Most of you know John Bostock as a professional football player (or soccer player to Americans). Of course, if you know that much, you also know that he recently went to play for Antwerp, Belgium. This move comes at a time when he is looking to realize his full potential.
John Bostock was hailed as a rising star. In 2008 he became the youngest player ever to play for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club at age 16. In the years following Bostock was on loan to several different football clubs, but he didn’t experience huge success at any of them. After returning from his stint with Toronto FC in 2013, he was released by Tottenham and became a free agent in the premier league.
It was at this time that John Bostock joined Royal Antwerp Football Club, or Antwerp as it is commonly called. His primary motivator in this move was the desire of Royal Antwerp manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to help him realize his full potential. The Telegraph quotes Bostock as saying, “My main goal is to fulfill my potential. I have a lot of work to do, one way of doing that is playing as many games as possible. Here I have a platform to improve and a manager who really believes in me…”
John Bostock Seeks to Fulfill His Potential as a Christian
Less known, and certainly not widely publicized, was John’s desire to realize a different kind of potential. He became a believer at the age of 15, but he feels that there is more that God requires of his life than what he is currently doing. As he begins his journey to fulfill his potential as a professional athlete, John Bostock sought out an opportunity to realize his full potential as a mentor and leader in the kingdom of God as well.
Of course, John’s profession requires him to travel a lot. He doesn’t work on a set schedule like most people, so going to a traditional seminary was out of the question for him. Christian Leaders Institute brings the classes to him wherever he is and whenever he has time for them. Here is the story of his spiritual journey in his own words.
I am John Bostock and I was born and raised in London, England,UK, which is steeped in Christian history. However, sadly now as a country we have turned away from what formed and made us. People are very cold towards the name Jesus Christ and the Gospel and often regard intellectualism and intelligence greater than faith, and are unable to link the two. By His grace there are still great opportunities to share what God has done and is doing.
I grew up without any spiritual guidance. When I was 15, I witnessed how the Lord could change a sinner and I saw that first hand in the life of my sister. Her life had been radically transformed, she later invited me to church. After declining for a while I decided I should go. That service the pastor gave an alter call and I was immediately convicted of my sin, the power of the Holy Spirit really overwhelmed me to the point where I was weeping over my sin. At that moment there was no doubt that Jesus was real and that He was the only solution to my sin. I walked to the front of the church, fell to my knees and surrendered my life to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
I am still trying to figure out exactly what God wants me to do in ministry. As a professional athlete I have a desire to see other athletes come to know Jesus and that Christ would be lifted up in sports. I am also passionate about young people. Growing up in London many young boys grow up without a father figure and the role of being a mentor to these young men is something that I want to fulfill. The Lord has given me a real burden for preaching so I want to use that to share the gospel.
I am an evangelist at heart as I believe I have been entrusted with the gift of evangelism. I have been used to lead people to Christ and I find it quite easy to talk about the gospel and God. I also have the honor of leading regular bible studies which is a blessing as I love to teach Gods word.
There isn’t one key experience that prompted me to pursue ministry. The desire of my heart is to be as fruitful as possible and to be a good steward of what God has given me. People are spiritually dead, Jesus is the only solution and ministry is a great way in sharing that in love.
In Europe, peoples’ hearts are hard towards the Gospel and even the thought of entertaining a conversation about “God”, so already there are challenges.
My pastor and local church have supported me by showing me the love of Christ and displaying what it looks like to live for Jesus.
I travel a lot due to work and having an online bible course really allows me to study and learn as I go. It would be a great achievement to receive a scholarship at CLI. I know that in the process it will equip me to be better prepared for what Gods called me to do.
Please pray that God uses John Bostock for his glory. Athletes like Bostock have unique challenges.