From the Rev: Someone between Ezra and Nehemiah
During seminary, I recall a particular moment when I was contemplating what future ministry would look like: one scenario, meant fundraising for salary and ministry to work with the Colorado Rapids as chaplain; the other scenario, meant working and doing the chaplaincy within the “margins” of life and work. As I relayed my fear and aversion of trying to raise money to my best friend, he simply said, “Oh, you must be an Ezra.” His statement caught me off-guard and I begged an elaboration. He proceeded to share that in looking at different personality types, it had been helpful for him to compare the contemporaries of Ezra and Nehemiah. Both men of God, they both made a return to Jerusalem in different ways. Nehemiah went and asked the king, Ezra was simply sent. Thinking I had discovered myself, I proclaimed, “Yep, that’s me, Ezra. Just send me, Lord!” However, my friend didn’t let me off so easy – sometimes within ministry we need to be like Ezra and sometimes we need to be like Nehemiah. But I don’t like the whole asking-for-money thing, I explained to my friend. It doesn’t matter, if God lays something on your heart…
Today, I have come to know that part of God’s call on my life has been the ministry that serves as CrossTraining. Direct chaplaincy ministry to the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer and an indirect, yet continuing ministry to hundreds of alumni that are now scattered around the globe for me this community are the “returned exiles” that I weep for and am heartbroken for before God, much like what is described in Nehemiah 1. And so, while I might want badly to remain in my Ezra-like self, I would like to take this moment to be more Nehemiah-esque and come before some kings.
In the last few weeks, CrossTraining as a ministry has had a tremendous amount of outreach and support to a former player and his wife and family that some of you (if you follow CrossTraining via our email updates) will have known about. There is no price or value that can be placed on the tremendous privilege of serving and ministering to this family, but it has come at a tremendous cost to the ministry and I need to plainly ask for help in supporting CrossTraining as we look to continue and carry out our ministry this season. We would be tremendously blessed to have regular, monthly donors come alongside of this ministry and give a gift of $25, $50, $100, or more on a monthly basis. And we have a simple need, right now, of just restoring some of our funding after a heavy ministry month – so even a one-time gift will be a great encouragement as we look to serve the people that God has called us to serve.
Friend, if you are reading this far, I will attempt to step out in faith and try to be someone between Ezra and Nehemiah and ask, “Would you grant us favor? Would you support CrossTraining and this work, financially?” And if God should so move your heart to join us and support the work that we do, I can only tell you that you are joining in a wonderful work of helping to restore the broken, to proclaim the name of Christ amongst nations (literally), and being present with people in the midst of the grief and pain of this life. Please consider us and look on us with favor, and we thank God as you do.
Rev. Brad Kenney