Manny Maldonado

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

What has been your experience with PRS?

One of my FCA colleagues invited me to a Friday morning Public of Reading of Scripture gathering. My experience had been to read and study the Word. It was different and new to listen to large passages of the Bible. I saw a lot of people who looked and dressed differently than me. But, the gracious welcome in the room helped overcome my feelings of discomfort. It was helpful to know that I wasn’t alone but listening to God’s Word in community.

What have you learned?

I have learned to stop, pause, slow down, chew the words and journal them into prayers. PRS also trained me to be more of a listener. It has taught me more about the history of the Bible. Coming from a charismatic Latino background, experiencing someone like Mark Gornik has given me balance. Having him teach the Bible in context has inspired me to research more and communicate better. I am practicing simple, succinct communication as a result.

Have you had an “a-ha” moment?

While it is very difficult to put this into words, I experience God’s Word shaping my heart during PRS. It has shown me different gifts of the spirit lived out in the context of community. Sometimes we can read the Bible, but we don’t know what the Word looks like in everyday living. Being at PRS over a long period of time in community allows me to see these gifts lived out through other brothers and sisters in the faith. Experiencing PRS hospitality of welcome and a smile is different from my experience in New York. It made me want to be there more. It felt like God saying to me to plant roots here.

How has PRS benefited you and your organization?

As a result of being in PRS and community, I wanted to share the love of Christ with those who may have never experienced it before, specifically coaches and athletes in the City. In PRS, God speaks to you through his Word and highlights areas He wants to change your life with His love.

Pastor Frank Reynoso, the Metro Advancement Coordinator, leads our staff meeting using the PRS app to engage, equip, and empower our staff. We use PRS as one of the resources as we minister to and through our staff. We also encourage them to do PRS with their staff and on the athletic field.

The staff includes area reps, ambassadors, state, multi-area, and metro directors. Outside FCA, it includes coaches, athletes, character coaches, board members, donors, and volunteers. We have seen God use PRS in simple ways by just pressing play on the athletic field with a speaker before games. This space has created curiosity and conversations with those that are curious about following Christ.

Before COVID, we did a basketball skills and drills clinic; before beginning, we listened to a long psalm followed by reflection. After that, there was a conversation and great questions. After that, the athletes and coaches felt comfortable opening up. During COVID, we did a virtual leadership camp and a Christmas event. Both had told Christ’s story through PRS.

I have learned to stop, pause, slow down, chew the words and journal them into prayers. PRS also trained me to be more of a listener.
Manny Maldonado, Fellowship of Christian Athletes