah, and I think its its easy for me to have conversations with people who are not Christians, but are at least searching or open, or broken, and are broken in some kind of way. But I feel like most of the people that Ive worked with and come across their younger younger guys. And theyre living a pretty good life. Making a good income, having fun, and not really caring about what God might be or what that means in a life, do you know? So it just, it hasnt even been something at least from my, my realm. Like I was saying before I have definitely been able to have those conversations with people one certain things come up, but for the most part its its just the ladder, you know, theyre theyre living in a good worldly life and they dont, theyre not searching Yeah, and I think I was on the summer, what is things does other this project with crew, nationally looking into how do we help people in that situation that youre just describing? Cuz youre most of our students arent you guys? Remember the NCAA commercials of years ago like there are three hundred thousand and stuff with student-athletes and almost all of them will go around something other than Sports. Remember, those involved in campus ministry, or college students involved in campus Ministries and almost all of them will go pro in something other than Ministry, like theyre going to go do something else with their lives and so we really need like, what I want to do is I want to equip the students. Im working with be able to share their faith without their faith. Be fruitful Witnesses in the in the kind of spaces that you guys are living in when they when they graduate. Enter the do that. You are traditional Ministry methods. Within within a, i n crew, youve really been theyve been really effective on campus but they havent necessarily translate into the rest of life, you know, I keep going and going into a dining hall, doing a survey talking to a stranger shama gospel, like its super important to keep doing it to help somebody talk to the, its the guy whos uninterested who sits at the cubicle next, to him for over 3 years. How do you help people witness to their neighbors and around the block? Yeah. Those kind of things and so thinking that I think theres a different skill-set needed, the one we Austin train people on it until weve tried to put together his training this summer design to try to give people those particular skills. And some of those talking about like, listening asking questions, but in other ones are praying with him for people, Play prank prank for people can be at to be really powerful where like they sure somethings going on. Its like hey can I pray for pray with you right now. I just talking to God, like Im a Christian and something to do you mind. If I pray with you right now and see what happens if you do that. Another one is Gospel storytelling like rather than putting out a tract and your sharing Four Points with someone. How do you how do you can actualize? The gospels was talking about the anxiety, theyre experiencing of the stress are going through. How do you speak the gospel into that situation? At how do you pull stories from from scripture even this weekend so that they might come to reframe it for him to give me the respective. So theres just some different skills. I do one other one that I will throw in there that I think is so huge is invitations. Like how do you give people are you give someone an invitation to a next stop? Like maybe he would you would you consider reading this book with me? I got this great book like it might and might address some of the stuff youre thinking about like would you read this with me, or Farthest apart of this podcast, club with these awesome guys or I workout with this this group of guys like it would you want to come work out with us and just get to know these guys. You know, whats an appropriate invitation to it to next step in the proximity with something where they can move closer to Jesus. So I think that skill-set, if we can cultivate that, it it can help us to be more fruitful in our did it with great energy. I know you mentioned crew. Are you, are you guys trained in a similar way, with Athletes In Action? As crew has been one of the heart of the sea All things are saying. Its just that it almost sounds like one of our good friends who is the he was the director of crew at Kent State for a long time just in Dothan. OK Google Justin once upon a time, its been awhile but we actually considered going to come stay when we decide to come to Chicago. That was one of the other options. So an alternate universe Justin. I would have been colleagues and spent a lot of time together. Yeah youve sounded like him a number of times with the things that you were saying, much smarter than them. You are a month to make sure he knows that the plane was episode for in the NFL. Do you think thanks for diving in and and explaining, you know, so much about what you do on campus as far as like accountabilities huge Among Us, whats your network? I feel like it. Give a group of guys that you refreshed with, I feel like your job is hard, you know? And theres almost like sales and like your everyday seems like it could be hard and challenging like who do you whats your accountability look like and what a group of guys? Do you have that are built in India sport? Yeah. Yeah. Theres a couple guys. Did I tear my my go-to guys? One of them? I mentioned earlier my buddy who works in finance who he and I have the have the same jobs, different clothes to work. The other one is a friend of mine is a pastor here in the city and the three of us get together. Usually like once a month and its kind of tell all time just go anywhere or talk about anything and like if I if I really need something, those are the guys that I call. So we live in different parts of the city of Chicagos pretty spread out so we dont see each other all the time but we make it a point to see each other enough where we can really check in and hold each other accountable and stuff thats one on. The other thing I heard this principle I was sometime, like looking for a mentor. I heard this Council, like you dont need a mentor, you need a bullpen, you need different relievers, you can call on for four different situations. And what I try to do over the last 2-3 years is build that Bull Pen. So, Ive got a handful of guys, like, hey, if I, if I need counsel around leadership like, I call Mark, if I if I need any counsel around finances, like I can call you. I called Mike cornick fine. And yes, I just got like a Ministry Council, like Jason. Like, Im just got people that I can wear my Bullpen and I dont, I dont call him for everything, but I can call him for specific things. So thats when my my approach to that, thats awesome advice. I feel like Ive been thinking through that recently. Like, you know, you are a mentor to me when I was on campus, you know, I cant really think of us when we had to come For my wife, Ive looked up to, and that have guided me a different periods of time, but I dont, I dont have a mentor right now, you know? And sometimes I thought they do. I need that, but it feel like thats kind of hard to find in some cases. You find someone that, you know, checks, lets say all the boxes of what youre looking to become. But if you have, like, you said a bullpen of someone that way I can, do I go to this person when I need you, no help in this area and they are, you know, Elite in that area and then give me, you