Echo Spring 2021 - 46

By Zachary Woods ('17)
ince my graduation from LBC | Capital, God
has placed my family and me in the context of
the local church, today entrusting me as pastor
of the New Berlin and Winfield UMC Charge near
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. If you find me on Facebook,
you'll see pictures of my church life taken by my amazing
wife, Kayla, and our blessing of a daughter, Anna.
Lately, however, you might stumble across posts about
how God is moving through something new-iRacing.
These posts have a common theme: the hashtag
This is a story of how God shows just how creative He
can be by using a guy like me to share Jesus' story in a
new and creative way.
Read how one LBC | Capital
Adult Education graduate
serves his community through
a special needs hockey team.
Focus your phone's camera
on the QR code or visit lbc.
Through some changes over the past year and a half,
God brought to us a whole new season of life that has
been so good for our family. Since graduating with a
Pastoral Ministry degree in 2017, a big struggle for me
has been balancing ministry, family and my own mental
health. God did a work in my heart to seek balance,
as ministry should not be a burden of my soul but
something I delight in because He is glorified.
That leads me to iRacing-a virtual simulation racing
experience that, for people like you and me, is as close
as we'll get to the real deal. Having direct ties to reallife
motorsport competition, iRacing provides a virtual
experience without hopping into the car; it's not just
another video game.
In this season of COVID-19, NASCAR had suspended
practices on tracks for health and safety reasons. So what
were these drivers to do? They headed over to iRacing
to get in those practice laps before they strapped in
on Sundays. In fact, some of the modern-day, popular
NASCAR drivers got their start through iRacing as a
substitute for racing on local dirt tracks, which can be
expensive. But for iRacing, all we need is a computer,
wheel and pedals.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has spoken about practicing on
simulation back when it was first conceived, and today,
drivers like William Byron, who already has a real-life
NASCAR win this year, got their racing start on this
platform. For me, having dreams as a
youth to drive race cars on
Sundays instead of
standing in a
pulpit, this was an avenue to be able to have a little
of both.
I want to be clear-I won't be racing on Sundays, as I'm
busy living out who God has called me to be serving in
the local church. However, God was creating a space in
my life without me realizing it to seek rest for my soul
while also creating a mission field to glorify Him. I would
have never imagined I would race cars on any level, but
God has been so good.
The " paint " I run with iRacing is the real focus of my
evangelism. A car's paint scheme is the sponsor that
drivers choose to represent. Most people display their
favorite brands, logos or self-promotion, but for me, my
paint is the avenue to introduce Christ in a space where
perhaps faith hasn't been explored before. In the early
2000s, Racing With Jesus Ministries was involved in
NASCAR and today provides Christian support to drivers
in many racing outlets.
Even though the ministry does not officially sponsor me,
it was my desire to run the Racing With Jesus Ministries
colors on my virtual car to start conversations about
Jesus and Christianity to anyone who may comment. I
answer back that I am a pastor and that iRacing is a way
I can combine two of my passions-car racing and the
From there, the conversations go as far as the person
wants. I try to put my faith out there and let God do the
rest. It all boils down to not being afraid to share-or
drive-our love for Christ, not just on Sundays but to also
take the gospel story into arenas and start meaningful
conversations with people who may have never heard it.
I just drive the paint-God will do the rest.
Ultimately, my goal in iRacing is to have fun and share
what Jesus means to me. Scriptures like Proverbs
16:3- " Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans
will be established " (ESV)-have taught me about how
God works through evangelism in these times, and it
feels great to know that our God is so creative! God
has prepared us for a big task-to be disciples making
disciples-in a world that so often prompts His Church
to think outside the box.
I'm incredibly grateful that God is creating conversations
about His Son through this platform, and that is why, in
everything I share through iRacing, He always keeps me
grounded by making sure it is #ForHisGlory.

Echo Spring 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Echo Spring 2021

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