Global Impact was truly an ‘impactful’ experience. The trip spurred me towards sports ministry, gave me a much-needed confidence and faith in Jesus and expanded my view of the Lord’s global work of redemption.
The testimony of Samford University’s Matthew Grigg reflects the similar sentiments of his teammates who were transformed and inspired through the 2022 Global Impact program designed to engage college student athletes to grow in their faith in Jesus, serve in sports ministry and capture their heart for the nations.
The month-long program incorporates four lanes of FCA advancement: from Donor and Board Advancement, participants were trained how to raise funds and then had to raise the necessary costs for the program. From Ministry Advancement, participants were trained in FCA initiatives The FOUR, The CORE and E3 Discipleship. From Talent Advancement, participants took a Gifts of Grace spiritual gift assessment to understand their gifts and where they best fit on the FCA team, and through the international aspect, covering International Advancement.
The 30-day program began in June with orientation in Atlanta. From there, two teams left for their respective countries: one team of nine to the Dominican Republic and one team of 10 to Malaysia.
The goal, according to program organizer and Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of International Advancement Mark Stephens, was three-fold: for God to take them deeper into relationship with Him; let them see how they can use sport to reach others for Christ; and grow their hearts for the nations.
Participants were handpicked by college campus directors, suggesting student-athletes who were leaders in Huddles and active on campus. Then came an application and interview process before 19 leaders were selected.
The time spent serving leaders in Malaysia and the DR helped participants understand what ministry looks like in different cultures. “A lot have had no interaction with international ministry,” said Hannah Kao, Assistant Regional Director of International Advancement. “It definitely broadened their perspective.”
Stephens said the intention for Global Impact wasn’t just for a summer of service, but a mindset shaping the way students go back to their campus, crafting a ministry or community game plan on how to implement all they’ve learned and experienced.
“The dream would be, say you’re a sophomore softball player and involved on your college campus. You go back to your FCA staff person and say, ‘I’m fired up about God and sport here and around the world, and I have two more years here; I want to reach my campus for Christ and have put together a campus ministry plan to do that,” he shared.
Global Impact is prepping leaders in the next generation for lasting impact through the broad world of sports around the world.
I feel really good about this,” said Stephens. “We went to visit FCA teammates, we helped local ministry grow, and it’s ongoing, it didn’t end on June 30th. The real proof will be come September and October if these students do something different on campus.”
From responses of the program’s impact, momentum seems to be on the move towards campuses this fall, with a new batch of empowered leaders taking God, sport and world to campuses around the nation.
“I entered Global Impact searching for clarity on life’s biggest question. I now have a convincing, honorable answer: To make disciples of all nations through the love of Jesus Christ, my Savior.” Benjamin Barnett, 2022 Grad of George Washington University, Team Malaysia
“My faith was stretched like never before. I am in awe of the Lord’s faithfulness—filled and changed by the unending joy, wonder and curiosity of the Dominican culture. I could not have asked for a better group of pals who brought so much growth, wholesome conversation and joy. What an experience!”
Kathryn Phillips, Liberty University, Team Dominican Republic
Click the above image to view the 2022 Global Impact video