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Share the Gospel and Carry a Big Stick

Kevin Kitch's Story of Growing as a Leader Through Iron Men of God 

 

Spiritual leadership is an important part of being a godly man. In today's society, strong, godly leaders are necessary to help grow others in Christ and with each other. Iron Men of God is a Men's ministry that is shoulder to shoulder discipleship transforming men by increasing spiritual habits and disciplines. From there, they are taught to lead in all aspects of life with a focus on the Lord. Kevin Kitch is one of the men involved in Cottonwood Creek's Iron Men of God ministry and through his experience, he has grown in both discipleship and leadership.  

 

Kevin was saved at the age of 17 when he was invited to church by a friend from school. Kevin started attending church, worship, and youth. "I had tons of questions," Kevin said. "I didn't grow up in a home of believers so it wasn't the lifestyle I grew up in." Kevin had all the typical questions, such as, 'Why are we here?' "After I attended church with my friend, I had answers that meant something beyond the typical 'It is what it is'," Kevin said. "Through that year of going through youth and having people be patient with me and go through the Word of God, I accepted Christ at 17 and was baptized the same year." 

 

Kevin got involved at Cottonwood Creek after he and his wife, Kelly, got married. They had both grown up in the Tarrant County area, but after getting married, commuting to work was becoming an inconvenience. "We began looking at houses in the Collin County area and once we got settled, started looking at different churches," Kevin said. "We went to one other church and then Cottonwood and it was the right fit. We've been here since 2006." 

 

Kevin's journey into Iron Men of God was a natural progression. "We started in Worship services, then Life Groups," Kevin said. "A couple of guys in our Life Group had been through Iron Men of God." Kevin was curious about the ministry, but with having to travel for his job, he had a comfortable excuse to not do it.  

 

It wasn't until the third year of men prodding and encouraging him, that Kevin finally got involved in Iron Men of God. "That year, God grabbed a hold of my heart," Kevin said. "I was comfortable in my walk with God. I would come to church, go to Life Group, occasionally a Bible study."

 

Realizing that he was complacent in his walk with God, Kevin knew he needed to do something. "I was convicted and wanted to become more consistent with family devotions at home, praying with Kelly, and even in my own quiet times," Kevin said. "I would try through my own efforts, but each time failed. Because of those reasons, God convicted me to go through Iron Men of God."  

 

Kevin finally began his eight months of Iron Men of God. "The ministry covers everything from studying the Word and prayer, to being a leader in your home and everywhere else," Kevin said. "It teaches you how to evangelize and how to be bold and confident enough to go out there and have those conversations with people about the Lord." 

 

Part of joining the Iron Men of God ministry is a discipline of obedience. "You want to surrender your own comforts," Kevin said. "During your rookie year, you get the opportunity to wear a red rookie shirt and carry a stick." The stick was twofold for Kevin: it meant he was being obedient and surrendering to God in terms of his spiritual growth, and also sharing with others that he was submitting to Him. "For me, wearing the shirt and carrying the stick wasn't a big deal because I knew I needed to change my spiritual habits," Kevin said. 

 

Kevin had an exciting experience where he was able to share Iron Men of God with a new couple at church. "The wife stopped me and asked what the stick was about," Kevin said. "I then met the husband and they ended up joining our Life Group. That next year, the husband joined the Iron Men of God ministry." 

 

Since being involved in Iron Men of God, Kevin's relationship with God and with others has changed drastically. "As an individual, not growing up in the church, I've always felt confident in my relationship with God and being saved by God," Kevin said. "One of the areas that has really helped is once I got married, became a husband, and now a father, my relationship with God was still kind of my own."

 

One of the things Iron Men of God changed was Kevin's boldness and confidence of having more structure in how he and his family talked about God at home. "I have become more consistent in my quiet time," Kevin said. "It really has given me the confidence of what those spiritual disciplines are. I'm not perfect, but I do know how to get back on track through those disciplines. Iron Men of God has made me more confident and bold with my family and with others." 

