Stories

My Sporting Life: Jen Ehr

Date posted: 23/01/17

Jen Ehr

 

It’s always great to hear stories of how people are representing Jesus in their world of sport. Whether you are a player, coach or official – or involved in sport in a different way, ‘My Sporting Life’ is designed to encourage you in your faith as you read of others looking to share the gospel where God has placed them.

Profile

Name: Jen Ehr  

Age: 20

Where from: London but studying at Oxford University

Church: St Peter’s, Fulham / St Ebbe’s, Oxford

Sporting involvement: Currently playing women’s lacrosse for Oxford University and also many college sports. Previously coxed for Oxford and played NCAA Division 1 tennis in the US for a year.

Claim to fame: I coxed the Oxford women’s Blue boat in the 2015 Newton Women’s Boat Race, the first to be televised on the BBC and raced on the Tideway in London.

Jen EhrMost embarrassing sporting moment: Hmmmm 10 days before my Boat Race, conditions were awful near Putney on the Tideway and our boat ended up getting swamped (the tops of the sides sat an inch or two under water - rowing boats won't actually sink because there are certain buoyancy regulations). The RNLI happened to be on exercise nearby and rescued us- it made the front page of the BBC website...

What encouragements have you seen as a Christian in your sport? A couple of honest conversations that I have had with teammates have highlighted that they do have a longing for a greater satisfaction than the world can give. Some of the more unexpected people have asked me questions about my faith and then have come to church and heard the gospel. I have not yet had the joy of seeing a teammate submit their life to Christ, but I am praying that God is working in their hearts.

What do you find tough about living as a Christian in your sport? Lots of my teammates seem to have it all; they are at a great university, playing high level sport and it is tempting to believe that their pattern of living for the here and now does deliver on its promises.

How do you look to share the gospel in your team? First and foremost I pray and try to pursue my own godliness. The greatest opportunities I have had to talk about the gospel have come from teammates noticing the distinctiveness of someone living for Jesus. I try also to build friendships and talk about things on the way from/to training/matches that go beyond the superficial. They often don’t lead to Jesus, but help me build deeper friendships and trust.

What one piece of advice would you give to Christian sportspeople to help them share their faith? Pray, talk casually about attending church/prayer meetings/CU (this step helped me to then be more comfortable about inviting teammates to church/events) and remember that while God may wonderfully use us to fulfil His plans, only He can change people’s hearts - this is so freeing!

Jen Ehr