This article appears in the Fall 2023 issue 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.
Competitors dream of something greater. They train tirelessly to reach their potential, seeking approval from teammates, coaches and fans. The promise of a trophy, ring, bonus or praise pushes coaches and athletes to succeed. This becomes a trap, where identity is wrapped around performance and pressure is why you must compete every day.
But what happens when the season ends, or the game ends in a loss? What does it say about potential and purpose? The world will say: You’re not good enough. You’ve failed.
Jesus Christ says something different.
We’ve taught coaches and athletes that there is greater potential in your life than finding your identity in sports. It’s natural for athletes to feel like they have more potential than what is showing up in practice or in the heat of competition. When they don’t feel like they’re living up to expectations, the pressure starts to build.
We want coaches and athletes to be measured by who God says they are. There is a greater purpose wrapped up in their potential when potential is wrapped up in Him.
We know it’s exciting to get glimpses of what you can be as a competitor, and it’s exciting to experience growth. But sports is about more than improving, achieving and winning. God created us for something more.
We’ve showed coaches and athletes that more than anything you can find through athletic success, God wants to give them the greater promise that comes from Jesus. Jesus Christ’s promise of salvation gives us a new identity.
Performance counts. It isn’t a bad thing, but an unhealthy point of view as a competitor can produce bad habits, wrong motivations and unnecessary pressures. But, there’s good news.
This year, we’ve led coaches and athletes to understand that God is the only person they truly need to please. He alone can bring peace, joy and freedom from fear. We’ve taught them how to play for Someone, not something. Their new identities in Christ give them a new way to perform.
When things aren’t going as planned, it is challenging to stay motivated. But when coaches and athletes compete for God, they find confidence and they begin playing and living for a far greater purpose.
Jesus wants to redefine success and winning. Life’s greater purpose has much more to do with God and others than what we can accomplish on our own. As coaches and athletes have experienced greater potential, greater promise and greater performance, they find their greater purpose.