In 2015, San Antonio, Tex. was the host location for FCA’s first-ever International Capacity Conference. With a vision to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes, the conference brought 40 leaders from 10 nations together to learn more about FCA’s mission and vision and to pioneer sports ministry internationally as an organization.
At the end of February, leaders met in San Antonio once again, this time for the 7th International Capacity Conference.
For four days, 200 leaders from 44 countries gathered for vision-casting, fellowship, teambuilding, worship, prayer and leadership development. The week also included opportunities for region meetings, team meals and meaningful conversations.
From Tanzania to Wales, Argentina to South Korea, teammates represented God’s Kingdom throughout the nations.
“What a great opportunity to gather with staff, teammates, but more importantly, disciples for Jesus Christ around the world,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson.
The conference marked progress for travel and country restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, with leaders coming off homebound regulations. “For some leaders, this was the first time leaving their countries and having corporate worship in two years.,” said Dan Britton, FCA Chief Field Officer.
Feelings of relief and replenishment being with other believers mingled with the impending weight of world events. With the news that Russia had invaded Ukraine fresh on hearts and minds, staff from both Ukraine and Russia stood side-by-side in prayer during the evening’s opening session.
“This was just one highlight from an emotional week,” Britton said. “What a time to come together.”
Divisional Vice President, South Global Vincent Asamoah that being with Ukraine staff as they processed the events in their country showcased a deeper need for the why behind the ministry conference.
“That should remind us of the urgency of sharing the Gospel,” he said. “My hope and prayer is that we put all the things we learned to work to impact lives for eternity.”
While world events casted a shadow and weight, the conference also provided light in the hearts of leaders as they met God through invigorating moments.
"The Capacity Conference was like an oasis in the desert.
-Daniel, FCA Romania Leader
“It was an amazing and refreshing opportunity to meet so many different people from around the world doing similar ministry,” said Yolanda Whittaker, FCA Director of the Cayman Islands, “one of those ‘Wow!’ moments.
Breakout sessions allowed staff to learn more about new avenues of ministry through FCA’s Sport Pillar, such as All Ability, Action Sports, Outdoors and others, to truly reach every coach and athlete for Christ.
God brought leaders around the world to one place for mutual strengthening, ministry formation and excitement to take the week back to their respective countries and share with their local leaders.
Said Williamson, “We find true biblical fellowship and we sharpen each other, and we find a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ together because we’re unified through the Holy Spirit across the globe for the purpose of the Gospel.”
Photos courtesy of Franklin Lugenbeel