Fellowship of Christian Athletes Encourages Competitors to Find the ‘Ultimate Standard’

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Encourages Competitors to Find the ‘Ultimate Standard’

Part of Giving 100% to Christ Is Refocusing on Him Amid Unexpected Disappointments, Such as Cancelled Seasons and Missed Opportunities

April 27, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Throughout 2020, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) is focusing on the overarching theme of “100%,” which will guide the entire year of events, gatherings, studies and more.

Sports require 100% of coaches’ and athletes’ time, attention and ambition. When we give 100%, we are changed for the better. Likewise, Jesus Christ gave 100%—His very life—so we can have a personal relationship with Him. When we give Jesus 100% of our heart, soul, mind and strength, our lives will be transformed.

“Part of giving 100% to our sport and to our Savior is discovering the ‘ultimate standard,’” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “Our 2020 theme of 100% is based on Mark 12:30, where Jesus calls us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That is an important charge—one of the greatest we will fulfill in our entire lives. Therefore, together as coaches, athletes, teams, parents and even fans—especially during these times—let’s learn together what the Bible says about whose standard we should live up to.”

FCA recently shared an article called “The Ultimate Standard” on its website, where the international sports ministry communicates that as competitors adjust to new rhythms and as routines are uprooted, their own self-assessment can fluctuate with unexpected disappointments, such as cancelled seasons and missed opportunities.

“We’re natural competitors—what do we do when we have nothing to outwardly show for our efforts?” asks FCA’s article. “We must pay attention to what keeps us in the competitive mindset while also recognizing healthy ways of fueling our minds and spirits in this season of uncertainty. Our coaches may keep in contact, giving us plenty of home workouts to stay in shape. Our teammates may still want to strategize for when the team can come together again or talk through uncertain times. Our parents have standards of how we will act and the chores we’ll do while keeping up on studies and athletic training.”

But where should Christian competitors place their focus? Or perhaps more importantly, on Whom?

“Ultimately our allegiance is Jesus Christ. He is the true standard, and no one or nothing else compares. We cast our eyes on Him, how He lived His life and how He asks us to do the same. We look to Him to help us see God’s standard for our lives, and His love for us is motivation enough to seek Him alone. Even when we are struggling to navigate these stagnant athletic waters, we can devote our time to knowing Him better, assessing how He sees our lives, and dedicating our sports and life mindsets to performing for His glory.

“When circumstances change and we’re in the middle of the unexpected, we can be driven to doubt, grasp for control and shift our focus. What are we laying as our foundation? Externals that are out of our control or an illusion of what would make us feel good? There has to be a better way to live our lives in the uncertainty, and God nudges us in this new direction.”

FCA encourages coaches and athletes to find their foundation instead on the assurance of Christ through His life, death and resurrection, while remembering Colossians 3:23: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

FCA also provides three ways to stay focused on the One true standard:

  1. Ground yourself in God’s Word.

Nothing anchors us better than being in the presence of God through the Bible. It is our source for every situation, and God promises to lead us in His truth if we open our hearts to hear what He wants to say to us.

  1. Find a mentor who will keep pointing you to Jesus.

Life is better together. Having someone to walk with through the highs and lows of life helps us keep perspective and saturate our days centered on God.

  1. Ask God to reveal His truth about your identity in Him.

Everything we do and everything we are is rooted in God our Father and who He says we are. Seek His voice and look through scripture to stand on His promises to you, as a son or daughter through Christ.

“Instead of being crippled by the unattainable expectations we or others place on ourselves, we can let go and live in the freedom Christ came to give through the cross,” says FCA. “He gave 100%, and we stand on grace alone, not on anything we have done. In thanks, we can give 100% of our heart to God.

“There may be many ways we place weight on ourselves that drive us toward success, but there is only one measure of standard that is 100% failure-proof—God’s glory in Jesus Christ. This is the standard we set our sights on and engage all our efforts. Giving our best to the mission of God’s glory frees us from worry and a crushing burden of wondering if we are getting it right and allows us to play with joy. Focus on this and everything else will fall into place.”

In a new initiative called #FCAvirtual, FCA is offering online resources and telling inspiring stories to keep coaches, athletes and teams connected, including a powerful video with New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, who talks about his ultimate standard.

“There’s one standard and it’s perfection and it’s Christ and Christ is the only one,” Davis says in the video. “And coming into a relationship with Christ, now I meet the expectation of God, and that helps me in my sport because I’m confident, and I know that Jesus is the perfect standard. So no matter if I meet man’s expectations here on earth, while I fall short, I’m no longer short of the glory of God because I have Christ who resides inside me. And that gives me confidence and that gives me freedom to go and play on the field.”

As part of #FCAvirtual, FCA is also hosting new “Huddle Up!” YouTube events each Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET. These global sports gatherings feature nationally known sports standouts who talk about their faith. Past featured coaches and athletes have included Matt Hasselbeck, Zach and Julie Ertz, Carson Wentz, Gigi Marvin and more. Learn more at YouTube.com/fcavideo.

Read more about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s website www.fca.org, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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To interview a Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.