The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.
GEORGE JENKINS - Varsity Football Team
There is nothing better than seeing a program do exactly what it was created to do. Especially when the end result is life change. I am a local high school pastor who loves students and loves sports. Naturally, FCA is perfect for me. They gave me the opportunity through the Grab Your Cleats ministry model, to serve as the Character Coach for the George Jenkins football team this year. I get to hang with the team after practices and pray for them before games. I only knew a couple of the guys before becoming part of the team, so I focused on purely building relationships with them. I didn’t mention my church or my youth ministry, just that I was a local pastor who was here for them, whatever they needed. The hope was that eventually they would feel connected to me enough to ask me what I did and where I was from.
Three weeks ago, the team had a bye week and our head coach asked if I would come and speak to the team before practice. I got there early, chilled with the guys in the locker room, and then eventually gave them a 10-minute talk. When I finished, one of the captains and leaders of the team asked me what church I was from in front of the entire team and what time my youth group meets.
That next week, Terry Green, the Greater Lakeland FCA Director and a dear friend, was schedule to preach on Wednesday night to my youth group. My connection with FCA started when Terry came to me saying, let’s work together! After the service, a new student named Brandon came up to us and said that he had given his heart to the Lord. Any time that happens, it’s an incredibly special moment, but what was so amazing about this particular moment, is that Brandon plays on the GJ football team. He came to church for the first time that night because he heard me talk about it on Friday at practice, an opportunity created by FCA. It was so encouraging for both Terry and I to see the Character Coach vision become a reality.
The mission of FCA is the same as the mission of the church, the only difference is the method. But I am a big believer, and this story is proof, that sometimes it takes more than one method to fulfill the same mission. And that is the beauty of the partnership between FCA and the church, because when we work together, we get to see a program do exactly what it was created to do. And more importantly, we get to watch God do exactly what only He can do.
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