 

For more information about Iron Men of God, click here 

Winners Through Faith

Mike Cekinovich's Story of Sharing the Gospel Within the Sports World 

Testimony Tuesday 9/26 - Mike Cekinovich from Cottonwood Creek Media on Vimeo.

There are many outlets to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Some of them are in the most unlikely of ways. Sports play a big role in today's culture and sometimes can be seen as an idol. Cottonwood Creek's Mike Cekinovich grew up playing sports and has found a way to instill the gospel while he plays, as well as teach others how to play with the mindset of Christ.  

Mike grew up in western Pennsylvania, but after the divorce of his parents at age 12, he moved down to Texas. After moving to Texas, Mike was blessed to meet a family who attended church and invited him to go with them. Soon after, at the age of 13, Mike accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. 

Mike has played sports for as long as he can remember. He played football, basketball, softball, and baseball for Richardson High School, as well as rec leagues, city leagues, and sports organizations.  

Mike first started getting involved with incorporating the gospel through sports when he started playing softball. "We would pray after each game and try to share a good word," Mike said. "It was always something encouraging." Mike then began getting involved in a sports reach ministry in prisons. Mike and his team would play softball with the inmates, and then after the game, share the gospel with them. "In a prison, you plant the seed and it's a one-time presentation," Mike said. "Some aren't getting out. So, we do our very best to let them know about the saving grace of Jesus."  

Mike usually waits until after the game to start sharing the gospel. "It's after the game where we get the opportunity to pray with the players," Mike said. "Whether you're using sports as a mission field or not, try to be Christlike while playing. Don't take it personally when you lose and be a light in a field that is most of the time so competitive." Mike also teaches players to encourage one another with uplifting words. "Lift up your fellow teammates with 'Nice hit!' or 'Good catch!' as opposed to 'Win, win, win.'" 

Mike believes that any sport can be used to incorporate the gospel. However, one of his favorite sports to use is football. Mike plays football with a group of younger men on Sunday afternoons. "At half time, I give them a pep talk," Mike said. "During that time, I'll utilize something from my job as a firefighter towards who Christ is, what an admirable relationship looks like with Him, and the importance of prayer." Mike will then draw comparisons of the game of football to a relationship with the Lord. "If you're playing football and you execute the plays, good things will happen," Mike said. "If you read the Bible and execute what we're taught, God blesses our lives."  

Through his sharing of the gospel, Mike uses different passages of the Bible to encourage others. If people want to talk about religion, he directs them to John 14:6: 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

If Mike shares with others about heaven, he turns to 1 John 5:11-12: 

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 

For people who want to confess sin, Mike encourages them with 1 John 1:9: 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

Ultimately, Mike wants everyone that he shares with to always remember what Proverbs 3:5-6 says: 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. 

Whether it's sharing the gospel during a football game half time, or after a softball game, Mike's ultimate goal is to use the sports venue as a gospel presentation to others. "You will run into someone and see where their life is ten years later," Mike said. "It's amazing to see those who have followed Christ and made Him a priority. If we're trusting the Lord and following Him, He's going to direct our paths." 

No One Faces Cancer Alone

Who do you talk to when you have cancer? Unless someone has had cancer, they can’t fully understand everything that you are facing. Whether they are going through this journey or walking alongside someone who is, cancer will touch everyone’s lives at some point. John Arakelian knows what it’s like to wake up feeling perfectly normal one day only to get a devastating cancer diagnosis the very next day. His family empathized with him, but John felt like he did not have anyone to talk to about his diagnosis. John turned to God.

The good news is that no one has to face cancer alone. The Cottonwood Creek Cancer Ministry was formed shortly after John’s diagnosis. They walk alongside those facing the difficult battle that comes with cancer. To learn more about Cancer Care and John Arakelian’s battle, watch his testimony below.

I Was Just Fine Yesterday from CCBC Media on Vimeo.

 

Cottonwood Creek Church // 1015 Sam Rayburn Tollway, Allen, TX 75013 // 972-359-7777 © 2018