Longtime St. Louis Cardinals all-star pitcher Adam Wainwright has invited fans to join him in a one-year online Bible study he is leading.
Last Thursday, the 38-year-old veteran and three-time all-star took to his official Twitter account to invite his 285,000 followers to “read through the Bible with me in one year.” The tweet encouraged fans who want to do so to follow his other Twitter account: “Walking With Waino.”
The @walkingwwaino account has 14,000 followers, a doubling over the last week when it reported to have about 7,000 followers. The bio description of the account reads: “Studying Gods Word in community.”
A pinned tweet from last Thursday explains that “Walking With Waino” is a “cool opportunity for me to walk through God's Word in community with you.”
“It's my prayer that this would be a blessing and a daily encouragement to you all,” the tweet reads.
A website for the study calls it the “Bible Engagement Plan!”
“My prayer is that God will speak to you in new ways as you work through these pages,” Wainwright wrote on the website. “I’m so excited, and — if I’m being completely honest — a little nervous about walking through this journal with you!”
Wainwright explained that he would be “very transparent” about each day’s reading and vowed to point out his own struggles or things that are “really firing me up.”
“The accountability that comes with leading small groups through the Word has been one of the greatest strengthening tools of my faith,” he stressed. “It’s also been a real challenge because when you lead you can’t miss a day!”
Wainwright explained that the study plan was put together in chronological order based on the dates books were likely written by his spiritual mentor, Don Christensen. He stressed that the order makes the Bible “read like a story” revealing the “truth and mystery of God’s love for us.”
“This isn’t a plan where you’ll dive into one book for months at a time,” Wainwright explained. “It’s meant to motivate you to open up your Word every day!”
According to the website, the plan aims to show the “patterns and disciplines” needed for one to truly dive into God’s Word.
“Do you need to read early before you get going? Does your mind work better at night? Maybe you’re a midday-lunch-break kinda person,” Wainwright wrote. “Find out what works best for you and stick to it as best you can. One thing that’s worked for me is to go somewhere quiet, and before you start, ask God to show or teach you something in that day’s reading.”
In a video explaining the program, Wainwright said that every day when participants wake up, they will get an email from him containing an Old Testament reading and a New Testament reading as well as a psalm or a proverb.
“I am going to breakdown what really stuck out to me. There are going to be major themes that I hit on,” he said. “That is going to be completely different than what stuck out for your maybe. So it is important to let the Holy Spirit speak through you.”
Wainwright’s Bible engagement plan comes as several missions organizations have declared 2020 “The Year of the Bible,” a movement to create better Bible engagement at churches worldwide in hopes of spurring a “second reformation.”
It is unclear whether Wainwright’s engagement plan was inspired by the global “Year of the Bible” movement.
Wainwright has not been shy during his career when it comes to sharing his faith.
In 2017, Wainwright told Dove Channel’s Matthew Faraci that he thinks God gave him the ability to pitch so that he could “impact the Kingdom and impact more people's lives” than if he had not been granted the ability to pitch at an arguably Hall-of-Fame league level.
Wainwright has a win-loss record of 162-95 over his 14-year career with an earned run average of 3.39 and 1,776 career strikeouts.
Wainwright told Sports Spectrum magazine last year that he would have likely retired were it not for the relationships he had with younger players, serving as a mentor to them on the field and with their faith. He signed a new one-year deal with the Cardinals last November for the 2020 season.
In 2017, Wainwright told Sports Spectrum about a spiritual transformation he had in 2002 when he attended a conference in Dallas, Texas, before making it to the big leagues. Wainwright admitted that he didn’t want to be at the conference but knew that he was meant to be there.
“Everything in my life led to that conference,” he was quoted as saying. “During the night sermon, the pastor was preaching on the relationship that was meant to be with Jesus. And for whatever reason, God finally opened my ears and I bought in on the spot. As I was listening to him talk, it sunk in and it punched me right in the face, and it punched me so hard that I had to look around and make sure that I wasn’t talking to Jesus Himself.”