Fellowship of Christian Athletes Gives Glory to God for His Many Blessings on the Sports Ministry
After 64 Years of Reaching Coaches and Athletes for Christ, FCA Reflects on God’s Grace and Guidance in 2018
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Later this week around the dinner table, millions of families will share all they are thankful for. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) family is doing the same, thanking God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon the international sports ministry this past year.
For more than six decades, FCA has been touching millions of lives—one heart at a time. Since 1954, the ministry has challenged coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful platform of sport to reach every coach and every athlete with the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Around the globe, FCA focuses on serving local communities by engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to unite, inspire and change the world through the gospel.
“We are dedicated to leading every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “By engaging coaches and athletes relationally with the gospel, equipping them through God’s Word and empowering them to make disciples of Christ, we can see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through their influence. True to FCA’s ‘Strong’ theme this year, we have had the privilege of coming alongside coaches and athletes to equip, serve, and strengthen their faith in God to live wholeheartedly for Him.”
The “Strong” theme was the driving force behind all FCA activities this year, and specifically guided the successful 2018 Camps season, which welcomed 88,317 coaches and athletes who attended 771 Camps in 43 states across the country and 50 nations around the world.
FCA also saw an incredibly impactful year across the globe, with workers and resources reaching far and wide. Highlights from the past year include the following:
- FCA served in 84 (up from 62 countries in 2017) through the faithfulness of 242 international leaders and reached tens of thousands of coaches and athletes through 304 international Camps, while impacting 3,323 coaches through 103 workshops in the 3D Coaching program.
- The number of FCA Huddles internationally has more than doubled since last year, from 876 groups to an amazing 1,775 groups reaching 35,018 attendees.
- As FCA reached out to coaches and athletes in 2018, the ministry celebrated more than 40,000 total commitments to Jesus Christ; 6,900 of these were made through FCA International events and efforts.
- FCA witnessed 18,474 certified Huddles in the U.S. and internationally. These gatherings bring together coaches, teams or students for times of Bible study, prayer and reflection into God’s Word.
- In October for the 15th annual Fields of Faith gatherings, nearly 200,000 met on more than 500 athletic fields around the world for these student-led events.
- This year, FCA also distributed 236,490 Bibles to both new and growing believers.
- As a faith-funded ministry, FCA achieved a record year of $140.8 million in total revenue and remains committed to putting every dollar possible directly toward ministry. FCA also has 12 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest organization rating the fiscal management of charities. This puts FCA in the top 1 percent of all charities rated.
- FCA’s Hall of Champions honored 2018 inductees: volunteer and coach George Crace, FCA board member Mark Mestemacher, longtime donor and supporter Don Cockroft, campus adviser Huddle sponsor Joel Dearing, volunteer and speaker Jerry Moore and campus faculty representative Dr. Sam Nader have worked tirelessly to further the FCA vision: to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. FCA Hall of Champions honorees over the years have consisted of a mix of coaches, athletes and volunteers, including sports greats such as Bobby Bowden, Tony Dungy, Tom Landry, Tom Osborne and Roger Staubach, just to name a few.
Feedback from those impacted by these efforts illustrated the power of God leading willing servants through the sports they love:
- “I wanted to become a coach who changes the coach-athlete relationship and gives all glory to God.” —Coach
- “One of the biggest things I wanted to do was create an environment where it was safe for students to grow in their faith and encourage one another.” —FCA Staff
- “I don’t think there’s a more important organization on any campus than FCA.” —Coach
- “I know [FCA] works, because it happened to me. I’m a product of sports ministry.” —FCA International Leader
- “[FCA] is a great way to fellowship and get to know a lot of people with different backgrounds and upbringings and stories of how they came to Christ. We’re a family.” —Student-athlete
“In unfathomable ways only He can, God continues to take His ministry to new heights and greater depths,” Williamson added. “Staff numbers are exploding, more ground is gained, and tens of thousands of coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, are being transformed by Jesus Christ. And the ministry of FCA has been supported by those who selflessly give their time, talent and treasure to present the gospel and impact countless lives of coaches and athletes as we unite together in seeking to fulfill the vision for current and future generations.”
Learn more about FCA here. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.