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Cover 31


April-May 2010

Moved by Compassion: A Heart for World Missions



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History of
Free Will Baptists


A Scary Ride


Seek the kingdom of God first, and you will find yourself on the ride of a lifetime!


A Scary Ride

by Jeff Goodman


Being a Christian can be a really exciting journey, but it all depends on whether or not we are willing to get on the ride. I have always had a fear of theme park rides, and I often get motion sickness from riding them. While in high school, I once visited a theme park with my church youth group. Not wanting the others to think I was a wimp, I hopped on one ride after the next. That’s what led to my passing out on the bumper cars. Yes…the bumper cars!

After enduring three roller coasters and several other spinning rides, I was so sick that I begged the guys to ride the bumper cars. I thought it would give me time to recover. I was wrong. The last thing I remember was an older lady crying out, “I killed him!” after her car collided with mine. Next thing I knew, I found myself in a wheelchair on my way to the first aid station.

Church was a blast the next Sunday. Cliff Donoho, the church planter who had started my church in Salem, Illinois, got up and announced, “We only had one accident at the theme park. Jeff Goodman passed out on the bumper cars.” I have never lived that down.

Although I no longer ride roller coasters, I learned something that day about the thrill of the ride. As a home missionary preparing to start a church in Marana, Arizona, I have begun the ride of my life, and the journey is changing me. A raging fire to plant a church is growing inside.

As I prepared to travel and raise support, I thought I would tire of sharing the same message over and over. However, each time I share the vision, the passion inside of me grows. My resolve to build a church becomes ever more intent, and I am more focused on the task God has laid before me. I am leaning on the promise of Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I must admit something. I almost did not get on the ride—this journey I’m on. I was comfortable and content after pastoring the Homerville Free Will Baptist Church (GA) for 10 years. I never saw myself leaving the church, and to be honest, I didn’t want to leave. It was a great church with great people, and I loved my ministry there.

Several years ago, however, my teammate Josh began to pray: “Lord, stretch me. Lord, make me uncomfortable, and Lord, do big things.” I began to pray with him, and God soon led me to start this new adventure. The ride has not been easy, and when I stop and think about the ups and downs that await, I have to admit it scares me, even makes me a little queasy. But what a journey! What a thrill to be on this ride! All I can tell you is “…seek ye first the Kingdom of God…” and don’t let your fears keep you from the ride of a lifetime.

On behalf of the Marana Team, we are thankful to each individual who is helping turn the Marana vision into reality. Follow our progress at or follow us on facebook.


About the Writer: Jeff Goodman is a member of the Marana Project, a team starting a new church in Marana, Arizona.



©2010 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists