This article appears in the Spring 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.
FCA has a rich history of meeting coaches and athletes exactly where they are. Whether they are running through the hallways of a middle school campus, surfing the waves of the Pacific Ocean or kicking the game-winning field goal in front of 100,000 screaming fans, we connect to each competitor’s story. Here are some of our fundamentals and how we’ve seen God’s promise grow us into a thriving, international ministry for more than 68 years.
Across all sport environments, FCA executes its ministry strategy of engaging, equipping and empowering coaches and athletes to become disciples who make disciples. Each sport environment below represents groups of coaches and athletes with similar competition and culture.
Action sports are known for their individuality and risk-taking; they include BMX, kitesurfing, mountain biking, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing and wakeboarding. Organized competition occurs at all levels, although a greater number of athletes participate individually or within a community.
All Ability refers to coaches and athletes who compete with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. “All ability” means the inclusion of all categories within the disability community, and it emphasizes the biblical message of “In God we are all able.”
Campus sports are scholastic sports where coaches and athletes typically represent their schools as they compete. Campus sports take place around the world in public schools, private schools, charter schools, boarding schools and college preparatory schools. The majority of the population passes through elementary school, middle school, high school and college.
Club sports are off-campus sports for coaches and athletes who aspire to reach expert levels and make significant financial, travel and time investments. In a typical club experience, athletes invest in multiple practices per week and travel to compete with teams from other clubs. FCA Sports Clubs, directed by FCA staff, create catalytic discipleship experiences for coaches and athletes.
League sports are off-campus, developmental sports for coaches and athletes offering moderate time, travel and financial investments. Leagues are typically self-contained, and teams play one another within the same league. FCA Sports Leagues, directed by FCA staff, create catalytic discipleship experiences for coaches and athletes. FCA Sports Leagues often partner with local churches to mobilize empowered volunteers to serve as disciple-making coaches.
Motorsports are, at their simplest form, sports with motors. They include aircrafts, snowmobiles, snowbikes and watercrafts. Motorsports include 2-wheel sports such as cross country, EnduroCross, freestyle, motocross and road racing. The sport environment also includes 4-wheel sports like ATVs, drag racing, Formula 1 racing, Grand Prix motorcycle racing, IndyCar, monster trucks, NASCAR, rally cars, side-by-sides and sprint cars. Motorsports athletes generally live out their racing passion throughout their lifetimes. Organized competition is popular, but there are also families who participate in the sport as a hobby.
Outdoors refers to sports including marksmanship (archery, rifle and shotgun), fishing, hunting, canoe/kayaking and equestrian. In addition to ministering to the coaches and athletes who compete in outdoor sports, FCA creates outdoor sporting experiences for donors, staff, and coaches and athletes of all sports. Outdoors offers someone the opportunity to grow spiritually as they experience the beauty of God’s creation.
Pro and Elite
Pro and elite sports are the apex of the sporting world. Most coaches and athletes are paid to play, and many of them represent their countries in competition. Pro and elite coaches and athletes receive high-profile attention within mainstream culture. These competitors carry unique mindsets, lifestyles and schedules compared to others who don’t play at this level. For these coaches and athletes, sport is a business.
A Huddle is a certified ministry program where two or more coaches or athletes meet on a regular basis to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. During Jesus’ time on earth, He invited people into relationship with Him, He equipped them with His Word and He sent them out on mission. In FCA, we want to model His example.
A Huddle can happen any time, any place, anywhere. We desire for Huddles to be a place where all can come and learn about what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus.
Huddles are led by leaders who feel called by God to share their faith in the world of sports. These ministry leaders can be coaches, athletes, volunteers, donors and FCA staff, and they are overseen by local FCA staff.
FCA events are a catalyst for discipleship. Whether it’s a golf tournament to engage donors and volunteers, a student-leadership training to equip athletes to facilitate team Huddles on campus, or a Fields of Faith to empower current ministry leaders to share the Gospel, events serve the local area and offer volunteers many ways to get involved.
An FCA Camp is a certified ministry program that uses the annual theme and Scripture for coaches and athletes to develop athletic skills, create influential relationships, and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. There are six types of FCA Camps:
Sports Camp is for coaches and athletes who want to develop their skill in sports. Outstanding instructional skill development and intense competition prepare the camper for future athletic competition. Sports Camp includes sport-specific camps where the camper selects one sport for the entire camp experience, as well as multi-sport camps where the camper trains and competes in a variety of sports.
Leadership Camp is for student-athletes, Huddle Coaches and volunteers who serve as FCA leaders on their campuses or in organized clubs. Leadership Camp focuses on teaching practical skills for Christian growth, how to develop as an effective campus leader, and tools for spiritual, organizational and motivational leaders hip of an FCA campus ministry.
Team Camp is designed to impact athletic teams for Christ through team competition. Coaches sign up their players as a team to attend camp. Team Camp serves the coaches by providing a great camp experience for their players while building team unity.
Power Camp’s goal is to reach athletes at an earlier age (ages 8-12) to provide instruction and competition through sport-specific and multi-sport focus. These camps are normally day camps that involve the local community and church; however, they can also be done as an overnight camp experience.
Coaches Camp is for single and married coaches and their families. It ministers to coaches through Bible studies, small groups, fellowship, prayer support, discipleship, and mentoring. Weekend retreats called Couples Getaways are also a great way to minister to coaches and their spouses.
Partnership Camp develops a relationship with an existing camp in order to provide a spiritual and/or sports program. This can include FCA Camp curriculum, FCA resources, speakers, One Way 2 Play-Drug Free program, Huddle meetings, and staff. FCA joins with the camp as a co-sponsor to develop the spiritual focus of the camp and/or the athletic aspect.
If we are going to accomplish our mission of seeing every coach and athlete in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church, we must exist everywhere coaches and athletes are and minister in ways most effective to them. Our ministry fundamentals lay the groundwork for coaches and athletes to experience God’s greater promise in Christ.