Jenny Johnson Jordan: Volleyball Star’s Greatest Passion is “Living a Life Committed to Jesus Christ” (Gospel Light Minute #160)

Jenny Johnson Jordan
Jenny Johnson Jordan

She played college volleyball at UCLA, starting for three seasons and serving as captain for two seasons. While at UCLA, she earned All-American honors. In 1996, she started her pro beach volleyball career and competed for two seasons on the four-person circuit. She helped her team to win the title in the 1997 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Los Angeles. In 1999, she won the silver medal at the 1999 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Marseille (Mar-sa). She also partnered with Annett Davis on two-person events and the pair qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and placed fifth at the games. Throughout her athletic career, she has finished first 10 times in the U.S. and 2 times internationally, including 7 times on the AVP tour. In 2002, she was honored with the AVP Special Achievement Award. In 2004, she and Davis became the U.S. team with most career tournaments played together. Together with her husband, they work with Athletes in Action’s pro ministry.

In a testimony for, she said of her faith, “Everyone has something they are passionate about and for me it has always been sports. I can remember even at a very young age loving to compete, and when I was introduced to the game of volleyball in 7th grade I was hooked. Yet as great as this passion was, I became even more passionate about something else during my sophomore year in college.”

“During that time I developed a passion for knowing who God really is. I used to think that God was a God of ‘do’s and don’ts,’ but I learned that He is a God of love and that He loves me unconditionally. He loves me so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ to this earth so that I could have a relationship with Him. By committing my life to Christ, I know that I have been forgiven of my sins, have entered into a personal relationship with Him, and will spend eternity with God.”

“My passion for sports has provided many great experiences. I have been privileged to compete for three national titles in college, professionally on the beach and represent the United States in the Olympic Games. It has also taught me many valuable life lessons about integrity, hard work and perseverance. But my athletic experiences and lessons learned pale in comparison to my greatest passion, living a life committed to the person of Jesus Christ.”

Her name is Jenny Johnson Jordan.

The Olympics of Eternal Life

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #16 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

As you probably know, the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games have been played over the past 17 days. During this time, over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries competed in almost every sport imaginable. Thirty new world records were set and 946 medals were awarded. Last night, the closing ceremony of the London Olympics took place.

The Bible talks about a spiritual Olympics that is far more important than the Olympics we saw over the past 17 days. You see, an Olympic medal will not last for ever. The medals that Olympic champions receive will one day decay and the money they receive will be used up. But the Bible talks about an eternal prize, “an incorruptible crown, that fadeth not away.”

Paul, the writer of this passage, was familiar with the games at Isthmia near Corinth which took place every two years. He may have even been in Corinth during one of these events. The city would have been packed and many people would be forced to camp out in tents, so Paul, who was skilled at tentmaking would have probably applied his trade during this time. Since he is writing to the Corinthians who are familiar with this event, he uses the metaphor of runners racing for a prize to get his point across in this passage.

Please notice with me five things that we can learn about the olympics of eternal life:

I. The first thing that Paul urges his reader to do is to run with a purpose.

II. The second thing I want you to notice is that when you run, you must run with discipline.

III. The third thing I want you to notice is that earthly prizes and rewards are only temporary.

IV. The fourth thing we notice is that if we run this race and run it well, we will receive an eternal prize that cannot be taken away.

V. The fifth thing we notice is that in order to win this race, you have to get in the race.

+ Plus, listen to Steve Ivey singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”