Golf From the Heart Projects;
We've been reviewing the various projects Golf From the Heart is engaged in.
So far we have identified the Golf From the Heart community website, Golf Program in Schools, Let's Golf Uganda and Golfing to Greatness. So, now, we're going to expand on our desire for unity in ministries that are using golf as a platform.
The Lord has given us as Believers in Jesus Christ a mandate; Unity
This is a document developed a couple of years ago;
Thank You, Father ... let us seek UNITY among the Brothers & Sisters in golf.
This is an attempt to connect Christian golf groups, golfers and associations. We can help each others' collective ministries & communication efforts if we have the leaders of ministries and/or those in that ministry that are savvy to modern communications through social media; calling, texting, Facebook messaging, Twitter, Instagram, etc. as admins on whatever media group we agree to utilize.
We can TEACH them how to use these forums.
"This is His legacy in us."
The Lord has given us as Believers in Jesus Christ a mandate; Unity.
The scriptures identified within this document validate the mandate.
We believe the Lord wants us to be unified as those with a passion for golf and a love of Jesus Christ;
4:1 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-5
John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone (the Apostles). I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—23 I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity.
Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
What is the problem?
-There is a lack of unity among ministers/organizations using the platform of golf for evangelism, discipleship & events associated with the ministry.
-There is a lack of communication among ministers/organizations using the platform of golf for evangelism, discipleship & events associated with the ministry.
-There is a lack of coordination among ministers/organizations using the platform of golf for evangelism, discipleship & events associated with the ministry
There should be a coordination format & communication network as well as regular get-togethers (conference events online and/or in person) to maintain close relationships & communication as well as encourage unity within the Christian golf community.
”So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, ***to equip his people for works of service***,
***so that the body of Christ may be built up***
until we all ***reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature***, ***attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.*** Instead, ***speaking the truth in love,*** ***we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ***. ***From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows*** and ***builds itself up in love***, ***as each part does its work***. - Ephesians 4:1-8,11-13,15-16
Let's build a database of those called to use the game of golf for Evangelical & Discipleship purposes
And over all these virtues ***put on love***, which ***binds them all together in perfect unity***. - Colossians 3:14
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you ***teach and admonish one another*** with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. - Colossians 3:15-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians3:15-17&version=NIV
What is the benefit of Unity in ministries using golf as a platform?
All would be informed of Christ-follower golf oriented outreach events, happenings & news in order to unify in thought & action as necessary for God's will to be accomplished.
Each ministry/minister could use this information to be better stewards as we conduct our mission; “to go”. There may be collective opportunities where ministries may partner & share resources or contacts.
Let's build a database of those called to use the game of golf for Evangelical & Discipleship purposes as well as communicate on efforts.
Once we agree, we could coordinate the database contacts for each ministry. We don’t have to share the databases as those databases are proprietary, but, the content could be shared with each ministry and disseminated through the ministries’ databases.
Next "Unity" part 2
What is Golfing to Greatness?
Mainly, it is a significant part of the Golf From the Heart ministry because it allows male golfers (for now, sorry ladies) to engage in a fellowship together in order to grow in the knowledge of God.
Most of us realize that we are woefully short of a mature relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. He calls us in His word to become mature followers of Him and, especially, in Matthew 28:20 we are told to obey all that He has commanded us; "20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
How can we obey all that He has commanded us if we don't know what He commanded us?
In the previous verse to Matthew 20:20 we are told to "make disciples" and how can any teacher teach disciples if one doesn't know how to be a disciple?
So we've got to know Jesus and His commands in order to teach them, right?
the objective is to "Grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ"
Lastly, on this subject, for now. I looovvvvvveeeee these verses from Peter in 2 Peter 1 ...
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
You can see that the objective is to "Grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ" which supports my point about why Golfing to Greatness is so important.
The development of Golfing to Greatness began some 9 years ago as I was searching for a more in-depth disciple fellowship experience with other men. I began to search out opportunities and I became aware of Christian Leadership Concepts, a ministry in Brentwood, TN that excelled in small groups of men in discipleship. I found that a man in my church, Scott Thomas, had been preparing to start a new group of 12 men and I joined the men in 2012, I believe. Seven years later, I saw the incredible value of this program and wanted to start a new group.
