Opening Day Signals Start of Spring and New Opportunity for FCA to Reach Coaches and Athletes on the Baseball Diamond
MLB Stars Talk to Fellowship of Christian Athletes About Their Faith
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—There’s something about the Opening Day of baseball that signals the real start of spring. True, cold rain, gloves and scarves, and even a few snowflakes made their way to some season-starting Major League Baseball games, but for fans around the country, the first day at the ballpark means summer is right around the corner.
It’s also a fresh start for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) to find new ways to reach coaches and athletes on baseball and softball diamonds at every level of play. For more than six decades, FCA has been reaching coaches and athletes for Christ through the sports they love.
To kick off the professional baseball season, FCA hosted an Opening Day luncheon at the National Support Center in Kansas City last week, praying for the coaches and players they would reach with the Gospel and recommitting to the FCA vision to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes and to the mission of leading every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.
FCA Magazine is a place to tell the most engaging and inspiring stories of coaches and athletes at the high school, college and professional level—in all sports, but in pro baseball as well. In the past few years alone, the magazine has profiled MLB standouts Andrew McCutchen, Chase Headley, Dexter Fowler, Mike Matheny, Adrian Gonzalez, Kyle Gibson, Daniel Murphy and former player R.A. Dickey, among others.
Likewise, big names in baseball, including Darryl Strawberry, Clayton Kershaw and Ben Zobrist, remain involved with FCA, speaking at events and participating in sports camps.
Just a few of the quotes from Major Leaguers about their faith journeys and FCA include the following:
- “If I were to write out the perfect plan it never would have worked out like this—ever. God put things in my life with my family that just tried to strip away the massive idol that is baseball as I mold, hopefully, into a gracious and serving husband and father.”—Daniel Murphy; read his story here.
- “Having faith in Christ doesn’t change my competitiveness. It doesn’t change how much I want to win or my preparation for every start. Instead, I feel like it allows me to do what God has put me here to do—to love others with His love and play baseball as passionately as possible. Before I take the field, I pray that people see God through me. I want God’s light to shine through my actions, how I respect my teammates, and how I treat the media and everyone in the stadium. I want my legacy to be more about Christ and His love and sacrifice that saved me, not anything I have ever done or achieved on the baseball field.”—Kyle Gibson; read his story here.
- “Only God’s imagination can script a story like mine. … Yeah, I am amazed—and I’m not. I know that sounds funny. I feel loved, sure, and His grace is abundant in my life, but I also feel a responsibility. He’s given me things to do. It makes me feel like a tool in a good sense of the word, like he’s using me to make a difference this side of eternity. I feel a real purpose in that. That’s just His way. It also helps me to believe in a God that big. I’m never hopeless.”—R.A. Dickey; read his story here.
- “Looking back on my life and career, I know that God is the only reason I am where I am today. He has chosen to put me here to share His love with others. I understand I have a huge platform as a professional athlete, so I try to use it to share my faith through my actions, how I handle adversity on the field, and in the words I speak to the media and fans.”—Chase Headley, in the upcoming May/June 2018 FCA Magazine; read a previous story here.
- “I think getting to play baseball and the blessing that it is to go play every day is a platform to incorporate yourself with a lot of other different people that think baseball’s cool and (are) fans of the game. If you tell them that you’re a follower of Christ and a Christian, it can resonate with people a little bit more just because of the platform you have. So, for me, talking about it is one thing, but living it is the most important.”—Clayton Kershaw in an FCA video
Also read FCA’s Major League Baseball roundup of Christ-following athletes from last spring titled, “Faith Between the Foul Poles.”
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. Learn more about FCA International here.