Fellowship of Christian Athletes Has Been Working Toward These Games in Japan for Many Years
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Tokyo Olympics begin in just one week—and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) understands that this global sports event is a major opportunity for God’s blessing on coaches and athletes worldwide, as well as the ideal time for “everyday ministry.”
FCA has been working toward these Games for years. When the Olympic Committee announced back in 2013 that Tokyo would host the 2020 Games, FCA Japan Director Will Thompson saw enormous opportunity. After years of establishing relationships within Japan’s sports community, Thompson began connecting with the International Sports Coalition (ISC) and church and ministry leaders to leverage this major global spotlight. He believed that Japan’s hosting of the Olympics would spark a new vision for sports ministry. And when the pandemic postponed the Games for a year, FCA was able to use the extra time for even more preparation.
Says FCA’s Japan Director Will Thompson, “What had largely centered around event ministry has now transformed into everyday ministry. What appeared as delay last year has given way to an undeniable movement of God that has the FCA team in Japan excited and hopeful.” He adds, “God is using this pandemic for His Kingdom’s purpose. We pray and believe that what the enemy uses for evil, God will turn around for good. We believe God is preparing an awakening and bringing people to Himself.”
To grow FCA Japan’s influence leading up to the Games, the FCA team developed a Japanese baseball Bible and a Bible for the Rugby World Cup. It also hosted numerous baseball and rugby clinics and designed a set of three Olympic pins for trading among athletes—something that occurs throughout the Olympic Village and the host city’s Olympic venues at every Olympic Games. Each pin designed by FCA for trading displays one of the three main words of 1 Corinthians 13: faith, hope, and love. In addition, FCA Japan partnered with the Olympic Chaplaincy Committee, which operates not just during the Games but beyond them by offering coaches and athletes a deep well of support—spiritually, emotionally, and mentally—based on Christian values.
Says Thompson, “Two years ago, we would have thought ministry change was because of the Olympics, but now, in a good way, we are less event-driven and more discipleship focused.”
And Motoki Oba, FCA Japan Field Support Manager, says, “FCA is a game changer. I was looking for teammates. In Japan, there was no ministry like FCA to focus on serving coaches and athletes, but God gave us a way to reach these communities.”
FCA’s theme for 2021 is Pursue, based on verse 1 of Timothy 6:11: “Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” FCA encourages its members to pursue God’s use of His Word as an anchor, grounding Christians as they look to His Kingdom.
Since 1956, the impact on coaches and athletes has been the main focus of FCA Camps, with each Camp offering fun, outstanding sports training, inspiring speakers, strong friendships, and lasting change. View the 2019 FCA Camps video here and browse camps by location, sport or date at www.fcacamps.org.
To interview a Fellowship of Christian Athletes representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.