Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NASCAR and Being Missional

Something interesting has been going on in NASCAR the last two weeks. A racing team has attempted to qualify for each weeks race. Their purpose? To have an opportunity to share their faith.

Veteran racer Morgan Shepherd has teamed with business owners the Tomes to form Race With Faith. Their green Dodge is emblazoned with no corporate logos, but instead it has the Race with Faith logo. Their team has little money, actually not much money at all. They own one car, one engine and I think maybe 8 tires. To quote Dana Tomes the owner "We have a lot of 'have to have's' on our list." Boy is that an understatement.

This team is operating in a world where each week 5 to 8 racers get a chance to 'race their way' into the race based on speed. Each week 5+ drivers go home. Racin with Faith has attempted to qualify just a couple of times and surprisingly they've made the last 2 races. They have not finished a race, they simply don't have the equipment or funding to. But each week it seams they get enough funds to go on to the next track and try again.

Now it seems the critics have come out of the wood work. Some fans aren't happy that the team runs a few laps and then sits. But I for one am thrilled. Morgan and the team are wearing their two passions on their sleeve, racing and Jesus. Morgan each weekend shows up to the track to proclaim in his way the importance of following Christ. It's such a powerful example of missional living. In the context of his life, the most important thing to Morgan is the Message. His sharing of that to the world of NASCAR is a missional extension of his life.

It's a David versus Goliath scenario. Morgan's goal one would guess is to finish a race. But I suspect that if you asked him, he would tell you that each opportunity to live his faith is more important than any lap he takes. It just so happens that every lap he takes gives him more opportunities to share the relationship he has with Jesus.

Thanks Morgan and team for inspiring all of us that if you can live missionally in the context of the public light of NASCAR, then we should be able to live missionally in each of our contexts as well.

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