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Not Hanging Up Our Cleats Yet

I came across an old picture on Facebook from nearly 10 years ago. I was 52 years old and headed out for the annual Ethnos360 Bible Institute Student vs. Staff Turkey Bowl. Most had higher aspirations than I did, and I expect they wanted to win. For me, I only wanted to finish the game upright without snapping my hamstring! The game ended as usual, with the students obliterating the staff. However, individually, I was a winner because I completed the game with my body intact.

On that day, I hung up my cleats, never to play again. In wisdom, I knew my sporting career was over, and it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life. Now at sporting events, I cheer from the grandstands and occasionally watch the staff pull off an underdog win.


A New Chapter

As you have read in earlier pages of this magazine, I will be succeeded at the Bible Institute by a very qualified man. And although this was my decision and in the best interest of the school, it has left Carrie and me wondering what is next for us. Once again, we face a new chapter in life. Though just 60, early retirement could be an option but not what Carrie and I desire. And while this chapter of our lives is concluding, we certainly are NOT ready to hang up our ministry cleats.

As we reflect on the past, we have loved our ministries with Ethnos360. Our 18 years in Papua New Guinea, initially as church planters, shaped so much of who we are. And our 20 years of training missionary candidates at the Ethnos360 Bible Institute has also been rewarding. But now, as we look forward, Carrie and I have a desire to return to overseas fieldwork again. It is a big prayer, and it will take a big God. Will you please pray with us?


Thoughts Regarding Mid-Life Ministry Change


Our Focus

One of the blessings of getting a little older is that our focus changes. Carrie and I find that we focus on fewer things — the more imperative things. We spend more time focused on our relationship with the Lord and our spouse, praying for our kids’ relationships with the Lord and for our granddaughter, and knowing God’s plan for us. We remember that our days are finite and [that] we have a shrinking number of days to serve the Lord. Thus, our prayer and hope are that God will guide us to our next ministry and that He will use us for His purposes wherever that may be.


Crazy People

Carrie and I recently attended a Casting Crowns concert where they debuted one of their new releases, “Crazy People.” The song has a catchy jingle that goes something like this, “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, but where are God’s crazy people?”

This song challenged us as we thought of all the “no-names” that God has used over the ages to accomplish His mighty deeds. This song resonated with us because we also are just simple people who desire to be used by the Lord. As we pray for our new ministry and consider going overseas, it seems a little crazy, but as the song says, we want to be two of God’s crazy people!


Bartolo Colon’s Impossible Home Run

I am a baseball enthusiast and have learned over the years that in baseball crazy things can happen, and Bartolo Colon’s home run might top the list.

Bartolo effectively pitched in the major leagues for 21 years. While he was a good pitcher, his hitting was non-existent, and in his 21 years of pitching, he had only 25 hits! That is essentially just one hit per year. And to top it off, Bartolo only hit one home run in 21 years, and that [happened] at the ripe old age of 43. When Bartolo hit the home run and began running the bases, the commentators, teammates and crowd were all yelling, “Bartolo has hit the Impossible Home Run.”

As Carrie and I pray about our next ministry, we aren’t praying that we can hit the impossible home run but for God to give us a ministry beyond our wildest dreams!

Carrie and I have enjoyed serving at the Bible Institute but now look forward to serving in a different capacity. We desire to return to overseas fieldwork, ministering to the unreached, the neglected and the seemingly invisible people of this world who are too frequently passed [over].

Please do not be mistaken: our bodies and minds are not what they once were, but we wonder if there might not be one more language to learn within us. We may not get to be church planters again, but by the grace of God, we will keep our “ministry cleats” laced up. We plan to venture down out of the proverbial grandstands, get up on the sideline of ministry and cheer boisterously for those on the field while begging God to let us be players still.

“Oh, God, if you will grant us but one moment to lace up our cleats and join you on your mission field, we will be blessed.”

And to you, my readers, Ethnos360 has ministry opportunities for all ages. If they have space for us, they certainly have space for you! We would love to have you join the team. And if I bump into you, I’ll buy you a pair of cleats.

*If you are interested in how God leads Carrie and me in the months ahead, please email me at:

Tags: Consider This, Ethnos360 Magazine, Vision
POSTED ON Mar 14, 2022 by Ron Lindsey