Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
In January of 2013, I spoke to the youth group at Mount Pisgah UMC here in Johns Creek, Georgia. The next day, I received an email from one of the young students who had heard my story and message. He wrote, "You were awesome! Will you come speak in my school? I go to Piney Grove Middle School." I looked up the school on the web, and thought, "That's a public school...they'd never let me speak there!" So, I wrote the young man back and said, "I'd be happy to, if you can make it happen."
Well, I had heard of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes before, but I really had no idea what they did. And I certainly had no idea that they held huddles in many of the public middle and high schools in the state of Georgia. The young man wrote me back and said, "I'll talk to our FCA leader and give him your name."
A few days later, I received another email. This time from the FCA teacher/sponsor saying, "One of my students has asked me to invite you to come speak at one of our huddles." I went there in January 2013 and spoke to about 150 kids, the first time I'd even been in a public school building. Afterwards, many of the students had tears in their eyes and thanked me over and over for coming to their school.
I then received the following email from an FCA board member in Forsyth County:
"On behalf of Forsyth/Dawson FCA, I want to send you a heartfelt thank you for speaking at Piney Grove Middle School yesterday. I was absolutely mesmerized by your story. It was by far one of the most powerful messages I have ever heard, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Many parents have emailed me to say that their kids can't stop talking about you and your message. More than a few have said that their kids were so moved by you that when they talk about what they learned it brings them to tears. One mom wrote to tell me that her son said that you were the most inspirational speaker he has ever heard, and that he got more out of your message than he ever has at church or any other spiritual gathering. In my own son's words, "That was the most awesome testimony ever!" You certainly had a huge impact on these kids. Your message of how God created each of us with a specific purpose is so timely for our middle school youth. I believe that no one can deliver it more effectively than you. God is using you in mighty ways. You obviously know the purpose for which God made you. All who have the honor of meeting you and hearing you speak are truly blessed. Bless you as continue to inspire and glorify God through your testimony."
After that, word began to spread all over the Atlanta area and beyond, and I began to get invitations to speak in more and more FCA huddles and other Christian clubs. I have now been to over 150 different schools, and many of them multiple times!
I constantly receive comments and messages from students with messages like: "You just changed my life!" and "You are the best speaker our FCA has ever had!!" God is amazing and awesome, and He has so graciously used my life story and message to impact several thousand students so far.
What People Are Saying...
In my 15 years of FCA ministry and nearly 30 years of youth ministry, I've never seen a greater impact on students' hearts than Joshua Goodling's testimony! Every audience: whether middle school, high school, college or adult, listens intently, each person seems to identify in some way with Joshua's struggles. People come away spiritually refreshed with a positive attitude like: "if Joshua can trust God then I can too!" Joshua has shared his testimony in more than a dozen FCA huddles throughout our area, and he has spoken at several churches, including mine, All very well received! Joshua's greatest desire is to share God's love and grace through his unique story. Book Joshua Goodling to speak at your FCA event. You will be blessed!
Joshua came to Apalachee High School and did an amazing job. The feedback from the students has been great. God spoke through him and he made a positive impression on our students and staff who were there to hear him speak. I would recommend him to any FCA huddle or group who needs some Godly inspiration.
Today was so touching at FCA! So glad to have heard you speak!!!! You are so inspirational!! I would love to tell you I have already accepted Christ as my Savior in 2012! I hope to grow closer in my relationship with him! Great to hear you speak today! You're a true inspiration!!!!
I attend River Ridge High school as a junior. You came and shared your amazing story with us this morning at our FCA program. Lately I have been off track in my life, and it seemed as if nothing was going as I had planned. With some events in my life, I have veered away from God. I accepted Christ into my life when I was 12 years old and focused my life completely on him. Lately that has not been the case. I felt as if God sent you to River Ridge High school this morning to speak directly to me. I have heard you speak before and your story moved people in amazing ways, but today it seemed to connect with me more than it had before. I just wanted to say thank you, for coming to speak with us today. I was amazed at how God is working in your life and how this path has led you to inspire so many people, including me. I could feel God speaking through you today and I thank him that you were here today to share your life with others. I would like to let you know, when you said that since we gave our lives to Christ, he gets to do whatever he wants with them, it made me realize all the pride in my life and how negatively it has affected me. I gave my life to Christ, and I want to be able to live those words every day and know that it is not my life, but God's, and he knows what path I will take. Thank you!
Hi Joshua! You spoke to my FCA group a few days ago at Dickerson Middle School. I just wanted to thank you so much for coming and telling us your story. It was so inspiring an eye opening to here about how God has worked in your life. I have accepted Christ and am an active participant in my church but I've never really felt a true connection to God. After hearing you speak(and almost crying at some parts of your story) I took some time to pray and talk to God. I feel truly happy now and I'd like to thank you for opening my eyes to that. I can't wait to see what God's plan is for me in my life and hope you an keep using your story to inspire people everywhere. Thank you again for speaking to us and have an amazingly awesome day!
Joshua, you came to speak to my daughter's class at Grace Christian Academy and made an incredible impression on her. We as a family got online to hear your story and your strong commitment to God and your faith. Thank you for sharing your message and for being an instrument for God's word. I'm looking forward to reading your book with my family. Keep up the great works, you will truly be rewarded for the impact you make on so many.
Joshua Goodling spoke at our middle school Christian club earlier this school year. Students were so moved by his testimony that many of them expressed that they believed he was talking directly to them. Some of them who have been dealing with divorce of parents, home issues, problems at school, etc. were encouraged by his moving testimony. They continue to ask when he is coming back to speak again.