This month, I had the privilege to spend 12 days in London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Dr. Sam Mings of Lay Witnesses for Christ invited me to be the International Evangelism Chairman for the Olympic Outreach with "Olympian of the Century" Carl Lewis.
What a privilege it was to represent God and country! We were blessed to minister to not only American athletes, but also champions from around the globe. A few of my fellow chaplains got to connect with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and other American basketball players. I was blessed to connect with Tony Parker who plays for the San Antonio Spurs and Team France. A Zambian boxer asked me to pray with him right before his fight with an Australian boxer. We were able to minister to athletes from over two-dozen countries.
Not counting my day-to-day duties, I was blessed to preach 13 times in ten churches in 12 days while in London! At one service, over 550 came forward to the altar making various decisions for Jesus. God showed up repeatedly. On the platform that night, God gave me a word, “Get a burden for the Lord, lost and London” and scores responded! Praise the Lord! After preaching at a church about an hour from Olympic Park, a man approached me outside the church and said with the biggest smile on his face and said, "I just left Islam after trusting Christ as my Savior tonight!" That is better than gold!
It was a treat to reconnect with my good friend and gold medalist Joe DeLoach while in London. Carl Lewis won nine gold medals and one silver medal and it was friend and fellow Christian Joe DeLoach who beat him for the 200m gold in 1998 in Seoul, South Korea. Joe and I met the year before at the Texas Christian High School Athlete of the Year Awards in Dallas where Carl Lewis, Joe and I were all guest speakers.
Joe said something while we were in London about track and field that every minister and church leader should take heart, "It is imperative that we run our race." We must run the race that God called you to. We are not wired or expected to run someone else's race or calling. God made you unique for a reason.
Joe also said that in track, "If you step in another's lane you get disqualified." The grass is not greener on the other side (lane). Run your race, be content in your calling and keep your eyes on the prize, Jesus.
Thirdly, he said jockeys put blinders on racehorses so they are focused and look straight ahead. In life and ministry, we must see those next to us as colleagues, not as competition. They are co-laborers, not convicts hoping to steal your job, thunder or ministry.
Lastly, he said the passing of the baton is so crucial in a relay race. Like it or not, we are all replaceable. Regardless if we are passing the baton in a promotion, demotion or transition, how we do so says a lot about our character and walk with Christ. We lose time, credibility and momentum when we don't handle that transition properly. It is crucial to honor the Lord at all times, not just when it’s convenient or easy. At the bottom of this post is a video of Joe and I together.
On the platform after seeing 550 respond to the Gospel in one service, Dr. Mings asked me to speak at the closing ceremony in London with Carl Lewis at the "Evening of the Olympians." On the platform, I was told the service was aired to over 12 million in Korea and over 2,000 people attended along with media from around the globe. All ministry is big when we serve the Lord with an obedient heart. My first church job was serving as janitor in 1991 at First Baptist Church of Waldorf, Md.
Since then, God has opened doors for me to serve as a youth pastor, minister of evangelism, senior pastor, Vice President of National Christian Youth Speakers Network and I have been able to speak at Acquire the Fire youth events across the country. For the past two years, the Lord has allowed me to be a Fox News contributor speaking across America on television. I have been on Gospel Truth discussing current events, preaching DNOW and revivals around the globe. I have also been blessed to be a guest on TBN, Daystar, Atlanta Live, TCT, Moody Radio and many other media outlets.
I don’t list my accomplishments to brag on myself, but rather to point to the Lord. Honestly, I still feel like that janitor who prayed daily that God would use me. The Lord has been saying to me, "Frank, run your race, stay in your own lane, keep focused and run straight ahead. Remember when you pass the baton to not drop it because starting is easy, but leaving with class while living for Christ can be difficult.” In the words of Dr. Johnny Hunt: "Stay close and stay clean." The Olympics taught me that people need the Lord and gold is temporal but the Lord is eternal.