I get to spend my days as a missionary of the gospel of Jesus Christ going into the schools, field houses and gyms of our community investing in the lives of coaches and athletes around our area. FCA’s angle is that we attempt to influence the influencers; it’s simple in design but highly effective.
For instance, Jordan says wear Nike shoes and Hanes shirts. Lebron says drink Sprite. The grin of countless athletes has graced the front of a Wheaties box, and George Foreman, yes the boxer, has made $137 million selling tiny grills that sit on the counter in your kitchen. Our society listens to athletes.
Here’s another example: I will never forget the first day of my junior year of high school. In the days prior to school uniforms our senior, star running back showed up and shocked all of us by wearing white socks that pulled up to about his mid-calf. This may sound trivial, but you must understand, I wouldn’t have left my house without a pair of ankle socks that barely peeked above the top of my sneakers.
School had just begun so undoubtedly my momma had just recently made a trip to Wal-Mart and purchased me a pack of said, ankle high socks. Matt, our running back stuck to his guns and wore those socks of his every day. I don’t remember how I got new ones, but within two weeks, EVERYBODY I knew had socks pulled up to their mid-calf, it was essentially a necessity.
I’m grown now with kids of my own. I showed up to a family gathering a year or so ago with black, “no show ankle socks” on and my sister laughed at me because she thought it was a joke. Right now, find the nearest athletic kid you know and check his socks; they are black, and probably “no show ankle socks.”
I get it, the example is trivial and you all think I’m just a crowd follower. Maybe it wasn’t socks for you. Did you have huge hair in the 80s? What about a mullet in the 90s? Did you wear jeans with no belt and your shirt tucked in, ever? What if we go way back; have any plaid pants from the 60s or 70s? Here’s my point, people tend to have a herd mentality. They don’t usually want to stick out or be different. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not I’m not sure, but most folks tend to generally follow the crowd. The crowd follows the bell cow. Athletes and coaches tend to be bell cows. FCA aims to influence the influencers. If an athlete can change the height of everybody’s socks or tell us what kind of drink we should like or what shoes to wear, what if they told us to be sold out believers? What if they lived, spoke, studied, practiced and played in such a way that was exemplary and glorifying to God?
Even more beneficial than pouring into the lives of athletes is pouring into the lives of coaches. Coach So and So spends an incredible amount of time with these student athletes. How effective would it be for him or her to be the one sold out for Jesus and impacting his players to live likewise?
Can one man or woman really influence a small group of people who in turn influence small, meaningful groups of people, and so on and so forth until we are living in a better society? Ever heard of Jesus? He changed the universe with 12 dudes. The model works.
FCA is not here to glorify sports or athletes or coaches. FCA loves sports and athletes and coaches, and we’re doing all that we can to put them in place to glorify Jesus Christ. As of writing, the national ministry of FCA has seen and reported 17,420 commitments to Christ this fiscal year, which began in September.
I’m writing to thank you for the incredible opportunity to spend my days the way I do; it is a direct by-product of local support of the ministry of FCA.