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Published on March 01, 2018

by Shane Williamson

This story appears in FCA Magazine’s March/April 2018 issue.

Integrity. Serving. Teamwork. Excellence.

Those four words — FCA's four core values — give us a foundation from which we can carry the message of Christ to coaches and athletes through the vehicle of sports. Through God's provision, the ministry has grown beyond anything we could've thought or imagined over the past six decades.

While each of the core values is fundamental to what we do at FCA (and who we are as Christ-followers), I'm excited that this issue of FCA Magazine is taking a closer look at the specific core value of "Serving." Think about it: No other action a person can take leaves as profound an impact on another as serving. It's a basic, essential part of the daily Christian walk. Each day, we should be committed to serving others, simply putting their needs and wishes in front of our own.

It reminds me of a lesson I've taught for years at the beginning of each new season as coach of my daughter's volleyball team: Everything starts with a serve. In volleyball, just as in tennis, the action always begins with a serve.

How great would it be if we adopted that mindset in our lives, starting every day with the thought of, "Who can I serve today?" It would be transformational in our families, workplaces, schools and communities if our thoughts, actions, attitudes and words were Spirit-led in such a way that we sought out — and acted upon — opportunities to be salt and light, serving others in all we do.

"Jesus' entire life was one of service to those around Him."Paul states in Philippians 2:3-5 (ESV): "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…"

These verses point us to another great example of serving in sports: offensive linemen in football. They are "The Greatest Position Never Seen." Their names rarely appear in the box score, you rarely know their stats, and you probably don't know their names until they're called for a penalty. Yet, they work tirelessly in the trenches serving their team

However, all those examples pale in comparison to the greatest example and teacher of servanthood: Jesus Christ.

In Philippians 2:7 (NIV), the Apostle Paul says that Christ took "the very nature of a servant" when He became flesh and lived among us. And in Matthew 20:28, Jesus said, "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Jesus' entire life was one of service to those around Him, the most notable example coming when He washed His disciples' feet on the evening of His betrayal (John 13:1-17). It was the perfect picture of the humility with which He served the disciples. And it was followed by the greatest act of service in the history of mankind when He went to the cross, died, and was resurrected three days later. He sacrificed all of Himself in order to save us.

His example of serving others is an inspiration to me as I seek to serve my family first, followed by all those God has put in my life as a coach, church and community member, and as a part of the FCA family. With service at our core, we as FCA staff members are committed to serving coaches and athletes, coming alongside them to impact every team, campus and community by sharing the gospel, praying, and spending time in God's Word


About the author

A lifetime of FCA's impact and influence on Shane Williamson as an athlete, coach and FCA staff member culminated with him being named the eighth president and CEO of FCA on Jan. 1, 2017.

A native of Loris, S.C., Williamson became a Christ follower while attending an FCA Camp in Black Mountain, N.C., in 1986. Following a calling to coach, Williamson enjoyed a 12-year career at four South Carolina high schools and the college level. Serving as head coach, as well as coaching a variety of sports, allowed him to introduce many of his fellow coaches and teams to FCA Huddles and camps. Williamson joined the ministry as a staff member in 2002 as the Upstate South Carolina Director. He has also been the Multi-Area Director for Metro Atlanta, the Vice President of Field Ministry for the Carolinas and the Executive Director. 

Williamson and his wife, Angel, have four children: Maggie, Shayna, Ryann and Brice.

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