The fifth Fellowship of Christian Athletes Sport Chaplain / Character Coach Conference wrapped up yesterday in Kansas City, Missouri at the FCA National Support Center. About 50 sport chaplains and character coaches from all across the USA were in attendance. A large number of our group were FCA staff people and Athletes in Action staffers, but a great portion of the group were volunteers serving teams in universities or high schools. We also had the largest number of women in attendance of any of our conferences. Our conferees ranged from Minnesota to Florida and Oregon to Maryland.
Jon Randles, a long-term team chaplain, church pastor, conference speaker, and consultant was the chaplain to our chaplains. I made a presentation of the basics of sport chaplaincy based on the FCA Sport Chaplains training manual. Marla Williams, a sport chaplain from Georgia Tech, presented a tremendous talk about sexual brokenness among sportspeople. I hope to share her outline with you in future days as it was outstanding. I facilitated a panel discussion with veteran sport chaplains about how to form chapel talks. We also had a panel discussion wherein we fielded questions from conferees and answered them directly.
FCA’s three-part strategy for the development of sport chaplains and character coaches includes: Training, Networking, and Mentoring. We structured the event with lots of open space for not only training to occur, but for the networking and mentoring. Each of these seemed to be done very well. Jeff Martin and Dan Bishop, both vice presidents of FCA’s ministry, participated as facilitators during the conference and Jordan Barnes lent outstanding logistical support. FCA’s CEO and President, Les Steckel, spoke to the group as well.
We will be watching to see where sport chaplaincy is booming in the USA as we plan next year’s conference. We will plan to host that conference in that region of the country so as to encourage it, to nurture its growth and to simply honor what we see the Lord Jesus doing in that area. I hope it’s in your home town.