know, great. And Im encouragement, wisdom. I really love that idea. Yeah, Im starting to do some of that and I think, like you said, its people who are maybe really good in certain areas, but the other day, thats part of the reason why were doing this podcast has to meet with people who are exceptional in areas of their If their life is all all mostly starting with their faith in Christ. In that Journey novice Lee, you exemplify that in a lot of the things that youre doing and weve heard the passion behind it on the podcast here. So, you know, man, I know youre close with them. So there is one you can start with you cuz Im just asking right now. Well congratulations guys. I think we could go on for a really long time and were going to do this again. Sometime others. One question, I really wanted to get from me before we at heart, you are very well-read so I know we need some Stellar book recommendations. What what are some things are reading now? What are some things that you know we shouldnt we should look into? Yeah, I love books. Im always reading stuff right now, right. This minute, I actually discovered audio books this past year, do it? Like I can just get through so much more and theres some stuff. I dont need to read it. I just need to like I just need a more loose exposure to it and the audiobook. So, right now Im probably wrong in some way, but Im, Im listening to the audio book of deep work. Yes, mother that one? No, yeah, Ive heard of that. Yeah, its a calendar but it is that distracted digital age. Most of our work is shallow work. Like were trying to multi-task all the time and its totally unaffected like were bouncing from one thing to another end. In the best things that you produce require focus and concentration and effort. It actually kind of refraining from either way that I structure my schedule trying to do things that preach at our church about every 3 weeks. And so next, sermon prep for me is like I need, I need deep work time for that to really focus and dig in and you just get I get into it. And so Im trying to like recreate my schedule where I have blocks and then even like leaving my stuff. I need time to think through that and really plan to prepare well for whats, whats on the horizon. And so yeah, trying to build deep work into my rhythms. That thats the one right now. I can go on, but Im sure it said that if you guys arent, if you havent seen that one or listen to it, I would recommend it. Yeah. Is that related to flow? He talks about the ideas flow in there a little bit. I dont know if its Im not super familiar with the concept of slow, but I know that thats reference in there. And Ive heard in five places to It also will definitely check that out. I can give you more books that give out the most frequently. The book about the most often is the reason for God by Tim Keller. Yeah. Lots of copies of that one. So if you guys havent seen it, he did a series of talks, is done a few different times, now called questioning Christianity, and its just really good. But its, its like six or eight messages that you are. Kind of like, if the reason for God, is aimed at someone whos like a -3 question, Christianity is aimed at like the negative 7, but its just a really good and, and its a great like, for believers. It, do co-op equips you in for non-believers, its its gold. Like its just a great conversation starter. So You can even find that online question, Christianity. And then another book that you guys are probably love. Andy Crouch, read a book called The tech-wise Family. You seen that one? I havent know. I got. So yeah, so Andy, I mean, youre staring at and utilizing a ton of Technology, right? This moment, but I think I see it in our students, I see it, and my dad on blast and I like my dad is like, a lot of older. Folks is addicted to Twitter and hes on his phone all the time and its like, hes like a teenager and so, I love my dad, but Im trying to get him to break the habit, but if theres such a pool of pack into, how do you put back in its proper place? Itaktech is a good thing. It can it can serve in a lot of ways to make the terrible master and a lot of Us remastered by our technology to Andy Crouch. Just give us some really practical principles for your kind of from a Christian perspective. How do you How do you, how do you realize technology faithfully? And thats been really helpful for our family, just implementing some principles based on that book. Yeah, looking it up right now, on my Google account, it Tech guy is looking up that book right now. Its black history month right now. And another book that I have been recommending lately is the warmth of other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson camera. One. It is like if you want to understand the racial social demographics of America, today, it tells the story of The Great Migration wear, something like 30 million African Americans. Migrated North from the Deep South between light roughly in 1930 and 1970. And I just rechecked America in the midst of all kinds of stuff going on in some really powerful stories, that helps to understand our history and where we find her. So Thats a dollar, not one as well as raw fresh. Also, just read the the Lord of the Rings series. For the first time, I think Im a little late that game but other than that its fantastic. Get in the one that lasted about a couple days and fell asleep. Each time I started itself. That was the great. Now I can I give you one more novel. I got to get this one. Jayber crow by Wendell Berry its just a beautiful bike. Made me cry at the end. So look that one up jay bird of Sorrow. Acquaint Americana author writes about life in Port. William Kentucky. This like the radiator springs in cars, like the sound that time has passed by. We all have small children Fort. William is radiator springs and putting Kentucky story of jayber crow, whos the town Barber there, like during the decline and it said, that sounds super boring. Im sure. And thats what I thought at first, that the book is just beautiful. Just gives us a picture of community and like I think about the relationship that you guys have with each other. It sounds like you see each other several times a week, like youre sharing life together. And dont, youre going through the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs and thats going to hurt you, stick it stick with it for 30, 40, 50 years, like this book kind of paints a picture of what thats like and so is his beautiful for me and made me really long for that kind of community in my life. So thats awesome. Yeah, Im great. Great recommendations, man. And sweet. Yeah, were all going to go go through an atom right to our borrow less audiobooks big fans. Yes, thanks again man. Its been really good to catch up and yeah, I think we could go on for a long time but just really encouraged by what youre doing on campus. Yeah. Thanks for for Sharon, just a little bit and Im hopefully this again soon. Yeah, thanks for having me on. Its fun to talk to the gas. Its time for me to think through all that stuff too. So, thanks for the question. Its great. Great talking to you. Glad you could join us for another core for Life podcast. If you like what youre hearing, please share this with a friend and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at core for life, or check out our website core for life.com. Thats core four life.com tune in next Thursday for another brand new episode. Google for Life For Life.