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The Missing Piece

Published on February 23, 2023

Adelie Cox
When purpose fuels passion, great things are bound to happen. But what if, in the midst of pursuing a calling, something felt missing?

Twenty years ago, Gustavo Silva, a professional soccer player in Brazil, began coaching after a stellar playing career. That same year Silva started coaching, he gave his life to Jesus Christ.

SilvaOver the years, Silva has made a name for himself both as a player and a coach across his country. He is passionate about the game of soccer and gives nothing short of 100 percent to his athletes — training and equipping them for life on and off the playing field.

Silva has always understood how to coach his athletes in a way that builds them up both physically and mentally, but it wasn’t until five years ago that he discovered the missing piece to his approach that would spark an even greater coaching transformation.

In 2016, while attending a chaplaincy workshop led by Paulo Wescher, FCA Brazil West Regional Director, Silva was introduced to FCA. Through that workshop, he connected with Wescher and was struck with an eagerness to learn more about the ministry and ways he could get involved.

As he began working closely with Wescher, Silva had the opportunity to attend a 3D Coaching™ Workshop where he would discover what it means to be a transformational coach.

3D Coaching™ workshops provide coaches with the tools and resources to learn how to coach their athletes in three dimensions — physical, mental and spiritual. Although many know their “why,” the hope is that every coach would understand their transformational purpose and how they can strategically coach in each of the three dimensions.

Before, Silva viewed the “soccer world” and “Christian world” as two separate things. He was a coach and a follower of Jesus but had never fully grasped how to purposefully blend the two. Since learning how to coach transformationally, Silva has completely changed his approach from being results and performance driven, to making every attempt to reach the hearts of his athletes.

“During the 3D journey, God opened my eyes to gain the heart of myGroup athletes,” Silva said. “Since then, conversations with my athletes are no longer just about soccer — I have begun to care more about their lives off the field as well. As a result, God has given me opportunities to share my faith and help them in many situations outside of soccer.”

Silva is no stranger to what it takes to win. He’s worked with some of the biggest soccer clubs in Brazil and has won several national and international titles as a coach. But what has been setting him apart aren’t the number of wins and losses; it’s the way he coaches. Others can see a difference in his approach, so much so that he’s received calls from coaches and other clubs asking him to mentor them.

“Today, I’m using strategies that God has given me to serve players and coaches who have worked with me or know me from the soccer fields,” Silva said. “I have been mentoring coaches and leading coaching clinics, which I use to engage and equip them. I have been bringing them to the Bible studies that I lead and am also leading a Bible study for my former athletes.”

Silva is a clear example of someone who understands not only their calling, but the purpose behind their calling. As a transformed coach, he is now giving his life’s work to not only lead clubs to victory on the field, but lead them towards an even better victory in Christ.

Please pray for Silva, Wescher and others who are living on mission to bring more coaches and athletes into a growing relationship with Jesus across Brazil. Visit FCA Brazil to learn more about how you can get involved with FCA in Brazil and support Paulo Wescher.