For athletes and coaches at Faith, "Athletics = Ministry" and "With the Word to the World" are not just passive slogans casually mentioned at the beginning of an athletic season. They are calls to action that coaches and players seek to act upon daily. While it is important for athletes to learn and develop their skills through competing in sports, the athletic staff at Faith realizes the greater importance of what the students do off the playing field. "One of the many advantages of competing in athletics here at Faith is the variety of opportunities our athletes have to serve," says Jordan Sauser, Head Coach of both the Men's Soccer and Track & Field teams. "We want to give our athletes more than just the skills of the game; we want them to have their character molded and principles instilled in them that they can use throughout the rest of their lives."
And that's exactly what they're doing. This summer, over 25 of our student athletes will be serving across the globe in various churches, camps, and other ministries. They will be taking the lessons they have learned in the classroom and on the court and using them to serve others.
"I love the servant's heart many of our student athletes have, and I love even more the opportunities I have had to observe them serving in and out of their athletic seasons - whether it's through the many service opportunities that take place during our athletic seasons, or watching our athletes give selflessly of themselves during the summer months through various mission's trips, athletic camps, and church outreach events," noted Brian Fincham, Men's Basketball Coach and Athletic Director.
Ministry originates from the Greek word diakoneo, meaning, "to serve", or douleuo, meaning, "to serve as a slave". The athletic department developed the slogan "Athletics = Ministry" as a reminder that there's much more to sports than working hard in practice or winning games. Opportunities such as influencing the people they meet, serving their teammates, opponents, fans, and officials, learning and growing from coaches and teammates, and glorifying God through the whole process are just a few of the ways athletes can grow in Christ during their athletic experience at Faith. "Athletics = Ministry isn't just a passive slogan; it's an integral part of the athletic experience here at Faith, and it's what we look forward to doing each and every day!" says Coach Fincham.
Just as the staff is excited about athletes going out in ministry, they also look forward to when athletes return to school in the fall. Coaches enjoy hearing all the ways athletes served and seeing how their service changes athletes, both as individuals and teammates. Coach Sauser mentioned the value having a servant's heart brings to a team and anticipates seeing the effect their service has on the upcoming seasons. "In Matthew 20:26 when Jesus was speaking with His disciples He said, 'Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.' The Lord teaches us many lessons through service that are extremely valuable to team sports. It's exciting to hear our student athletes give testimony about the opportunities they get to serve and how it impacts them."
Join us this summer as we take the time to highlight some of the opportunities our athletes are taking to serve both at home and abroad as they put their training into action and "Take the Word to the World!"