For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.
God is the Master Planner. He is always at work orchestrating events and preparing hearts to do new things. Brian Menk recognized God’s hand in preparing him to serve in a new way, as he and his wife had been praying to have a greater impact on students at Lewiston-Altura High School in southeast Minnesota, where Menk had been teaching and coaching for over fifteen years.
One day, Jake, a fellow basketball coach in a neighboring district, approached Menk about FCA. Someone had approached Jake, and he thought Menk may be interested as well. Menk attended a presentation by southeast Minnesota FCA Area Director James Bolin and agreed to serve as the Huddle coach at Lewiston-Altura.
“I am so thankful that FCA has become a part of my life and that James brought it to Jake’s attention and Jake brought it to me,” said Menk.
Menk has served as the Huddle coach at Lewiston-Altura High School for over six years and loves it. Thirty to forty kids attend the weekly Huddle and a record thirteen leaders serve the Huddle. It is a typical FCA Huddle where student leaders take turns leading different weeks with games, food, teaching and activities. God is doing an amazing work in the hearts of students during these highly formative years.
Huddles are entirely student-led, and that model is carried out at Lewiston-Altura because Menk empowers and encourages the student leaders to do the work. “For kids to hear that you believe in them, trust what they can do and have some tolerance that they can make mistakes and grow through them--they really flourish through that,” he said. “You see them blossom into dynamic leaders.”
In addition to the weekly meetings, Menk has seen significant growth in Huddle members through events. The annual Fields of Faith event serves as a way for the Huddle to share the message of Christ’s love with their friends, family and community members. Held on the football field, students tell their faith stories, lead worship and pray together. Menk is excited that they still held the event this year with some modifications.
The Huddle also holds an annual Feed My Starving Children event and partners with the U.S. Marine Corp to run the Toys for Tots program for southeastern Minnesota. They head up the registration process and run the distribution sites where parents come in and pick out toys for their children. It is a huge growth opportunity for student leaders and Huddle members.
Leading the Leaders
Menk attends Huddle meetings as a support and encouragement to the students. “When I am at school, I see what a relationship with Christ can look like even when I can’t talk about it,” he said. “I can live it out. People can recognize you as a Christian without you having to say it.”
Leaders meet monthly at his home, spending time in Bible study, relationship-building and planning for future meetings. Menk loves this time of pouring into student leaders. He can be himself and share what God is doing in his own life and sees the leaders learn and grow during this time so they can lead well.
Menk was greatly influenced by Thomas, his first Huddle leader six years ago. “Thomas showed me how a leader could really be. He showed people kindness and never looked down on kids because he was a great athlete,” he said. That picture helps Brian know how to better train his leaders and model servant leadership.
The Role of FCA Staff
When everything functions properly, FCA staff take on a supportive role to Huddle coaches, providing resources, informing them of events and encouraging them. Bolin communicates regularly with Huddle coaches in a way that meets their needs without overwhelming them with more to do. Menk pulled out his phone to read a recent text from Brolin: “No matter what today throws at you, trust the Alpha and Omega . . .”
Impact on Brian’s Heart
When asked how serving as the FCA Huddle coach has affected him, Menk said, “It’s been enormous. It’s helped me grow too. If we are going to have great student-leaders and a great FCA program, I need to model a lot and make sure I’m doing what I expect them to do. It’s been a tremendous source of growth for me and builds up my excitement for what FCA can be and a vision for the future.”
Huddle coaches are an integral part of the FCA ministry. They bring consistency to the Huddle since students are generally only in a building for four years, and they equip student leaders to lead well. Please pray for Huddle coaches:
• To be blessed serving their Huddles
• That God would multiply their time and empower them to serve well as they juggle family, teaching, coaching and church obligations
• That God would be preparing the hearts of future Huddle coaches
Learn how to get involved with southeast Minnesota FCA and pray for the ministry.