So, once again, I built it built it.
Also, during this time, say late 2018, I had been seeking out how I could assist many of the ministries using golf as a platform. The PGA Tour Bible Study as well as similar studies on the Web.com Tour, College Golf Fellowship and FCA Golf as examples. How could we help them work with their men to establish and maintain a consistent focus on discipleship with an online presence so that each man, regardless of where he might be; at the weekly tournament, at home, on other business, etc. and maintain a consistent focus on the fellowship. Well, my thoughts became; "Hey, we could establish Christian Leadership Concepts (CLC) discipleship program online by transferring the content onto active forms for use on the Internet. We could send the electronic forms out five times each week as that is what the curriculum called for and conduct a 1.5 hour Zoom meeting each week for all to fellowship together."
I had to go to Hal Haddon, the developer of CLC and past Board President, to ask his permission. That story is captured in this Blog Post.
So, once again, I built it.
Each week for two years I prepared for my CLC local group and copied and pasted the active forms into my database and conducted the weekly fellowship meetings, some of which I have captured on video. Why video? Because, again, with the travel requirements of Professional Golfers, College golfers and FCA coaches, conducting a video fellowship after engaging with the content five days a week fosters a close knit group that are "growing in the knowledge of God."
We have, now, conducted three online Golfing to Greatness (G2) groups; and one locally. We have just launched our Let's Golf Uganda G2G program as mentioned earlier.
Lord, let G2G gain traction where You want it to gain traction. To Your glory, in Jesus Christ.
Next, Unity in Golf Ministry
So, what are we trying to accomplish in Uganda?
We are trying to introduce an entire generation of kids to the game of golf and to Jesus Christ.
Yup, that's right!!
Well, again, we are gathering men from Uganda (and other places as I'll reveal here in a few lines) through prayer and engagement to become "men after God's own heart". That's the name of the first module in Golfing to Greatness. The process has been almost exactly as it is called for in the Christian Leadership Concepts (CLC) model; have two facilitators seek the Lord regarding the men to invite into the fellowship/discipleship program, invite those that the Lord brings into our hearts and seek their commitment to walk along with us on this program. The first time we went with the CLC program the prayer process took over a year. The second time we did it, it took about four months and the third time (as Golfing to Greatness) it took about 6 months. This time, so far, with the Uganda men, it has taken about four months and we are still not fully committed, but getting closer. In fact, at the writing of this Post, we have conducted two sessions with the 13 men who have agreed to participate in this journey.
Why Golfing to Greatness? It has been my experience that if the leaders or members of a group with a focus on ministerial projects are not mature in their faith and have had a fellowship experience to "grow in the knowledge of God" together, then, how do we know we are all on the same faith journey? Therefore, over the past many years each project I engage in with people of faith in Jesus Christ, I have introduced the concept of a deep dive into our faith lives in fellowship or discipleship in order to be unified in the project's direction.
So, Let's Golf Uganda began with Kalema Posiano Ian from Port Royal, Uganda. I met Ochapet Patrick online in a similar way to the introduction to Kalema, through Facebook; finding his heart and passion are very similar to ours. Ochapet lives in Entebbe, Uganda. I met Paul Nteza in Boston as an Uber driver. He is from Kampala, Uganda, not a golfer, but, a sportsman that God clearly brought into my life to join our Uganda group. While Ochapet and Kalema were praying for men to include, Timothy Gary Kyomuhendo of Port Royal, Uganda came to mind and Timothy has agreed to walk with us. Aron Bantu is from Uganda, yet lives in the USA now. Ochapet asked him and he agreed to join us. Steve Goins is a friend of mine through one of my daughters. I discovered he was having some challenges in himself and with his wife. I felt the Lord encouraging me to bring him into a deeper fellowship and he has agreed to join our group. William Wilson is from Uganda. Ochapet knew him from golfing in Uganda. He now lives in the States and is a member of our group. Edrine Okong is an acquaintence of Ochapet from golf in Uganda. He is on the golf team for Howard University and he is a member of our group. Rick Brigham is my dear friend and Brother with whom we have been in a deep Christian fellowship for the past 11 years. He and I decided to implement what Rick has labled "All Needs Met" into our new fellowship and he is a member of our group. Another dear friend and Brother, Dave Kern from Massachusetts has also been in fellowship with Rick and I for many years and he has joined our group as well.
