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A Powerful Interview with Joe Haynes of Athletes in Action

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2018 8:24 pm

A Powerful Interview with Joe Haynes of Athletes in Action

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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Football basketball baseball, the NFL, the NCAA, the competition the fans the ratings, the TV stations, ESPN, is it possible to be an athlete and love Jesus. Is it possible to compete with all your heart to be successful.

The score touchdowns and to really honor Christ in your life. Well, I got two guys in here with me right now that I'm so honored to have. It took forever to get these guys to get this together.

We finally did, but I got these guys are a fire for God and their spirits there say in yes to that at that question. Is that right Kate Carney absolutely all right. And what about Joe here introduces Joe how this guy get your life as so this is Joe Haynes he's the leader of athletes in action, which is on campus ministry of her wake forest Junior play football or waken a mezzo quickly very quickly reached out. He's very connected and the football team and he pours and those guys and being a Christian, and the college looking to connected.

He sought me out and I was looking for somebody to put myself in Susan other legible Joe.

He's been such a figure in my life.

It's just pushed me towards Christ in pushing or stressing fed me spiritually so as Joe Haynes. Joe is good to have you on Minella me. I want to get both of use journey to Christ and how you got saved.

Joe Lee Tellis, who is Joe Haynes and me.

How did you obviously God had some going on for you and then God brought you into this guys life and vice versa.

But to tell us where it all started for you man I love it when this big you know monster of a man walked to the studio like we will really save you both you guys bantered out a rock but just be right. If I put on your chin. It's also about like who is Joe Haynes again. Joe Haynes is a God who was saved by Christ and change my life completely and totally. The journey began.

I'm originally from Hendersonville is gone up in the mountains. I was sick sick about time I was in ninth grade, so athletics was forced upon me just for my size alone but I love you fell in love with but also giving them identity from basketball and football. I was being recruited in both sports fruit from math grade on up and so that was my daily from for so many years I was blessed to be brought up in a Christian home and had come to faith. Early in my life. But what had happened was athletics began to become more of a god to me than than God himself. And so right before my senior year in high school I was living a hypocritical life I was leaving a Bible study on Friday with some of my teammates and on Saturday I was as far away from the bottles activity and sellers is very hypocritical. Went to a service that I was promoting in my hypocritical lifestyle with the with the exes and was Presley stepbrother was doing a meeting at a church had come to faith after it was Presley passed away, and at that that that day the Lord to smoke Lawrence agility to follow me to quit saying that you do. It was a change turning point in my life. And so then I was blessed enough to get a scholarship to Clemson to play football when I showed up there is a freshman back and we have athletic dorms and there was a young man named Rick Bailey he was a senior on the team and he picked my name off a list of 24 incoming freshmen, which was really unheard of for senior debt family with a freshman. This didn't happen that he was a believer, a follower of Christ, and he wanted to impact somebody his last year before he left so he pulled me in and help me to grow in my face and and and really begin to challenge man is as an athlete in others.

We have a saying in athletes in Exner's victory beyond competition and learning how to follow Christ in the midst of the sports crazed world and so many people look to athletes as God.

We want to help people to see God in the athletes and let the athletes point to God in a relationship.

So that was a big impact in my life.

I got involved with the ministry of athletes in action regarding Jeff Patton plays Carolina was a campus director base. It doesn't do it, white male, begin to this discipleship may have me grow in my savings, so that was the beginning of the journey while still continues set is something else man inside me. You know, he took us back to his going to college. Now you had an interesting experience. Going to college yourself probably know just you look at all these new things and your you you had a we were able to fall you for those of us here North Carolina kid Carly Carney also maintenance guy could carry the pill throw the pill case that I mean I don't think it would football you could do everything, but what happened in your life. How did you meet Christ. Kate writes that I think luckily and I get to in a minute but God grabbed hold of me before I can go down to terrible the path early onset takes a back-to-back eighth grade dinner to get high school in and have this thing on my life.

It's football and and people tell me I'm good at it and like Joe, I'm getting identity from in. I know that I'm in be playing varsity going in the high school which that brings a whole group of guys that I've never been around. It's a 14-year-old with 19 at this point and suspending all summer long.

These guys are so much out of me began to haunt me later on that eighth grade year before it happens that I'm in eighth grade and and I got these questions and unknown is a pretty good kid I was.

I was I got along with my family and I did good in school and sports were on my side so I thought I was a pretty good kid and in Christ was part of our household.

