Fight, Finish, Faith Fellowship of Christian Athletes President and CEO Highlights ‘Strong’ 2018 Camps Theme
100,000+ Coaches and Athletes Will Polish Their Skills and Strengthen Their Faith at Nearly 800 FCA Camps in 45 States and 40 Countries
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—With the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA, www.fca.org) Camps season in full swing, FCA president and CEO Shane Williamson is reflecting on the impact FCA Camps had on him.
“It’s even more fulfilling to know that similar experiences will take place all around the world, as coaches and athletes converge for a week of inspiration and perspiration, where they’ll be poured into athletically and spiritually and will be transformed by the Holy Spirit,” he said.
This summer, well over 100,000 coaches and athletes will work on their athletic skills and team building while strengthening their faith in Christ at hundreds of Camps across the country and around the world. The 2018 Camps theme of “Strong” is based on the Bible verse 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
This summer’s Camp attendees will focus on the fact that believers serve a strong God, and how His followers are called to be like Him in every area of their lives—including sports. The coaches and athletes who attend FCA Camps discover that polishing their athletic skills is important but strengthening their faith in Christ is crucial.
“I believe this theme is one of the best we’ve ever had in tying our daily spiritual journey to athletic principles through Scripture,” Williamson said of the 2018 “Strong” theme. “It’s so encouraging to see those words, written almost 2,000 years ago, lived out by today’s coaches and athletes as they face competition—physical and spiritual—on the races marked out for them.”
Williamson says three components of 2 Timothy 4:7 will be central for campers this summer: Fight, Finish and Faith.
- Fight. Williamson encourages athletes to think about the coaches in their lives—past or present—and how they inspired them to compete harder, to push past the pain, to fight.
“We’re all familiar with ‘fighting’ on the field, but as believers we must also realize there is an ongoing fight against the spiritual powers of evil,” Williamson said. “Ephesians 6:12 (MEV) says, ‘For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.’ We can’t fight these battles on our own. But the great news is that we are equipped with God’s Spirit to grapple with every spiritual hurdle in our way. We’ll be more than conquerors if we fight through the power of His strength.”
2. Finish. Williamson adds that all are given a specific “race” to run: as parents, spouses, students, coaches or athletes. God has called everyone to finish that race all the way.
“In our home, we emphasize giving 100 percent, finishing what you start,” he said. “We all have a natural tendency to drop out of the race before it’s done, especially if it gets hard. Ultimately, it’s not how we start, but how we finish that matters. The world is craving people who can end better than they began, who keep pressing toward the finish line, like Paul says in Philippians 3:14: ‘I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.’”
3. Faith. Williamson asks, “Do you truly believe God is with you? That He will help you fight spiritual battles and finish your race?” Faith in God will be the difference when the external voices of discouragement are there, and internal voices are filled with doubt.
“Jesus’ final words to His followers were to go and make disciples,” Williamson said. “Those words alone would have motivated anyone, but He knew we would need more than just words, so He sent His Spirit to come and be our strength, encouraging us throughout the race of life. This summer, we are praying for the more than 100,000 coaches and athletes attending FCA Camps—that they might respond to the gospel and be committed to fighting, finishing and being faithful.”
Last summer, new attendance records were set as 113,000 coaches and athletes converged at 780 FCA Camp events in 45 states and in 41 countries around the world, where 9,417 coaches and athletes made first-time commitments to Christ and 10,997 recommitted their lives to Christ. More than 300 Camps occurred internationally, and 4,000-plus certified instructors, Huddle leaders, staff, coaches and counselors helped lead the Camps. The 2017 attendance was an increase of more than 7,200 over 2016. View feedback from 2018 FCA campers thus far this summer here.
To find FCA Camps in specific areas or to inquire about volunteering at an FCA Camp, visit www.fcacamps.org. Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s website at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.