Golf Uganda, yeah, but as you can see we're NOT all from Uganda. So, about 6 weeks ago I was contacted on LindedIn by a US citizen originally from Ghana. His name is Raymond Amezado who is back in Ghana using golf as a vehicle to help peoples' lives and introduce them to the Gospel. He brought the CEO of his organization and his dear friend, Senyo Sosu and, now, they are members of our G2G Uganda Fellowship Group.
So, you can see that prayer for almost 5 months has produced an eclectic group of Believers, many of whom are golfers and several who are not together to grow in the knowledge of God as we seek His face and walk a path to fulfill His will for us.
So thankful!!! I just reached out to my dear friend, Jose Alvarez with FCA asking if we could catch up on all that's going on with each of our ministries and Jose asked me, the dreaded; "Can you send me an email?" I say dreaded because under normal circumstances I would have to put into an email what is, probably, about eight pages of emails and what better way to update the going's on of Golf From the Heart than to write a blog post and send it to all that would want an update.
So, I'm thankful to Jose.....
Firstly; what the heck is Golf From the Heart? Great question and it can be reviewed here; "What is it that we are all about? That all golfers would hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that they would be discipled in some way relative to their faith in Christ for the continuing work of the Kingdom in fellowship with other golfers who click with them demographically and geographically.
Our intention is that Golf From the Heart will be a connector for golfers and .... continue to read..
This is the second iteration of a push for Golf From the Heart to become a reality as some very interesting happenings are going on where the Lord is blessing a very important part of Golf From the Heart; possible funding of the business, yup, business plan in early 2021.
So, we are using this community website in order to draw golfers together into geographical and demographical engagement to foster their golf games and their faith in Jesus Christ; (Living in Freedom, Eternally - LIFE)!!
In all of this, then, what are the projects and what is the intention?
1. Golf From the Heart website, www.golffromtheheart.golf.
Over three years ago, I was inspired by several programs I became aware of that were involved in ministry through the game of golf. Primarily, the programs were FCA Golf, Links Players Ministry, the Web.com Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) and Mulligan Magazine (by Dan Lemerand), and, a program that I had heard about from Wally Armstrong, ProLinks. Dabbling a bit into the Internet and websites, I began to see how we might establish a community website that provided Scripture, Community and assistance with the golf game for each of the individual golfers who would join our site.
So, I built it.
Critical to the attraction and growth of the community, I felt social media and search engine optimization would market the site into the Internet world and the site did get some attention, but, not enough, so I, pretty much, abandoned the site about a year ago, but, have resurrected it recently because of the possibility of getting funding soon.
2. Golf Program in Schools or GPS. Is a program I was introduced to by Kent Chase, my dear friend and renowned junior golf instructor.
"Golf Program in Schools (GPS), 501C3 has set the stage for this movement of golf's people to evangelize, disciple & grow the game. Tom Loegering prepared his golf course. He has equipped his Sun City Country Club with what is needed as a training ground for young golfers & a field ripe for the harvest. He has established a Board of willing Believers with hearts for the lost & engaging them in Discipleship training. He has introduced over 30,500 middle-school kids to the game inside their school gymnasium ...." continue reading ....
I, representing Golf From the Heart, have been elected onto the Board of Directors of GPS and have been invited to structure the Spiritual side of the organization. From a "Prayer of Jabez Bible Study" to engaging in the Christ-follower structure of the golf lessons and the training of PGA Pro's to teach the kids at Sun City CC, the Lord has placed Golf From the Heart in the "heart" of an organization that could continue to grow the game and introduce thousands of middle-school kids to Jesus Christ and disciple them into the future.
Our focus right now is to fund the organization and we have applied for a grant from the Thunderbirds in Scottsdale and are awaiting an invitation to present GPS to The Ping Foundation for another grant.
There are other initiatives being expanded upon, but, for now, the funding for the program is central. See our "pitch" for GPS here.
Golfing to Greatness is next.
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.