Disciples Making Disciples Is a Powerful Focus for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Summer Camps
FCA Has Had a Heart for Disciple-Making for 65 Years, and More Than 700 Camps This Summer Will Center on Strengthening Jesus’ Followers
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—For 65 years, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) has helped coaches and athletes grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ—and helped lead others to do the same. Engaging disciples who make disciples is a huge part of what FCA is all about.
And specifically this summer at more than 700 Camps worldwide, disciple-making remains a powerful focus for FCA.
“For this year’s FCA Camp and ministry focus—‘Let’s Go’—we’re aiming to take the rally cry of Jesus, the Great Commission, all over the world,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “‘Let’s go’ is something we shout at sporting events as fans and what we hear athletes and coaches exclaim to each other at key points in the game. But we should be shouting ‘Let’s go and make disciples’ for Christ as well. That is our heart at FCA—and it’s the most important ‘play’ we can ever make for Jesus.”
This summer, tens of thousands of coaches, athletes and teams are participating in hundreds of life-changing FCA Camps, as they focus on the theme of “Let’s Go,” based on the Bible verses from Matthew 28:18-20, in which Jesus says, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Meant to be said with emphasis, “Let’s Go” is not only the rally cry for many athletes, coaches and teams, but it also should be the goal of Christians when they consider Christ’s call to the Great Commission.
Bryan Dwyer, a pastor and founder of the online discipleship library pursueGOD.org, was highlighted in a recent FCA magazine and also wrote a feature in The Christian Post about disciple-making through FCA.
“There’s one thing that growing ministries need to be healthy, and without it, the mission will be dead,” Dwyer wrote. “It trumps buildings, locations and staff, and it has nothing to do with how much money is in the bank. It’s the secret sauce of the early church, and it’s the key feature of faith communities that Jesus envisioned for every generation. What is the one thing every ministry needs to grow? Disciple-makers.
“But what is a disciple-maker?” he continued. “A disciple-maker is someone who looks outward to help people pursue God. A disciple-maker lives with purpose and answers the call Jesus issued through the Great Commission, a charge given 2,000 years ago to His original disciples. A disciple-maker realizes the greatest thing a person can do in life is pursue God, and the second-greatest thing a person can do is help someone else pursue God. This is what we’re all called to do! We are called to take Christ’s love into the places we go. And a ministry full of disciple-makers is what Jesus envisions for FCA.”
In Ephesians 4, Dwyer pointed out, Paul paints a picture of how a healthy ministry functions with simple clarity: “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12, NLT).
These words from Paul are about strategy. Like a great coach, Paul distributed job descriptions for everyone in the church, and it started with ministry leaders equipping and empowering God’s people to do the work of ministry.
“It’s our charge to build up the body of Christ and to make more disciples,” Dwyer wrote. “Specifically for FCA, this means we rally around coaches and athletes under the simple vision to get everyone ‘in the game’ and share Christ. Everyone who is pursuing God can be a disciple-maker. That’s the strategy of Jesus. And it’s the one thing every ministry needs to grow and fulfill its vision.”
FCA Camps take the best attributes of an athletic-focused camp and a spiritual-focused camp and combines them into an athletic/spiritual experience like none other. FCA Camps remove athletes and coaches from the routine of their sport, friends, co-workers and community, and place them into an exciting, healthy, athletic environment that allows them to pursue their passion for sport and clearly see and hear Christ’s passion for them.
Six different types of Camps exist where competitors can reach their potential through comprehensive athletic, spiritual and leadership training, including Sports Camps (multi-sport and sport-specific camps), Leadership Camps (developing athletes and coaches to be leaders), Coaches Camps (designed to minister, equip and encourage); Team Camps (to come together to compete); Power Camps (typically for athletes 8-12 years of age); and Partnership Camps (FCA partners with some of the best organizations).
Several Camps already kicked off this spring, with the most activity still ahead in July and August. The impact on coaches and athletes has been the main focus of FCA Camps since 1956, with each Camp offering unbelievable fun, outstanding sports training, awesome speakers, incredible friendships and long-lasting life change. View the 2019 FCA Camps video here and browse camps by location, sport or date at www.fcacamps.org.
View the media page for FCA here. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.