Saturday, September 16, 2017

Global Sports Chaplains Network

In January of 2016 key leaders from the sports chaplaincy ministries from across the world met together to discuss how to develop chaplaincy globally.  One of the outcomes of the meeting was to create a secure worldwide registry of sports chaplains. This will launch at the end of September. 

 Cedesports.org is developing this global registry.
The benefits of the registry is as follows;
1. It will allow chaplains to connect across the world
2. It will allow chaplains to connect across their sport discipline
3. It will provide chaplains with resources from all over the world to support their ministry.

Special attention in the construction of this registry has been given to its security.  It will be accessible only by chaplains, and additional features are also in place to protect individual privacy.  No data will be shared with third parties.

We hope you will benefit from the resources available and connecting with sports chaplains across the world. 

Please reach out to Allie Dyar to register or with your questions at adyar@cedesports.org.

Friday, September 8, 2017

PowerUp Sports Ministry Conferences for 2017

If you are in the USA, I’d like to make you aware of some upcoming Sports Chaplaincy conferences hosted by Our Daily Bread Ministries of Michigan. I have attended and participated in these many times over many years. I highly recommend them to you.

Power Up Sports Ministry Conferences are one-day events for sports chaplains, coaches, athletic directors, or anyone involved in sports leadership. These exciting events are designed to spiritually encourage, equip, and strengthen you through challenging messages, workshops, videos, and panel discussions. The day is also filled with practical advice, networking opportunities, and free resources. Join us for a great day away to renew your energy and focus.


Grand Rapids, Michigan
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT

Indianapolis, IN
Tuesday November 7, 2017
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST

PROGRAM – Grand Rapids
8:00 am Our Daily Bread Ministries Tours (optional, pre-registration required)
8:30 am Registration Opens
9:00 am Greeting and Opening Comments
9:10 am Opening Challenge by Mark Mitchell, San Francisco Giants Chaplain
9:45 am Roundtable Discussion
10:05 am Workshop Session #1 with Tim Hiller, Former Western Michigan University Quarterback
11:05 am Workshop Session #2 with Issah Meade, Virginia Tech FCA Chaplain 
12:00 pm Prayer and Lunch
12:30 pm Our Daily Bread Ministries Tours (optional)
1:00 pm Panel Discussion hosted by Tom Rust, Face to Face Ministries
1:45 pm Closing Comments
2:00 pm Closing Challenge by Mark Mitchell, San Francisco Giants Chaplain
2:45 pm Closing Time of Prayer

PROGRAM - Indianapolis
8:30 am Registration Opens
9:00 am Greeting and Opening Comments
9:10 am Opening Challenge by Mark Mitchell, San Francisco Giants Chaplain
9:45 am Roundtable Discussion
10:00 am Direction for Sessions & Break
10:15 am Workshop Session #1 with Dave Gittings, Jr. Virginia Tech FCA Chaplain
11:05 am Workshop Session #2 with Dave Hudson, Indiana University Campus Ministry FCA 
12:00 pm Prayer and Lunch
12:50 pm Power Up Time-Out hosted by Tom Rust, Face to Face Ministries
1:00 pm Panel Discussion hosted by Tom Rust, Face to Face Ministries
1:45 pm Closing Comments
2:00 pm Closing Challenge by Mark Mitchell, San Francisco Giants Chaplain
2:45 pm Closing Time of Prayer

Details, videos from past conferences, and registration are available at: https://ourdailybread.org/powerup/


Friday, August 25, 2017

Chapel Talk Outlines - http://fcaresources.com/

If you are privileged to have the opportunity to speak to your team in a chapel setting, whether pregame or the night before, it is important to know how to prepare and deliver a talk that will speak to the hearts of the players and coaches.

To serve up a warmed over Bible study won’t cut it. To simply do a motivational, “rah rah”, talk also misses the mark. I have often asked guest speakers and counseled emerging sports chaplains to deliver both inspiration and motivation. We want them to love God, and we want them to compete greatly. Both.

If you are just starting in this role or you are suddenly given opportunity for such a talk, I’d like to recommend a set of resources available on line to anyone. Log onto - http://fcaresources.com/ and then use the search function with keywords: “Chapel talks” and Ministry: “Chaplains.” That search will pull up a set of over 30 chapel talk outlines, each with a title followed by – “Chapel.”



