Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ ‘To and Through the Coach’ Commitment Connects With Coaches’ Hearts
FCA Seeks to Engage, Equip and Empower Coaches Through Four Core Values of Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The coach is one of the most visible parts of the team. No matter the level of sport or size of the community, fans look to the sidelines to see how coaches lead and also watch how they conduct their lives off the field.
In fact, in its ministry to coaches, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) keeps these important words from legendary evangelist Billy Graham at heart: “A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.”
FCA knows that one of the best ways to reach more athletes for Christ is to first reach the coach. With that realization, FCA has focused on the strategy of “To and Through the Coach”—pursuing the FCA vision and mission by seeking ministries that impact coaches’ hearts, marriages and families. Those coaches are then engaged, equipped and empowered to impact their fellow coaches, teams and athlete leaders for God.
“The life-changing impact on coaches and athletes has been the main focus of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since 1954,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “Therefore, one of our unwavering goals at FCA has been to fulfill Jesus’ calling to make disciples. This is accomplished even in unconventional ways—through the avenue of sports—and by engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to know and grow in Christ, and lead others to do the same.”
FCA grounds this “engage-equip-empower” method in God’s Word:
- Engage—1 Thessalonians 2:8: “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (ESV). FCA staff and volunteers engage with coaches relationally by connecting with them individually and through events in many different environments by building genuine trust, sharing our lives and sharing the gospel. The aim is to connect with coaches and athletes where they are on their spiritual journey.
- Equip—Ephesians 4:12: “…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (ESV). After cultivating relationships and once coaches and athletes come to faith in Christ, FCA desires to equip them with Christ-centered training, events, resources and ongoing support in what it means to be a follower of Christ, growing in God’s Word and applying it to life.
- Empower—2 Timothy 2:2: “…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (ESV). Once equipped, FCA empowers faithful leaders who desire to use their time, talents and treasures to help other coaches and athletes experience the gospel, grow in their faith and share Jesus with others. FCA seeks to develop disciples who make disciples, assisting them so that they can in turn engage, equip and empower others to know and grow in Christ and lead others to do the same.
The “To and Through the Coach” strategy is part of the overall larger FCA vision to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes. Likewise, FCA keeps four core values at the center of all the ministry seeks to accomplish through sports:
- Integrity: We will demonstrate Christ-like wholeness, privately and publicly. (Proverbs 11:3)
- Serving: We will model Jesus’ example of serving. (John 13:1-17)
- Teamwork: We will express our unity in Christ in all our relationships. (Philippians 2:1-4)
- Excellence: We will honor and glorify God in all we do. (Colossians 3:23-24)
As they are immersed in these values, coaches attest that their connections with FCA have changed their lives and their coaching mindsets for the better.
“I wanted to become a coach who changes the coach-athlete relationship and gives all glory to God,” said one coach.
Another coach added, “I don’t think there’s a more important organization on any campus than FCA.”
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.