Fun Run for the Son: All American Chapel Team hold Heaven-Class Event
By Sean Callahan, Army Chaplain at Fort Bragg, NC
On Saturday, 3 July, All American Chapel Protestant Service hosted a 4 Mile Family Fun Run on Fort Bragg. For weeks leading up to the event, we advertised at the chapel and on social media. We built out a course going through some of the on-post neighborhoods, where some of our chapel families turned on their sprinklers, blasted music, and encouraged the participants along the way. At the finish line, some of our team ran a snow cone machine and handed out snacks. We had special stickers with the chapel logo to hand out as “swag,” and the top adult and youth finishers received a prize.
The response was phenomenal. We had over 100 participants show up for the event, 30 of whom had never been to our chapel or were not Christians. Of those 30, two of the families showed up the next day to check out our Sunday Service. I gave a brief devotion on Hebrews 12:1-2 to connect what we were doing as a community that day to the race we run in faith, every day. We had runners, walkers, bike riders, kids on scooters, walking strollers, and runners with strollers. In fact, our top male finisher did so while pushing one of his kids. Everyone had a blast during the race, and most of the group stayed to talk and hang out at the finish line once the race was over.
It’s amazing how simple living on a mission can be. I like running. Some of our team likes running. So, we put together a basic route, had some volunteers bring water and snacks, threw in some cash for swag and prizes, and then showed up on Saturday morning to have some fun. People came because they wanted to run with their families, and they were excited to be able to bring kids on bikes or even strollers. Conversations came easily as we walked, ran, or even hung out in the shade while cooling off with some water or a snow cone. It didn’t take anything extraordinary or difficult to make a connection: we were just some people who got together to run and just so happened to be Christians. But we were intentional in what we said. People knew the chapel was hosting, so no one was offended when we talked about Jesus. They were just appreciative of a chance to connect with other families and have a little fun on a four-day weekend. The vision is that our congregations begin to see their daily interactions, work, and recreation as vehicles for the mission. We can actively build relationships, show God’s love, and intentionally share the gospel message in every area of our lives.
Chaplain at Fort Bragg, NC