One such chapel outline, looks like this once opened.

Comparisons - Chapel

Chapel – Comparisons
1 – Do you watch web sites for the weekly team power rankings? 
• Do you pay attention to the state or national rankings of teams in our sport?
• Do you read the paper to see who beat whom? 
• Do you make comparisons between teams and players?
• Sometimes, such comparisons could be misleading and lead you to a poor performance and with it a disappointing loss.
2 - Let’s get some wisdom in relation to making comparisons from II Corinthians 10:12 (read the text aloud).
• The number one ranked team in the nation is not the standard against which we measure our success.
• The first place team in our conference is not the standard against which we measure our success.
• The last place team is certainly not our measure of success, nor are the teams we have defeated or lost to already this year.
• A greater standard for our team and for each individual is “competing to the height of our ability.” This is success.
• This standard does not change based upon an opponent’s ability.
• This standard is constantly raised to new heights as we develop as players and as a team.
3 – Today, avoid the foolish comparisons and make it your aim to compete at your highest capacity.
• In doing so you will raise the level of play for all those around you.
• Strive to maximize our team’s abilities today.
a. Each player
b. Each coach
c. Each play
d. Throughout the duration of the game
4 – Achieving highly through pursuit of that standard will result in the internal satisfaction which comes with fulfilling one’s purpose.
5 - Let’s leave the less than wise and external comparisons to others.

I hope this set of resources can be of service to you and those to whom you speak. If you would like to see more such outlines, please email me at RLipe@fca.org and I will be glad to send you any you would like. After 23 seasons of chapels, there are a lot from which to choose.






Friday, August 11, 2017

Shall I Pray for Success?

Earlier this summer I received a call from a man whose son was playing in a baseball tournament and working out in a series of showcases in the pursuit of an offer to play for a college team. I have known his daughter, who played golf at our university and attended our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings. The father and I had only met, face to face, one time.

He called as he was trying to discern whether it was proper to pray for his son to be successful. We had a great chat and a number of the ideas discussed are below. Much of what I told him was that it depends upon how one defines success. We chatted a couple more times during the summer as the process moved along and they contemplated opportunities.

I greatly respect John Wooden’s definition of success:

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” John Wooden
In this economy of success, yes, I believe it altogether appropriate to pray for success. In the world of sport’s normal economy of success: that I win every time, that I am first, that I am the greatest of all time; not so much.

I always pray for those I am serving to be successful, but I never pray regarding the results on the scoreboard. I pray that they fulfill their highest potential, that they compete to their absolute best ability, that they experience the best of their sport, that they are great teammates, that they experience the Lord Jesus' presence and pleasure in sport, that they find joy and satisfaction as they compete, and more. I believe this is success in sport.

A few of the prayers I have written for competitors to pray are below. I believe they are emblematic of this approach to success.

Powerful God of Heaven and earth,

Today's competition will require my absolute best and the same of my teammates.

Please give us to be at the heights of our abilities.

Please enable our hearts to be united.

Please grant us insight and wisdom.

Please infuse us with strength, speed, and endurance.

We would honor You with each and every second of this contest.

In Jesus' strong name we pray,

Amen.


Strong Father in heaven,

It is game day and I am ready.

Every fiber of my being is poised and prepared for a great day of competition.

I commit every moment, every breath, every movement,  and every thought to You.

May I be blessed with Your provision as I compete?

May I be honored by Your presence in this game?

May I bring Your heart pleasure throughout this day?

I pray and compete in Jesus' name,

Amen.


Father,

It is almost game time and my heart is racing.

My mind is full of anxiety.

My body is tense and tight.

Please quiet my heart.

Please speak peace to my mind.

Please relax my body.

This competition is for Your honor, for Your glory, and for Your pleasure.

I pledge to You the greatest devotion of my heart, the best thoughts of my mind, and the strongest efforts of my body.

In Jesus' strong name,

Amen. 


