World Cup

Ultimate Goal: 18,000+ World Cup Fans Find Jesus

16 December 2022

2.5 MINS

An exuberant soccer player-turned-pastor is riding on the worldwide World Cup fever to introduce people to Christ through his amazing testimony, shared online. Through his digital mission, he has been scoring thousands of heavenly goals, sharing the wonderful news of the Gospel.

The FIFA World Cup has been the most widely followed sporting event in the world since 2006, with 715.1 million people watching the final match of the tournament that year — almost a ninth of the global population.

The observation is often made that sport has become a substitute for religion. Indeed, sporting fans are often as passionate and dedicated to their teams as any religious adherent to their faith.

Carpe Diem

Bearing this in mind, ex-professional soccer goalkeeper-turned-pastor Jesse Bradley has seized the golden opportunity to reap a harvest of souls for Christ during this year’s World Cup fever, launching a digital evangelisation campaign tapping into the “massive hunger across the world now for God, for hope, for faith, for Jesus.”

“We all know there’s something much more significant than soccer that we need,” he states, “And I discovered it for myself later in life — our souls are content, we have joy and peace when we discover a relationship with Jesus.”

Making Disciples

CBN’s Faithwire reports that Bradley realised his childhood dreams of playing soccer in Scotland and Africa, but an anti-malarial medication nearly killed him.

“I literally was fighting for my life for a year,” he said. “And in the middle of the pain, God birthed a new purpose and passion.”

Now serving as the lead pastor at Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, Bradley explains:

“I share my story, and people are making decisions to follow Jesus. We’re reaching millions of people. We’re seeing over 18,000 already make first-time decisions.”

“Stories are powerful; everyone has a significant story,” he observes.

“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.”

Bradley ensures that every decision for Christ is solidified and nurtured, partnering with Global Media Outreach, which follows up with individuals and links them up to a local church. “It’s not just decisions; it’s disciples,” he avers.

Fishers of Men

“You have to go where people are… where they spend time. It’s on their phones,” he explains.

“A lot of people are curious, and they may not have any friends that are Christians. By providing the content, now there’s an opportunity for them to hear about Jesus. When you lift up Jesus, He draws people to Himself. This is the message of grace.

“Jesus died for our sins, He is risen — that’s the Gospel, that’s the good news. So many people have never heard that. I never heard that until I was in college. If you provide it clearly and lovingly, people are intrigued by Jesus, and research shows that overall, people are willing to talk about Jesus, they’re willing to consider Jesus…

True Love

“We want people to know that there’s forgiveness, there’s love, there’s mercy in Jesus, and this relationship is real, and this is not just for today, there is abundant life but also eternal life through Jesus.”

Bradley rejoices:

“We’re seeing incredible responses on phones, people are sharing, they want follow-up, they want more content; the spiritual hunger today is massive.”

“It’s so fulfilling. I’ve been in ministry now for two decades, and we’ve never seen more fruit than we have in the last two years… God is doing a powerful work, a global work right now. There is a harvest, there is a revival digitally… If you consider what God is doing right now, it’s historical, it’s unprecedented… Every day, more people are turning to Jesus.”


Photo: Rise Seattle Podcast

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  1. Warwick Marsh 16 December 2022 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Fantastic article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jim Twelves 17 December 2022 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Jean, you are amazing! Thank you for sharing this story, its truly a punchy powerful story. Its brilliant how ‘story’ is the key to so much. My concern is that while the gate might be digital relationships must be local. Lets pray for the the ‘connection’ between folks and above between folks and the Lord.

  3. Stephen 18 December 2022 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Praise the Lord ..the Good news is for all

  4. Ian Moncrieff. 23 December 2022 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    How wonderful and refreshing to read of more good news.
    Thank you Jean.

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