Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:47

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Inviting Coaches and Athletes to Receive and Serve Christ

Written by  Laura
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It is rare to see a ministry serve at the length Fellowship of Christian Athletes has within our community, state, nation, and world.  They have been committed to coaches and students around the globe for more than 60 years, and they aren’t stopping. Don McClanen, founder and creator of FCA, said these words in May of 1954, while projecting his idea before a board: “For some time, I have had the idea of forming an organization of athletes and coaches in this hero-worshiping nation of ours.  If athletes can endorse shaving cream, razor blades, and cigarettes, surely they can endorse the Lord, too.  So my idea is to form an organization that would project you as Christian men before the youth and athletes of our nation.”

Today, FCA is planted in Montgomery, Alabama, touching lives in city schools and private schools, while also providing college campus ministry.  During an interview with John  Gibbons, State Director for Alabama FCA, John described the organization’s influence in Montgomery like this:  “The outreach of FCA is bringing hope to Montgomery, building community and relationships for kids who might not have solid mentorships.”  Erik Armster, Urban Director for Central Alabama area of FCA, says, “So many kids in our city have heard of Jesus, but FCA helps them connect with Jesus on a personal level. It takes them from just knowing who He is, to knowing Him personally.” Their mission is to present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.

 

FCA likes to describe their ministry with four C’s: Coaches, Campus, Camp, and Community.  They use these four tactics to function and run their ministry in its fullness.

 

FCA ministers the Gospel on junior high, high school, and college campuses through weekly clubs called Huddles.  This campus ministry is initiated and led by student-athletes and coaches. Through these meetings, young people are given a positive alternative to the negative pressures they are facing today.  There are currently 36 staff serving over 425 FCA Huddle Groups throughout the state. In addition to the weekly Huddles, FCA provides sports chapels and Bible studies throughout the year.  In Alabama, FCA has a ministry presence on more than 420 school campuses.  More than 50,000 students attend FCA.  Last year, more than 2,000 young people made a profession of faith in Christ.  Locally, FCA is ministering throughout the River Region in 32 private and urban middle schools, high schools, and colleges. 

 

 

Fields of Faith Rally

Each October, FCA holds its annual Fields of Faith Rally.  Last year, more than 800 students attended the local event held at Trinity School.  The rally is held on Wednesday nights and students are provided with a free Chick-fil-a sandwich and an awesome experience.  This year, the rally will be held in Cramton Bowl, where an estimated 2,000 students are expected to attend. 

 

State-wide there were 18 Fields of Faith Rallies with more than 8,000 students and coaches worshipping God.  These rallies give the students the opportunity to hear powerful testimonies from their peers who encourage them to live for Christ and help make a difference on their school campuses.  Last year, more than 250 students and coaches made a decision to follow Christ at these rallies. 

 

 

FCA Summer Camps

Each summer, thousands of young people from across the nation attend FCA camps.  The local FCA provides scholarships for athletes and coaches in our area to attend FCA leadership camps, coaches camps, and boys and girls athletic camps.  Many lives are changed for an eternity at FCA Camps.  Last year, FCA sent 585 athletes and coaches to FCA camps.  It is the hope of FCA that in addition to the students gaining confidence in their athletic skills, they will also grow stronger in their faith in Christ, or discover a relationship with Him for the very first time.  A coach from Jeff Davis High School stated: “At FCA Camps, I learned that we are to be coaching for God’s glory, not just for the wins and losses, and that it is the most important thing that we can do for our kids.  It is more about winning souls than winning games! I realized at camp that I need God every day, and I want to include Him more in my life, and in my family’s life.” 

 

FCA reaches out to coaches with a monthly Coaches Bible Study.  FCA hosts an annual FCA Coaches Luncheon, held in conjunction with the Alabama High School Athletic Association All-Star Week.  More than 600 coaches will attend this special event.  This is an opportunity to share the love of Christ with coaches throughout the state of Alabama. Last year, Bobby Bowden was the key note speaker at the luncheon. 

 

The Alabama FCA sponsors 32 special events throughout the state to help proclaim the Gospel in local communities across Alabama.  Over 50,000 people attended these events in 2014. FCA is the “foot-in-the-door ministry,” helping the church in places where it can’t really go.  They are constantly trying to stay on the cutting edge, up to date, and consistent with the body to which they are ministering. 

 

 

How to get involved

Anyone can be involved in the many different areas of community service that FCA provides.  Huddles are certified small group Bible studies/devotions for coaches and athletes, with more than one option of Huddles to join.  Camps are certified ministry events that use annual themes and Scriptures for students.  The camps are not limited to one, but the option of Coaches Camp, Leadership Camp, Partnership Camp, Power Camp, and Sports Camp.  International trips are a part of how FCA is able to be a global ministry.  FCA offers a variety of trips with the staff and other partner organizations around the globe.  If you are interested in volunteering, there are numerous opportunities to serve.  Churches or individuals can help partner with FCA by providing volunteer support, food for Huddles groups, Bibles for new believers, or volunteering at FCA events.  All you have to do is check with the staff nearest to your area to find the greatest needs. For more information on how you can get involved with FCA, visit www.fca.org.

 

 

Laura is a freelance writer, born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. She enjoys spending time with her husband Cody and finding all reasons to have joy in life!

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:48
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