Most of you are probably not familiar with the way this outreach to golfers began and where we are now.
Back in 2017 or so, I was involved in a Christian Leadership Concepts (CLC) fellowship with 10 other men and we had come to the module titled something similar to "Building Your Business" as a Believer in Jesus Christ. As I studied this subject in the curriculum and in the Scriptures, I was convinced of my business idea, "To give the Gospel through the game of golf and to build community on the web and at the golf courses for fellowship, golf and discipleship."
I built the website over a few days as I had experience constructing websites, but, wasn't a true web developer who fully understood the construction, navigation and "back end" parts of an effective web site for business.
Also, I had some experience with business development as I was an advisor in small business development with the Small Business Development Center in Rutherford County, TN and through this experience decided to launch my Golf From the Heart (GFtH) business as an L3C. Now you can click here for information on an L3C, but, suffice it to say it is a declared Low-Profit company with a philanthropic bent toward religious sports and recreation as it's core identity.
Additionally, I had developed a close relationship with Wally Armstrong, a renowned PGA Tour Player, author and entrepreneur who had shared the idea of introducing the Gospel to every golfer and, especially, an idea to assist PGA Golf Pro's with discipleship training which he called ProLinks.
Next, I had experienced a Game Day Fellowship of Christian Athletes experience at the Waste Management Open around that same time and began to see how we might develop a Christian Golf Community in Phoenix and anywhere in the world through the www.golffrontheheart.golf website and community.
In January of 2019 I met Kent Chase at a PGA Golf Pro discipleship event and he introduced me to Tom Loegering, the owner of the Sun City Country Club and the President of the Board of Golf Program in Schools (GPS). Tom had implemented his model for introducing middle-schoolers within his community to the game of golf and his intent was to also introduce them to God. I volunteered to assist with Golf Program in Schools (GPS) and did engage by assisting in writing their business plan and helping to implement the Godly outreach portion of the program. I could see the possibilities of assisting GPS which could lead to implementing the Christian Golf Community idea within Phoenix as well as the opportunity to build relationships with PGA of America golf instructors in the community to, possibly, develop a ProLinks type fellowship.
It was not until mid-2020 that the entire vision began to take shape and it has been truly amazing how the Lord has blessed us with people, resources and gumption to get Golf Program in Schools to the next level.
This is where the Phase 2 of GFtH comes in; GFtH was challenged to implement the business plan due to funds, people and clear guidance from the Lord. The development of GPS afforded us the opportunity to raise a donation for the work needed for GPS and from that GFtH received a stipend. This allowed us to implement the first task which was to shore up our website and brand while determining a social media marketing plan to build our communities.
We engaged with M is Good, a social media marketing company that assisted greatly with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Ice Hockey) program. We have spent several months now walking the G7 process through Dave Jones, the President of M is Good. Dave was instrumental in helping us focus on the key demographic to reach out to. We decided to fashion our program toward the Parents of Junior Golfers and their young golfers and we decided to focus our campaign in the Phoenix, AZ area as we are working closely with GPS there and can draw parents and their junior golfers to our programs at Sun City CC in Peoria, AZ and Shalimar GC in Tempe.
So were on our way and we are excited about the Lord's answering our prayers for our first Christian Golf Community in Phoenix, AZ.
I hope you won't mind if we speak with you about raising your child to greatness.
Not just great golfers, but, great people.
I, personally, have a bit of experience in this area as my wife and I have five adult children and 11, yup, 11 grandchildren from 2 years to 19.
I hope you recognize that as a bit of experience.
I was raised in a very good home. My dad was strict and now, at the age of 69, I recognize his style was 'of the day' and, probably, most of what I needed to keep me from becoming a total degenerate. However, I strayed from the disciplined path starting at the age of 16. The majority of adults I know have experienced a similar rejection of parental authority in their teenage years or heading off to college.
Seems kinda natural to me.
We all have the freedom to live our lives the way we want to
But, was it necessary and healthy?
We all have the freedom to live our lives the way we want to and so do our children; once they've left the nest, normally. There is much conjecture about child rearing these days and it seems that most philosophies may not be doing the job.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Psalms 119 verse 9; "How can a young man keep his way pure?" The answer follows right after; "By guarding it (his way) according to your word."
I became a Believer in Jesus Christ when I was 28 years old. It was an inspiration of some sort that led me to begin reading the Bible on December 26th, 1980 and after reading for a couple of months, the first two and a half books of the New Testament; Matthew, Mark & Luke I said to myself; "You know, if three guys in three different styles at three different times wrote similar stories about this guy, Jesus, I think I could believe this Jesus may be who he said he is." I noticed a difference in my life shortly after as, I understand now, God made Himself more evident to me in my daily life.
Why you ask?
Faith in Him!!
How did this happen? Firstly, I was reading the Bible each day (his word) and learning how to pray even though the first many prayers were very infantile, but, I was learning. His word was transforming me from inside, Romans 12 verse 2 says;
"Do not be conformed to this world, but, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
Over time, I became aware and convicted about alot of things I had done and who I had been throughout my early life. As I learned more and more about being a follower of Jesus Christ, the flawed character I had and exhibited all those years began to peal away and my life became transformed into the man He meant me to be from the beginning when He created me.
My view of life has completely changed from that of a 28 year old selfish knuckle head (as my Dad would say).
Do I believe all of us need to have an encounter with God through Jesus Christ and the knowledge of Who He is? Yes!!!! A thousand times yes. I'm not talking about going to church or being a Christian. I'm presenting the Kingdom of God on this earth, as Jesus said, right now, by a belief and subjection of our lives to growing in the knowledge of Who Jesus Christ is.
Try it, you'll, hopefully, see that He is the only way.
When I say, "Try it" what do I mean?
Personally go to www.biblegateway.com and go to the book of John (click on John). Read this as an adult and if still intrigued, go back and read the book of Mark (click on Mark). If you don't catch a glimpse of Who Jesus Christ is, continue to read Luke and Matthew, then into Acts and Romans. I use the New International version of the Bible, but, there are many more, one of which may be easier for you to understand. You can find the various translations on the BibleGateway site, just hit the drop-down and select a different translation. (see the graphic below)
If you already are a Christ Follower, I pray you are teaching your kids by engaging with them as they read the word of God, the Bible; helping them to 'get it' as well.
This will build your kids to become Great people.
Golf instruction, practice and competition will build your child into a great golfer which is terrific, but, becoming a Godly kid and adult is much more important.
Check it out and send me an email on your experiences and thoughts.
Bill Poirier (Click to send an email)
Just so you'll know, we have a mentoring program for adults and kids who want to know Jesus Christ in a more intimate way. Let us know in the email.
Next blog post...
We have a passion for this game, golf, don't we?
We don't need to dig deeply into the game, what it has accomplished across the world for good. From the smallest child engaging with a Wally Armstrong "Air Golf Flyer" to a 90 year old man shooting his age for the umpteenth time this game strikes us to our souls. It so imitates life, doesn't it?
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.