Almost 20 Years In, Baseball and Softball Club Reaches Hundreds Internationally for Christ
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Video Features Sport Evangelism and Discipleship Program Reaching More Than 100 Athletes with the Gospel
August 31, 2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inspired to build a community of long-term relationships and to introduce his neighbors to Christ, one university-trained computer programmer is using athletics full time, creating a club program that has grown into the largest in his country.
Terry Lingenhoel, an International Sports Partner of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (www.fca.org), has ministered in Hungary since 1991, but his 2002 launch of a community baseball and softball club through Operation Mobilization’s SportsLink (OM SportsLink) now reaches more than 100 players and recruits local and international coaches with the message of Christ. In an FCA video highlighting his vision, Coach Lingenhoel explains he designed his program to bear gospel fruit long past his tenure.
“This is just the beginning of what God is doing,” Lingenhoel said. “Hopefully the next generation is just really impacting their communities through sport.”
One strategy that has found success in creating a lasting impact is the involvement of both Hungarian and international coaches. New Zealand coach Alastair Hansen understands the critical role of standing alongside players in order to demonstrate Christ’s love and character.
“That’s the whole thing about coaching,” Hansen said. “It’s relationship building and getting beside the people and showing God through that.”
Dávid Hóllós — one of the Hungarian coaches and a product of Lingehoel’s program — joined the club at age 10. The coaches in his life influenced far more than his batting average.
As a frequent participant in the program throughout his childhood and teen years, Hóllós grew not only in his athletic abilities but also in his walk with the Lord. The influential figures, especially coaches, in Hóllós’ life during those formative years at baseball club and at youth group led him to receive the gospel and enter a personal relationship with God through Jesus.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes has a host of resources at www.fca.org that equip coaches and athletes to find their identity 100% in Christ.
Earlier this year, FCA introduced FCA Virtual, an online and social media initiative to rally coaches, athletes and staff around the incredible stories of what God is doing through virtual FCA ministry. FCA Virtual is a space to gather ideas about how to engage teams and Huddles in online spiritual growth and to look for ways to serve and connect in this time of limited social interaction. FCA hopes coaches and athletes will be encouraged by what God is doing around the world through the virtual avenue. FCA Virtual will also help coaches, athletes and teams to keep up with evolving ministry and training events in the field, as they unify leaders around a common rallying cry during a time of increased isolation. Learn more at FCA.org/Virtual.
Read more about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s website www.fca.org, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
To interview a Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.