“I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.”
- Philippians 1:27
When FCA Ukraine was established in 2009, they decided sports camps was the most strategic way to reach the four million athletes and 80,000 coaches in their country.
When only three campers signed up, two of them being children of FCA staff, they wondered if the camps strategy was the right decision. However, they agreed that God would move and use this ministry to impact Ukraine.
One by one, they shared the vision, recruited athletes and trained volunteers. They were “standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting for the faith.” They truly believed that God would use camps as a catalyst to launch their ministry.
Last summer, the camp ministry grew to reach 1,963 athletes! I can’t help but think of Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
It is incredible that every summer since 1954, FCA has challenged millions of athletes and coaches through our camp ministry. FCA Camps are a time of “inspiration and perspiration” for athletes and coaches who want to reach their potential through comprehensive athletic, spiritual, and leadership training. Just like our leaders in Ukraine, we believe camps are one of the most strategic and effective ways to reach youth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Last summer, we experienced a record-breaking year with a total attendance of 106,268 at 740 camps in 40 states and 45 countries around the world. International camp growth has exploded with 284 camps reaching 34,005 campers. In 2007, we had only five international camps with an attendance of 760.
For more than 60 years, God shows up at FCA Camps and begins to transform lives. Many people ask why camps are so powerful. Here are three key reasons why camps are so effective:
1. Camps break down barriers and create connection.
When young people are taken out of their everyday environment and placed into a camp environment, walls and barriers come down and God begins to soften their hearts. They share with other campers issues they have never shared before.
2. Camps remove distractions and reminders.
Getting the kids away from their everyday environment eliminates the distractions that prevent them from engaging with God. We find that television, the Internet, texting, technology, and entertainment all compete for their attention and devotion. Camp removes distractions. Camp surrounds them with encouragement, acceptance, and love.
3. Camps create a spiritual environment for life change.
Camps remove children from the rut and routine of their sport, teammates, friends, and family. It places them into an exciting, healthy environment that allows them to pursue their passion for sport and clearly see and hear about Christ’s passion for them. Worship music, challenging speakers and small group discussions create the environment for God to work in a significant way. That’s exactly what happened last summer with 8,788 indicated decisions and 11,256 recommitments to the Lord.
One by one, athletes and coaches from around the world will come to FCA Camps. This summer, let’s stand together with one spirit and one mind, fighting for the faith.
"Father, one by one, bring athletes and coaches to camp this summer. May You use the Camp Ministry to reach the nations. Encourage the International Leaders with a great harvest. In Jesus’ name, amen.”