A former professional soccer player-turned-pastor is on a digital mission to reach World Cup fans with the Gospel.
Jesse Bradley, a preacher at Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, told CBN’s Faithwire he’s seen thousands of soccer fans embrace Christ since launching his effort.
“We’re able to create content where we share the Gospel. I share my story, and people are making decisions to follow Jesus,” he said. “We’re reaching millions of people. We’re seeing over 18,000 already make first-time decisions.”
But it’s not limited to simply counting decisions made. The effort also has a discipleship element, with Bradley partnering with Global Media Outreach, a company leveraging technology to spread the Gospel, to ensure people are connected to a Christian community.
“They … follow up, and we help those people find a church,” he said. “So, it’s not just decisions; it’s disciples.”
Bradley said the stunning results from the campaign are indicative of a “massive hunger across the world now for God, for hope, for faith, for Jesus.” He said the interest levels are high.
That’s why Bradley and his team are telling his story and using his testimony to bridge interest in soccer and Jesus in unique ways.
Watch him explain the ministry outreach and his testimony:
“We all know there’s something much more significant than soccer that we need,” he said. “And I discovered it myself later in life, but our souls are content, and we have joy in peace when we discover relationship with [God].”
Bradley’s digital campaign relies on creating content that “leads to conversations and even conversions,” delivering these messages to mobile phones, among other personal locations.
The less-than-60-second videos speak about the World Cup before going into Bradley’s story.
He was once a professional soccer goalkeeper who had a tragedy, which creates interest in the viewers. Bradley shared with CBN’s Faithwire how he reached his childhood dreams of playing soccer in Scotland and Africa, but a medication he was prescribed to prevent malaria nearly killed him.
“I literally was fighting for my life for a year,” he said, noting he faced psychological effects in addition to serious physical ailments. “And in the middle of the pain, God birthed a new purpose and passion.”
Bradley entered the ministry and hasn’t looked back.
“Stories are powerful; everyone has a significant story,” Bradley said. “You have a powerful story, and when you share it, we learn more about God, we appreciate God, we see how God works … and how He transforms our lives.”
He continued, “We really go from the secular to the spiritual and then to the Gospel in Jesus.”
As for the massive reaction to the Gospel message, Bradley is deeply encouraged.
“It’s so fulfilling,” he said. “I’ve been in ministry now for two decades, and we’ve never seen more fruit than we have in the last two years.”