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Deep and Wide

Published on October 26, 2022

Shane Williamson

This article appears in the Fall 2022 edition of the FCA Donor Publication. The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.

There’s an old song I once learned in Sunday School called “Deep and Wide.” Do you know it? My Sunday School teachers used it as a way to teach me about God’s love. It’s so big, you can’t contain it. Deep and wide, wide and deep, that’s the expanse of God’s love for me.

Those early discipleship lessons have traveled with me as my relationship with Christ has grown. Each day, I dive into God’s Word, going deeper and wider, searching for his truth. I’ve walked with Christ since I was 37 years old, and I continue to learn something new every day.

Deep and wide hasn’t only guided my personal walk with Christ, but it’s also been how God’s led our team at FCA. As a team, we’re experiencing our ministry going deeper and wider like never before. 

Founded in 1954, our focus was reaching coaches and athletes in the United States. But in 2013, that changed, and God began to take us into wider ministry, which meant global expansion. Our ministry has gone wider as we’ve entered more than 100 countries.

Ask anyone on this team, and we all agree: We are a better ministry today because of our international teammates.

"This is an exciting time at FCA. We want to be relevant, present and impactful wherever there’s a coach or athlete. God’s moving us forward, and we’re saying “yes” as He takes us deeper and wider."
-Shane Williamson, FCA President

In 2017, this “deep and wide” journey took on even greater meaning with a call on FCA to deepen its commitment to discipleship. The E3 era began, defined by ENGAGING with Gospel, EQUIPPING through God’s Word and EMPOWERING a new generation of disciples to run the play Jesus gave us all:  “Go make disciples”

A few years ago, God put another vision on our hearts for ministry expansion, and He led us into a new opportunity to go deeper and wider. Sports in the United States have made a dramatic shift to mirror global sports in that they’re primarily played off-campus. Tens of thousands of kids now participate in sports outside of school teams.

As a ministry, we’ve begun building ministry plans to reach them. This has been a big shift for me as a former public school teacher and coach who fell in love with FCA through on-campus ministry. But I also coach my daughter’s club volleyball team and I’m seeing the incredible impact we can make through off-campus sports. These sports are taking off, and as coaches and athletes get discipled, they’re taking the Gospel into spaces we’ve not yet reached.

Club and league sports are in nearly every community around the world. Sport environments look different now, and sport ministry is growing into arenas like motorsports, outdoors sports and action sports. As a ministry, we want to open our hearts and minds to what God is doing. This has meant introducing new programs and restructuring our team so we can continue reaching every coach and athlete.

This is an exciting time at FCA. We want to be relevant, present and impactful wherever there’s a coach or athlete. God’s moving us forward, and we’re saying “yes” as He takes us deeper and wider.