Friday, August 17, 2018

Report from Sports Chaplaincy UK annual conference

It was a unique privilege to be invited by Sports Chaplaincy United Kingdom CEO, Warren Evans, to speak at their annual conference in Bradford, England earlier this summer.  On Wednesday 13 June I traveled from my home to St. Louis, Missouri (USA), boarded a plane to Washington, DC, and then flew to Manchester, UK. On Thursday, after a 90 minute ride to Bradford, I joined the Sports Chaplaincy UK team as they were well into their day of induction at Life Church. I sat in on the remaining sessions of their excellent training for new sports chaplains, checked into my hotel room, and went to dinner with colleagues and friends from across the UK and Ross Georgiou from New Zealand, now living in Germany.

On Friday the 15th I delivered the three talks I had prepared for the conference. I talked with the gathered men and women about what it is to inspire and to be inspired. I then spoke with them about how we challenge and receive challenges. Lastly, I spoke with them about how sports chaplains must stretch and be stretched to serve effectively. The conference, continuing through Saturday, also included some excellent and practical training in various dimensions of serving in sports chaplaincy with excellence. Like most sports chaplaincy conference, some of the most valuable exchange of information and ideas took place during the breaks, over coffee, across the lunch table, and in casual conversation. Throughout the conference the attendees were challenged to “Raise their Game.” Warren and his team were excellent hosts for the conference with every detail handled very well.

On Sunday we attended church with the Evans family at Life Church. After a brief visit to the river locks near Bradford, and a wonderful family dinner we had a restful evening watching England’s opening round World Cup victory.

Monday included an outstanding meeting at the home ground for the Bradford Bulls Rugby club with Warren, Ross, Richard Gamble, and me. We discussed many facets of the global growth of sports chaplaincy. As the meeting adjourned we took Ross to the train station so he could catch his flight home. The balance of the day was spent with Warren and his lovely family, in relaxation and comfort.

On Tuesday morning we began an extraordinary day of travel including a traffic jam due to an accident on the motorway, running with my bags to the check in counter (arriving with about 30 seconds to spare), hassles at security, a good flight across the pond, delays in Chicago that had me sleeping on the floor of the airport overnight, and the eventual return to St. Louis, my car, and the two hour drive home. International travel is only glamorous to those who don’t do it.

To be included in relationship with such highly committed, loving, bright, and visionary people as Warren Evans, Ross Georgiou, Richard Gamble, and the board and chaplains of Sports Chaplaincy UK, is an immense pleasure and privilege. I am very thankful for these teammates and their faithful service of our Lord.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Report from Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine.

During the two weeks of 22 May through 4 June, 2018 I traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania; Moscow, Russia; and then to Kiev, Ukraine in service of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I worked with FCA’s Eurasian Global Region Coordinator, Andriy Kravstov, to make connections with people who are serving in sports ministries in the Baltics, in Russia, and then for a Sports Chaplains School in Kiev.

While in Moscow, we were hosted by our colleagues of Athletes in Action and others of the sports movement in Eurasia. In particular, our friend and Eurasian sports ministry pioneer, Carl Dambman of Athletes in Action, was a gracious host and connector of people.

360 Coaches meeting in the Sports Palace – Kiev, Ukraine

During the Sports Chaplains School, Carl and I shared the days of instruction. We included lots of group discussions, role play, and other methods to help our new colleagues integrate all they were learning into their service of Ukrainian sportspeople. We were thrilled at the nature of the group that FCA Ukraine and our friend, Ruslan Muts, had gathered for the training. Many were already serving various clubs and others were preparing to engage soon.

Attendees of the Sports Chaplains School - Kiev, Ukraine

This was the fourth year in succession for this Sports Chaplains School in Kiev. We are very proud of our friends and their faithful service. I am most thankful to have the faithful and excellent partnership of Carl Dambman of Athletes in Action.