It wasn't forced upon me but it was definitely a big part of my family's life.

My parents life and so there we are. I think I'm a good person. I know God's there, like cows, good enough for me. I pray to my thinking, when it's time to pray dinner but it was definitely not a personal God me.

I didn't know God anew, that there was a God. I do not know God personally and so this begins to haunt me as I'm getting ready to take another step into high school, which is a sound so trivial, but for me it was that was my life. You are going to high school in and I just know that it's getting ready to be such a change in environment and I'm around and I feel like convictions when I get to is to draw near to God because now I'm scared at this point really will happen without a foundation of a strong foundation going into this on solid ground of varsity sports and being around that community center so there is youth leader at Fort Baptist student ministries on amoxicillin. He would come the luncheon. He wants with the youth group unit every week. It luncheon and said being with my group of friends over here. I didn't hang out. The church kids because they were quiet and I thought they were weird and it was different and somehow I I've found myself gravitating to make sure that I walk past.

That youth leader because he was out there trying to give the company youth and he will stop you and shake your hand and invite you out and being purposely trying to stay away from his kids but then find myself purposely walking passes got you now asking Eric. They pretty much asking for the invite to come in through to spend time with them because I knew that that's what I really wanted and set I may say that happening in Maine. I met the youth leader and then from then on it was every time I walk past and he was hounding me and wanted to get me there and wanted to get me there.

And Kelly Joe is doing now but instead it is as one Saturday saying that you know that I'm not the church did.

And that's not for me. And there's another side saying that it's God pulling me in so finally I found myself out of youth. One Wednesday night and I'm compelled I cannot. You know I cannot get enough. As soon as the youth leader opens his mouth about the gospel on it's just pouring into me and I'm compelled by and and I'm sorry to learn a little bit more about this God and who knows on pray intoa servant who supposed to know. Finally, drawing near to him as he says in the Scriptures and about that time we have youth activity and is the pool party.

Nothing crazy and is either that youthful party or go to my friends party here is these these high school kids that are into bad news in the trouble and I made the decision to get a disease party and I think I was a time in my life where it wasn't just this one night found myself in tears, but it was the decision. I felt God put on me to choose him into deciding I'm not gonna know about is God and I'm not going to get it youth in law. Let that be a part of my life.

Of that I'm in a follow Jesus as a right before high school. I think of think of a scenario where as a kid is just too young to go jump in the deep any stand on meds and the loving father comes and picks him up and taken back to the styling was comfortable and can swim American stand. He jumps and eaten with them and hold them up and asked nothing got it with me right before high school and I before I'm just immersed in this group of guys. It that I would of been lost. As I if God had let me run around with them for long enough. He Sadie right before he jumped into it with me and set then on God have my heart and is able to use football as a ministry of one of the things that have that I'm really proud of and that my mom actually have. This is very creative. We put scripts on my backplate which is just a extra pattern football and it's hangs down from the back your shoulder pads and I was able to profit up to my jersey got caught up Everett C can see there is Scripture everywhere I went on Friday nights and what you put on your applet, whatever verse the Lord leads into that wiki out changes that it became something that people would anticipate not have people reaching out to me was the verse this week, or one of the first Mainer on the sideline have teammates and trainers and whoever's out there asking me what is this was the verse. This we must first get on the night and I was my chance to share the good news in the share Jesus with people on. Thankfully that built up a little reputation I got to know walk with and that held me accountable and that you know the God using on that platform that the loss of oddities and I've done that in college a little stricter with the rules as far as the backplate being out but beyond sideline to get to do the same thing. I still get people reaching out asking with the verses can be. And thank you for having that on there and so yet you can be a Christian athlete and is not oxymoron if it is possible in BS of the Lord grant me the young age and I have been able to have a nice place. So many people just like Joe my life and that youth leader the time that the four enemy and give me a true picture of who Jesus is, so that I can lean on him.

That's the voice of Kate Carney football player, Wake Forest University.

That's the voice your before the testimony of Joe Haynes is the head of athletes in action there awake and what a great international ministry. This impacted my life very significantly for Christ and a big reason why I'm here on fire for God is guys like Joe took an interest to me like you to existing Kate and others. remake is available for podcast we come back will ask more about what are they doing now and what is it what is that exactly until schedule we come back and what what you do to stay sharp and close to God and what your challenger when out there more truth talk weekend we go back, don't touch that dial some of the most powerful witnesses for Christ are in athletics, they say, wait a second.

