Perhaps no feeling is more alienating than when an athlete feels alone rather than part of a team.
Even though they sometimes may be a team of one in the ministry field, Fellowship of Christian Athletes leaders from around the world recently came together and discovered they were indeed part of a much bigger team.
For the 2018 FCA International Capacity Conference, 107 leaders from 43 countries gathered for a time of training, inspiration, motivation and fellowship with other staff who face some of the same joys and challenges in all corners of the world.
“The Fourth Annual International Capacity Conference in Florida was an amazing time of training, spiritual growth, teambuilding and fellowship!” said Dan Britton, executive director of FCA International Ministry. “This was the largest Capacity Conference ever, and attendees were part of history, as the 2018 attendance was a major jump from last year’s 35 international leaders from 22 countries. We are so thankful for the leaders who were able to travel great distances to be a part of this incredible experience.”
The heartfelt impact of this year’s gathering was evidenced by this international leader’s comment: “I have done sports ministry for 15 years, but now God is starting a new beginning. I was alone on the ministry field but now I have teammates. I have a clear definition of FCA ministry and focus.”
At a separate recent gathering in Florida for FCA leaders from here and aboard, FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson reflected on his first year at the helm and reminded the hundreds in attendance of FCA’s vision—to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes—and mission—to lead every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.
At the center of it all is forever the Gospel and the call to pray, give and go.
During the international event, FCA helped the leaders hone in on the strategy of “to and through the Coach” as a way to reach more for Christ. Even though those in attendance came from different backgrounds, geographical areas and even languages, their unifying mission is the same.
Ephesians 4:1-3 helped focus the leaders to this purpose: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (NIV).
“Paul reminds us in Ephesians to make every effort to keep the unity,” added Silas Mullis, FCA’s international director of field support. “Our prayer is that as we were strengthened in unity, we will now keep the unity! The witness and willingness to serve, surrender and sacrifice for the Kingdom was amazing.”