Roger Lipe – FCA and Carl Dambman - AIA

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sports Chaplains Conference Call - Performance Based Identity

Please click on the link below to access the recording of the August 7, 2018 Sports Chaplains Conference Call re: Performance Based Identity. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Global Registry for Sports Chaplains - register today!

Even if you have registered in the past, please log on and register for this global network of sports chaplains. 

Simply click the gold SIGN UP box below to register.

Thanks very much!

It's Here...
CEDE Network 2.0!

The new Worldwide Sports Chaplains Registry is here! Now it’s easier than ever to connect with thousands of other isolated sports chaplains similar to you.


Get a FREE Copy of Joe Gibbs' Book
Game Plan for Life

Everyone who creates a profile by August 10 will receive a FREE copy of Coach Joe Gibbs’ book, Game Plan for Life.

New Features

The enhanced map will highlight other chaplains around you based off of your zip code and location.

New filters for profile searching. Find chaplains based off of sport, level of coaching, location and more. 

You can reach chaplains directly with email, but it will go through the Cede Network system to protect your email address.

Start Exploring
Get started with version 2.0 of our global registry today! Create a profile and discover how you can connect, share and learn with chaplains worldwide.


"I am so excited to witness the launch of the worldwide sports chaplains registry!
It will be so helpful and bring unity to the community of sports chaplains learning, growing, encouraging, networking and supporting each other. This is really a Kingdom approach to walk together for His glory."
Jung Ho Jung - Sports Chaplaincy Hong Kong

“Cede Sports have produced a great product called the Registry (CEDE NETWORK 2.0) to help support and signpost chaplains across the globe and we, Sports Chaplaincy UK are proud to support and partner with them.”
Warren Evans - Sports Chaplaincy United Kingdom

“The global sports chaplains register will be an amazing tool for connection, encouragement, and information available to chaplains everywhere. Some of us are privileged to be involved in national sports chaplaincy organisations which already allow us those opportunities, and the register will build on that. But for those chaplains serving in more isolated contexts – or serving sports people who compete internationally – the register can only be seen as a blessing from God to enhance their ministry, and offer them a sense of community within a global and growing movement.”
Steve Stubbings – Sports Chaplaincy Australia

“Cede Sports has done a wonderful service for the global body of sports chaplaincy by connecting us through this newest resource (Cede Network 2.0). We plan to utilize this resource heavily to discover new candidates to serve with Soccer Chaplains United and to resource our current chaplains as we see God growing our work in soccer throughout North America and beyond.”
Rev Brad Kenney - Soccer Chaplains United
“I’m very excited about the recent launch of the Global Sports Chaplain Registry. I’ve just begun to work with it and it’s so smooth and manageable. It can be a great resource for anyone working in the world of sport chaplaincy. I’m praying that God will use this tool to help accelerate the movement of chaplains who are helping to meet the spiritual needs of the athletes of our world. Check it out and I really believe you’ll be greatly blessed in your future ministry.” 
Reid Lamphere  -  Athletes in Action

“Cede Sports has been working in partnership with us to help see the GSCA purpose of all sports people from all nations to have access to a Christian Sports Chaplain. The Cede Network 2.0 Registry has taken a huge step in helping us all work to fulfilling that purpose as we look to demonstrate and share the love and mercy of Christ to the sports world!”
Ross Georgiou – Global Sports Chaplaincy Association

"The Cede Network global sports chaplain registry is a dream come true for many of us. For decades we have had to rely on our own personal networks to connect players or coaches who were transferring from place to place, from club to club, or from nation to nation with our sports chaplaincy colleagues. The global sports chaplaincy registry will make this process much smoother, quicker, and with solid security."
Roger Lipe - FCA

"What a superb tool to unite, connect and resource a movement across the globe. I believe that this registry will be a catalyst for growth enabling the global family of Sports Chaplaincy movements to serve more sports communities with excellent care and mentoring. Sports Chaplaincy South Africa is privileged to partner with CEDE in making this possible."
Bruce Nadin - National Director Sports Chaplaincy South Africa

