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A Heart for Discipleship

Published on July 31, 2019

by FCA

For 65 years, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has helped coaches and athletes grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ—and helped lead others to do the same. Engaging disciples who make disciples is a huge part of what FCA is all about.

And specifically this summer at more than 700 Camps worldwide, disciple-making remains a powerful focus for FCA.

“For this year’s FCA Camp and ministry focus—‘Let’s Go’—we’re aiming to take the rally cry of Jesus, the Great Commission, all over the world,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “‘Let’s go’ is something we shout at sporting events as fans and what we hear athletes and coaches exclaim to each other at key points in the game. But we should be shouting ‘Let’s go and make disciples’ for Christ as well. That is our heart at FCA—and it’s the most important ‘play’ we can ever make for Jesus.”

This summer, tens of thousands of coaches, athletes and teams are participating in hundreds of life-changing FCA Camps, as they focus on the theme of “Let’s Go,” based on the Bible verses from Matthew 28:18-20, in which Jesus says, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Meant to be said with emphasis, “Let’s Go” is not only the rally cry for many athletes, coaches and teams, but it also should be the goal of Christians when they consider Christ’s call to the Great Commission. 

Bryan Dwyer, a pastor and founder of the online discipleship library pursueGOD.org, was highlighted in a recent FCA magazine and also wrote a feature in The Christian Post about disciple-making through FCA.

A64A1897“There’s one thing that growing ministries need to be healthy, and without it, the mission will be dead,” Dwyer wrote. “It trumps buildings, locations and staff, and it has nothing to do with how much money is in the bank. It’s the secret sauce of the early church, and it’s the key feature of faith communities that Jesus envisioned for every generation. What is the one thing every ministry needs to grow? Disciple-makers.

“But what is a disciple-maker?” he continued. “A disciple-maker is someone who looks outward to help people pursue God. A disciple-maker lives with purpose and answers the call Jesus issued through the Great Commission, a charge given 2,000 years ago to His original disciples. A disciple-maker realizes the greatest thing a person can do in life is pursue God, and the second-greatest thing a person can do is help someone else pursue God. This is what we’re all called to do! We are called to take Christ’s love into the places we go. And a ministry full of disciple-makers is what Jesus envisions for FCA.

In Ephesians 4, Dwyer pointed out, Paul paints a picture of how a healthy ministry functions with simple clarity: “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12, NLT).

These words from Paul are about strategy. Like a great coach, Paul distributed job descriptions for everyone in the church, and it started with ministry leaders equipping and empowering God’s people to do the work of ministry.

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“It’s our charge to build up the body of Christ and to make more disciples,” Dwyer wrote. “Specifically for FCA, this means we rally around coaches and athletes under the simple vision to get everyone ‘in the game’ and share Christ. Everyone who is pursuing God can be a disciple-maker. That’s the strategy of Jesus. And it’s the one thing every ministry needs to grow and fulfill its vision.”


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