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Nothing Weird About It

Published on August 23, 2023

Scott Barkley

Early into Pat Amos’ wrestling coaching career at Potlatch Jr-Sr High School in northern Idaho, his oldest son James struggled to adjust as a student. Faith was important in his family and living that way made James feel like an outsider, even weird.

“He was a Christian kid and Potlatch is a tough lumber town,” said Amos. “Being a Christian isn’t exactly normal there. So, he was struggling and starting to question his faith.”

At the invitation of FCA Idaho State Director Ken Lewis, Amos had been asked to fill in for a couple of days at Idaho’s FCA Camp in Nampa. James went alongside his dad and the experience transformed him.

“After the second or third day of camp, James walked up to me andphoto said, ‘Dad, I’m not weird,’” Amos recalled.

FCA Camp ended up impacting the entire Amos family. When it came to wanting to live for Christ, James wasn’t alone, his siblings caught the vision too. Years of attending FCA Camp followed, and it became a family event.

“FCA Camps are our biggest deal now,” said Amos. His four sons and daughter have all participated and continue to go to this day. Amos’ wife, Debbie, leads the Junior Huddle. Amos, now a track and assistant football coach at Potlatch, coaches. James, now 29, is an assistant football coach over special teams and strength and conditioning at Crown College, a private Christian school in Saint Bonifacius, Minn. He flies in from Minnesota to participate in the Idaho camp each year.

“It’s our favorite week of the year,” said Amos, whose four decades of coaching includes 15 years at Potlatch.

His focus on the principles taught through FCA wasn’t always a part of his coaching, however. It’s been a gradual process of becoming a disciple who was engaged, equipped and empowered.

Growing up, Amos said his family went to church because that was “Coaching can wear on you. With FCA, you build connections with kids, but also other coaches. They equip, strengthen and support you.”
-Pat Amos
what you were supposed to do, but although he believed in God, he didn’t have a genuine relationship with Jesus.

In adulthood he struggled with drinking and in his marriage. Things changed when they were living in Dillon, Montana, where Amos was a wrestling coach at Western Montana College (now University of Montana Western).

“Debbie got involved in a Bible study group and became a Christian. I wasn’t too sure about it,” Amos said.

He was invited to a Promise Keepers event in Boise and felt it would be a good way to get out of the doghouse. But he got a whole lot more than that.

“There were 9,000 men there, Christian men of integrity stepping up and saying they were going to be responsible and lead their family. That hit me in the heart,” he said.

Amos remembers standing in the top row of the Boise Pavilion on the Boise State University campus and hearing the alter call. He does not remember how he got down to the bottom level and praying for Jesusp6IsgLFw Christ to become his Lord and Savior, but that became a pivotal moment in his life.

“It changed my world,” he testified.

This life-changing transformation in Amos led him and his wife to raise their children in a Christian home. Surrendering to Christ led to a stronger marriage and relationship with his kids and a different approach to coaching.

FCA and its camps have also had a tremendous impact on his family and supported the coach as he’s changed his approach to develop players’ hearts in addition to their athletic skills.

“It is great being around other like-minded Christians,” Amos said. “Coaching can wear on you. With FCA, you build connections with kids, but also other coaches. They equip, strengthen and support you.”

FCA has brought community not only to the athletes in Amos’
area, but the coaches too.

And nobody, regardless of background, can say anything is weird about that.

Ready for a life change? Find an FCA Camp near you!