Ex-English Premiership footballer and BBC Match of the Day pundit turned Christian minister Gavin Peacock, took some time out of his busy schedule to share his story and answer questions on faith and football from a youth group at Stornoway Free Church.
Gavin, who used to be signed to Newcastle United and Chelsea at the height of his career, is now pastor at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Canada. Speaking of his path into ministry, he recalls the moment he knew it was time to follow God's call, “I was reading the Bible – as I had done for many years - when I sensed a burning inside, not just to read it but to teach it. There was a desire to do it. But also a compulsion. A joyful compulsion, I'd call it. There's a great joy when I preach or when I lead in a church but I also feel like I must do it.”
[Gavin Peacock (L) in his playing days for Chelsea]
In sharing the beginnings of his faith, Gavin told the group that he attended a youth fellowship at the age of 18 and it was at this point the seed of faith was sown. He came to realise that although he had all that the world could offer in one sense – money, fame and success – the young Christians he met at the youth group had a greater joy in their lives. Soon after he committed his life to Christ.
Gavin's story had a big impact on young people and leaders alike. He challenged them all to put God first and ‘hold lightly’ the things of the world like money, fame and achievements. He also encouraged them to find their identity in Christ and grow in a relationship with Him through Bible reading, prayer and being an active member of a church. He also stressed the importance of having godly mentors and reading good books such as Christian biographies to strengthen their faith.
Event organiser and Stornoway Free Church Elder Doonie Macleod said, "It was great that Gavin could take some time out to share his story with our youth group."
"We had over 70 young people attend, they were all very much engaged and interested in what he had to say."
Gavin's personal website can be found here - http://www.gavinpeacock.net/