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Conference Call re: Performance Based Identity - August 7, 2018

Check out our panel for the August 7 Sports Chaplains conference call - 
• Clint Hudson - 12th Man Ministries / Carolina Panthers Chaplain 
• Johnny Shelton - Baltimore Ravens Chaplain 
• Patricia Hollowell - University of Maryland Chaplain 
• Dr. Julie Partridge - Sports Psychologist at Southern Illinois University
Please join us.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Summer Vacation (Holiday)

It’s only 8 June, but it’s already been a big summer. I just returned from 14 days in Eurasia where we served with our F.C.A. Eurasia teammates, AIA legend Carl Dambman, 100 other Eurasian sports ministry leaders, and about 30 people gathered for a Sports Chaplaincy School in Kyiv, Ukraine. It was a great trip.

Given the full calendar of activities over the next weeks, I will hit the pause button on these emails until sometime in August. I have a couple of weeks of vacation to use for travel and family activities, plus three more F.C.A. Power Camps in our area.

By way of preview, I am incubating thought on these notes that will come up in August and beyond:
  • A Sports Chaplain personal development plan.
  • A report on the Sports Chaplaincy United Kingdom conference in Bradford, England.
  • A discussion of Christian discipleship processes and resources.
  • A promotional note about the monthly sports chaplain conference calls.
  •  A promotional note about Cede Network videos on YouTube.

Have a wonderful summer. I intend to invest time, talent, and treasure in family and friends during these next weeks. Love to all.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Community and Purpose

For the last several days I have been in Vilnius, Lithuania and Moscow, Russia in support of our teammates of FCA Ukraine. While here in Moscow, I had a great talk with a young man who is pursuing ministry in ice hockey. He was an elite level young player and then a professional until age twenty. As we discussed what he misses most about playing with a hockey team he said, “My teammates. In the summers, when we would go to a summer camp to train and compete, I would come home after the camp and cry in my room. My mother would ask what was wrong with me and I would reply that I miss my teammates.”

For this young ice hockey player, his team and teammates provided community and purpose for his life. After he was passed over for further advancement in professional hockey, he was suddenly thrust into the real world of work and this world provided neither community nor purpose. He was adrift. He descended into a life of alcohol and drug abuse, crime, and eventually homelessness. In the midst of this downward spiral he connected with people in the world of crime. They also welcomed him, without condition, and gave him a community and purpose for living, nefarious as it was.

While homeless, a man approached him on the street offering a way out of his plight through relationship with Jesus. At first he said no. When the same man offered again, he asked what he had to offer. The man gave him the phone number of a rehab clinic that could offer him food, clothing, and shelter. When he made the call he was amazed that they would receive him without condition. This new set of friends offered him community and a purpose for life. He went through rehab, staying and working there for four years.

Now well integrated into his local church, married to a delightful young lady (a former professional volleyball player, now a coach), he and his wife began to dream and to pray about ministry in sport. He said, “How many ushers does a church need? Surely there is a way to serve God outside the church walls.” They were both looking for a way to share community and purpose for life with sportspeople. One day he received a call from a man named, John McIntosh. John has a long history of serving the ice hockey community. John said, “I hear you are a pretty good hockey player, and I hear you are a believer. Can we get together?” They met and that launched their journey toward ministry in sport. They are just beginning, but they already understand the hearts, minds, and lifestyles of elite level sportspeople.

We, as sport chaplains, must be increasingly aware of the loss experienced by sportspeople when they leave the organized, regimented, community of their sport. Whether due to retirement, injury, failure, or simply being released from their contracts, sportspeople experience the same loss of community and purpose as did this ice hockey player. We must find ways to bridge that gap. We must find ways to provide community. We must explore ways to help them find purpose for their lives. Please join me in this most important venture.