This intriguing post comes from Jeff Henderson, campus director of the Buckhead church in Atlanta:
With all due respect to Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps, I believe the greatest athlete of our lifetime is Lance Armstrong. For starters, consider this accomplishment of Lance's: seven Tour de France cycling championships.
Of course, Lance's greatest battle came against cancer. And the war he’s waging against the disease is similar to that of an old-time evangelist. Passion. Conviction. A movement-builder.
Now, from what I understand, Lance is not a follower of Jesus. At the same time, I believe there are some lessons we Jesus-followers can learn from what Lance the "evangelist" is doing:
+ Lance is pulling out all the stops. From innovative strategies like the Livestrong wrist band to utilizing social networking technologies, Lance is getting his message out. Whatever it takes.
+ His movement is focused on building unity against a common enemy. Too often, the church seems to forget who the real enemy is.
+ Lance believes 100% of us are touched in some way by cancer. That creates a sense of urgency. Do we believe that 100% of us will stand before a Holy God someday with eternity at stake? If so, this should create an even greater sense of urgency to get the message of Jesus out to this world.
+ Lance is picking a fight. His movement isn’t some weak, passive, boring request. “Go Ahead. Pick a fight against cancer” is the calling card of his Foundation. Similarly, the church is called to fight. Against injustice. Sin. Poverty. In other words, the Jesus movement isn’t for the faint of heart.
+ Lance isn’t shy about asking for money. He offers people a compelling reason to give and says, in effect, “Step up! Give!” We should inspire people with the vision God has given our churches and then be bold enough to say, “Step up! Give!” (In good or bad economic times.)
Lance may not be your idea of a great role model... but there's no denying that he's a person of passion and conviction.