What about all the thug life.

What about all the guys doing bad stuff in the Chryslers also guys on fire for God leading people to Christ to love and happiness to be with me right now. Kate Carney, who is a college football player who shared his test with you missed the last segment, grab it on the podcast it truth talk weekend podcast page got a bunch of podcast up there. Also there's a podcast there of me interviewing young lady who just got a college degree, and she said to the 80s Of the world. Craig not for a week or two weeks before year to witness for Christ there with crew unbelievable so we got always to test recent stories at our podcast truth talk we can podcast also on the show when you can hear it Kate Charissa studio Joe Hayes is in the skillet athletes in action menu guys just your testimonies are still trying to process all that. That's powerful take me a long time doing what a great day tell you how I met Christ as is there anything better than doing that guys a there is not know about it. So what happens now like with aptly sexy.

So Joe, you told us a little bit about how you came the Lord your plan high school football both of you have that need no story that how Al football is it you know it's a great sport but a terrible God right always let you down. You know, because but God use that to bring you to Christ and also some godly men in your life you would to Clemson your your disciple, your your learning about Alexander and how did you now yours your on that site you're like Bailey was your roommate. Your like leading people to Christ and build guys up and discipling as leader of athletes action tells what AIA is and how you got kinda hooked into that sheer athletes in action is a ministry of creed, which is already management athletic ministry of Caruso are hardest to to see Christ centered followers on every team in every nation where international ministry and so we know the influence of sports is huge with you that influence the main thing is to bring people of faith in the share the gospel. So we take in trying people like Kate know who already have a natural platform just because the platform athletics and help him to become the man to be able to share his faith with others to disciple him.

So we try to do that worldwide with athletes and teams. We also have competing teams. We have baseball ministry. We asked to have a football team section competing in China right now. So we have teams almost every sport men and women who take the platform to share what it really means not just about religion, but one things I continually say is this about a relationship with Christ and what does that look like I was at play out on the field because a lot of people see athletics, especially in a sport like football which is brutal. How can you take such a mentality be a football player in your Christian faith. Those worlds come together so we do. We teach principles like that one skull audience of one, which basically teaches you how to take your faith only field and how to bring glory to God for the talents and the gifts he has given you a Christian coach doesn't have to test pieces laden with F bombs a Christian player connected sticks middle finger of the camera has a bad player me there's a note the struggles real not mean we all struggle that we all don't don't have our off days, right but Kate your trust in God for his grace every day and and yet is it it helps having guys like Joe. You're like Tanya tell tell us about that in tells about how the struggles real like your daily walk with Christ like take us to make your put the pads on your your your coming to your you're getting hit by you. 350 pound lineman.

You know like that on right answer. I tell you a story about just that my freshman season. I got off to a pretty good start and had my best game is Duke. It was the second week of the season and next week I'm preparing for the third game of the year and the last practice of guy get rolled upon and sprained my NCL my freshman year, he saw Mountford for five weeks in Unitas, but being out for any time during the season put you in a funk when you come back and it's hard hit in stride like you were coming out of all cancer had a tough situation do with their in but I'm okay with you know was old enough I got Joe pointing to me all the time in Sedona and my sophomore season I got this prayer that put out, and on and on its me and God. I said I got a reminder myself everywhere. I got a reminder sent to my phone every week and is popping up and I'm praying this prayer consistently all the way we not to my sophomore season.

It's God, give me these big platform this big platform giving the big plays the big game and I don't know these other guys do with their with their platform they get from from the success but these mind appoint you as I can, give me the big play, mainly the big player on the bit that people are talking about people write about and I'll use that platform to glorify you and I and I have this deal with God and in the end, at this point it was very much that if you do this I glorify you now is kind of the deal was that I realize later on so I got this prayer and have an trying extremely hard to feel great going into my sophomore year and week to have a pretty good game against Boston College and break to ribs and so might well I got contest back from this OBI and I missed two games in and I come back in the very first carrier against Louisville. Halfway through the season is just a routine tackle and I get up in month my knees distant shot and I sprained my PCL so that puts me out really for the rest of the year to get me yet. The rest the regular season him sit on the sideline and I'm like God thought we had this deal enough that we are working together. I was going to glorify you with the thing with the family comes with being successful in the field and and that's not what happens Psalms and I got this timer might take the following to do this enough to glorify you, thankfully, have got people like Joe who is undoubtably my mentor wake that that pours into you that the true gospel to me in the fact that John 330 that it's not me it's God must become greater and we must become less and that's what that I learned today that Mikey said the football is a terrible God and I say that all the time. I love that you said that football is awful. God, it will let you down and I how successfully are some point you, and football let me down.

