back on campus…

It’s one of my favorite times of the year, the start of the new school year.  While I must admit when I was a student this was not the case, now that I am working with FCA I absolutely love it.

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On the middle and high school campuses, it’s exciting to touch base with all our coaches and sponsors, most of whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months.  Being able to share with them some ideas we have for their huddles and hearing their excitement and ideas is a huge blessing.  While most of these schools have been in session for about a month now, the FCA huddles are really just now gearing up and so the excitement they have is great.

Also, being able to get back on campus at EKU has been another exciting season of ministry.  Getting to hear what God has been doing in the lives of our student-athletes over the summer and building new relationships with new students is awesome.  Also, getting to plug back into ministering to the coaches on campus is a blessing too.

In all these areas of ministry we are excited to see how God is going to work during the 2018/2019 school year.  It is definitely good to be back on campus!

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a topic that I love…

This morning I am off to give a presentation on something that I love, Sports Ministry.  If you have followed this blog or know me at all it’s something that I am truly passionate about, love to talk about, blog about, and it’s the career that God has called me to as I serve with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In my personal opinion it is one of the best ways to reach our world for Christ and crosses more cultural and social barriers than almost any other form of ministry.

sports minToday, I am going to actually be sharing on a couple of topics, first of all the need for sports ministry and why we should be using it to reach our students.  Most of the reasons I am sharing about I have blogged about on here before.  Things like the fact that we live in a sports crazed culture and that over 17 million students K-12 grades are involved in school and community sports.  Also, I am going to be sharing about how we need to be using sports ministry as a way to reach coaches, because of the influence our coaches have.  Another stat that I recently got was also that almost 80% of our students are now unchurched.  By doing sports ministry we have an amazing opportunity to bring the Word of God to these students for the first time ever!

My 2nd topic that I am sharing on today is on how to prepare a chapel talk for speaking to a sports team.  I will be sharing tips on how to prepare and also some do’s and don’ts about preparation, presentation, and follow up.  The opportunity to go into a team practice or pregame routine and share a devotion/chapel with them is so amazing that it is something that we can not afford to not do well.  Whether that be how we communicate the Word and break it down for them, or just respecting the coaches time parameters.  As mentioned above about 80% of those we share with in a team chapel situation are not attending church so we must do our chapels well for Christ.

Please pray with me as I share in more detail about these topics this morning.  Also, if you would ever like to discuss anything with or relating to sports ministry please let me know!  If you are looking for a practical way to serve the Lord that reaches all kinds of people, you should definitely look into plugging into a sports ministry!

reasons for Sports Ministry…

Greetings from KY.  I have been absent from this blog for awhile, but I hope to change that with more regular posting.  One of my friends asked me to contribute monthly to a blog that his church does.  The post below is my first blog post for them that I wanted to share with you all.  It gives insight into why I am so passionate about using sports for Christ and hopefully it will encourage you to do the same.  I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your feedback!

SPORT_1Hello, my name is Andy Owens and I serve with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Central and Eastern, KY as an Area Representative.  Even before, I went on full time staff with FCA God really gave me a passion for Sports Ministry, where you use sports and recreation as a tool to reach others for Christ.  So, for the past 17 years in some form I have been working full time in sports ministry.  For at least my first few blog posts I would love to share with you about how sports and recreation can intersect with your faith and family.  How these things don’t have to become idols or distractions in your life and walk with Christ but powerful tools.

Most of you will probably agree we live in a culture where sports, athletes, and coaches are very often idolized.  Our kids, and even adults, look up to these figures in sports like they are heroes.   As a result, Christians tend to fall into two categories when it comes to sports and athletics.

The first is that you really can’t tell that much difference between them and the rest of the world.  Even though they claim Christ as king of their life, participating in athletics or having their children in athletics is truly their main priority.  It affects the jobs they take, their moods, how they treat their family and friends, their church attendance and much more.  When it comes down to it, they do have a god in their life, but it is the idol of sports.

The second category that Christians tend to fall in to is that of separation.  They see the danger of letting sports and athletics become a god or at the very least a high priority and so they choose to stay away and not participate.  These people see sports and athletics as worldly and something that should be abstained from.

I would like to suggest to you that the proper way to view sports and athletics is in the middle of these two views.  One of the things I love about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is our vision statement which says, “To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches.”  Both categories I mentioned above will agree that sports have a high place of value in our culture.  So rather than letting it rule our lives or staying totally away from it, let’s use it as FCA does, to impact our world for Christ.

In a sport crazed culture, those who participate are given a platform where there are people looking up to them as an example.  Billy Graham once said that in a year a coach will have the opportunity to impact more people for Christ than the average Christian will in their entire lifetime.  That is an opportunity to share Christ that we can’t waste on a poor testimony or choosing to stay away from.  For the athlete, former NBA star Charles Barkley once said that people shouldn’t look up to him and that he wasn’t a “Role Model.”  The problem with that statement is that in sports you don’t have a choice.  You have a platform and therefore you are a role model!  This is another platform that we as Christians must seek to take advantage of for Christ.

When you walk in any sports arena you see people of different ages, races, religions, and all kinds of other diversities.  As you look at these people it become abundantly clear that sports cross all kinds of social and economic barriers.  So, why as people that have been given the command to “go into the world and make disciples,” wouldn’t we use sports as a tool to obey the command that God has given us!

So, maybe you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you agree with me, but you are just not that into sports.   How does this apply to you?  Well, I would point out that as Christ-followers each of us has been given different gifts that give us each different platforms of influence in our world.  Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  Whatever plat form you have been given, use it to let your light shine before others and point them to Christ.  If you are an artist, use your art to point them to Christ.  If you are a musician, use your music to point them to Christ.  If you are a talker who has been given the gift of gab, use those social skills to point others to Christ.  If you are a coach or athlete, or just love sports, use the tool of sports and athletics to point others to Christ!

In our sinful sports crazed world, we must use the gift of athletics to reach the lost for Christ