At that point and I realize through the default with seven weeks left in the season that glorifying God and sharing God and being Christlike does not rest on my success in God using me does not rest on the fact that I'm in the end zone because during that time I was on the sideline and learn to be the water boy and I learned to be the guy that is on sideline for my teammates and I learns a new investing is real relationships that are the one on one that it wasn't because there is article that said this is a Christian. It was a meeting with my back with the current running backs in fostering relationship with him and actually pointing to them for the sake of Christ and set. I learned God doesn't need football and that it's really about him and doesn't rest at all on the deal that I try to make with him of you will do this together and I'll be successful you will be glorified. It's you will be glorified.

Whether unsuccessful, or whether you sit on the sideline and somehow you have to you can fully commit your life to Christ. The enemy always comes in right right with these little else and you get away like you.

You get lonely God like wow how did that happen right to strike many people get Joe. He's like I said is a guy on campus and and we sit there and we talked through this and it's having this description accountability inscription you have the strength of the got sin. Wow, you're right.

It's not about me like we said you had that moment he realized it. The devil crept in and it was a was it was a very selfish dog's office. I was praying for myself and realize that God is in me that he just needs. Are you willing to pour into whatever audience he is so much bigger, meanest guys you're competing against guys you're playing with the geyser coaching everyone needs the Savior right in guys got you the light and God will do whatever it takes to shine the light of the gospel through our victory. But even to that. You know sometimes.

And through those tough times.

Now we got a Gilbert I want both of you give a parting shot challenge listeners out there. Everywhere we talk about you know your cellular just in the day-to-day grind of a job in else either job is a way to emulate and to share the glory of God with others you know. So what your challenge will click both of you will start with Joe. Joe Challenger went out there listening as to how they can know God and make him known to athletics you through whatever they're doing what your challenge taken away, then Keita let you closes with a challenge, but I think we we talk a lot about bringing glory to the Lord.

What does that mean what does that look like on a day-to-day basis. We are called as followers of Christ do everything as unto the Lord, which means even everything I do is a form of worship. So whether I'm sitting at a desk whether I'm working on a car I wear them scoring touchdowns when I'm hurt all of that can bring glory to the Lord.

And so each day to wake up and say God what you have in store for me today how walk with Jesus and often challenges geyser use illustrations and how you're doing life and your leaving a wake behind you.

Just like a boat leaves the likely goes down the goes down the lake and in that white has an impact. And so the only question is what kind of impact is going to have so if you're following Christ day by day, moment by moment, that wages will have an eternal impact this going impact is less macho, simply walk with Jesus do everything as unto the Lord, and you will have an impact no matter what you're doing or where he's placed you to specific time in life that is so cool KK don't you jump in and that was Joe Haynes who is the head of athletes in action at Wake Forest University. We were neighbors. Man, what have you guys back at the streetcar, like what is like 90 seconds to get here but I want to come and hang out with y'all and we wants we were so your ministry will make sure folks support you ever get a letter of support from crew at least action chemistries in these guys Daytona Beach whatever sin a money sending prayers sent overseas. These people are spread cast the net there bold evangelist for Christ Newbold deciphers a level you're doing man to think of what you doing to your challenger was God just got 30 seconds left, right, a lot like he said, I think a big part of it is drawn near to God and he will draw near to you that I found that to be true. My life you know looking for how to make your impact and what it looks like draw near to God. Get yourself in his word and he will speak to you through that make your prayers to send to send you the way that he calls student and he will send and he will give you that the platform whether it's big or small and widespread, or a personal relationship with just one person draw near to God and he will draw near to you. That is awesome thank you guys will put this in our podcast and are true talk we can podcast page's or website twitter Instagram Kate Carney sonogram. I know your man shall leave you get like me like 50 likes of the post was I could leave of Javid but Instagram we follow each other will do little Graham Chandrasekhar after show awesome and Facebook as well at Stu.Epperson will put most of all the stuff up there. Thank you guys live for Jesus audience of what everybody Freon is 11. I will

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