Earlier this week I received notice that the young player had received an offer from an NCAA Division I university to play baseball. The family expressed their thanks for praying with them about the process, and the young man tweeted his thanks to God for the offer. The player’s mother said, “This was such a God thing,” and promised to tell me the story about how the offer came about. I was pleased that they were seeking God’s counsel throughout the process, even more than simply comparing offers, academic programs, dormitory rooms, and team gear. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Did God Create Sport?

With his permission, I would like to share a recently received reflection from our dear friend and esteemed colleague, Stuart Weir of Verité Sport in the UK. http://www.veritesport.org/ Don’t miss the piercing question at the end.

Did God create sport?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth Genesis 1:1

Genesis contains in the first two chapters a magnificent account of the creation of the world. God is the creator of every single thing in this world, which the story pronounces over and over again ‘was good’. At the end of Genesis 1, we read: ‘God saw all that he had made and it was very good’. (v.31)

If we understand this and remember it, our attitude to God will be transformed. We will realise that we must worship him in all things and at all times.

So did God actually create sport as well as creating everything else? God did not actually create athletics or basketball but it was God who created people and made them able to run, jump, kick and catch. Sport is simply organized play in which we have the opportunity to use the talents that God has given us.

Reflection: If I really believed that my involvement in sport was an integral part of my Christian life, how would it change my attitude to sport?


If you would like to subscribe to Stuart’s weekly emails of similar content, simply email him at: stuart@veritesport.org

Friday, July 28, 2017

How can one’s spouse contribute to his or her ministry with sportspeople?

How can one’s spouse contribute to his or her ministry with sportspeople? Where are the opportunities for a spouse to enhance the ministry in a significant way? Across my twenty-three years of such service, my service has been greatly enhanced by my wife in several ways. Let’s consider some of the possibilities.

·        A spouse can be a tremendous complement to one’s service, in serving sportspeople in the home. In my case, my wife is tremendously gifted in hospitality. She is an excellent and creative cook, thus part of our service of sportspeople includes having them in our home for breakfast, dinner, dessert, or just snacks. As we host meetings or individuals in our home, the hospitality provided by my wife really sets the stage for my service. Her service makes mine better. If she was not willing to have people “invade our space” it would be much more difficult to serve and the setting for some of our most effective service would be lost.
·        A spouse can add perspective to one’s service, due to his or her personality, experience, and giftedness. As most couples are, my wife and I are much different in terms of style, temperament, and giftedness. I am an extrovert, she is an introvert. She serves very naturally, I have to think about it. She is intuitive about people and their motives, I am much more likely to judge things by their appearance. I trust her intuition about people and their motives. We compare notes about situations and her counsel leads to better decisions.
·        A spouse can be a valuable anchor to a sports chaplain’s busy life of travel. Sometimes a sports chaplain’s life may include travel with teams, to conferences, to training events, or other travel opportunities. In my case, I love to travel, but my wife does not. Some spouses love to travel with their busy sports chaplain husband or wife, but others would prefer to stay home. My wife, after forty-two years of marriage, does not want to tag along with me, just to have me work all the time, and leaving her to hang out in a hotel room. “No, thanks,” she says. The benefit to me is that when I travel in my sports chaplain role, I am able to be 100% on all the time. I spend no time thinking about pleasing her as we travel, nor adjusting to her speed. I am able to be my intense, extroverted, deeply engaged self with total freedom. Whether your spouse likes to travel with you or not, he or she may be a tremendous asset to your service.
·        A spouse can be an effective oasis for one’s consuming life with people of sport. In our roles, we often take on the stress, concerns, pain, successes, and failures of others. This can certainly wear one down, leading to fatigue and other effects upon our hearts. A wise, loving spouse can help distract us from the busyness and second hand pain we bear. My wife keeps me engaged in our extended family, helps me see other people in our community, and enables me to serve some of the people behind the scenes of the sports world. She volunteers in the equipment room with that staff during football preseason and then on game days. Her care for and personal connections with these people affords me unique opportunities to serve this often overlooked team of selfless people.

These are just a few of the myriad ways a spouse can be a tremendous complement to a sports chaplain, a character coach, or a sports mentor. I am reminded of the proverb, “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” I have certainly found a good wife, she is very good, and I have obtained great favor from the Lord. I pray that you find or have found a good spouse, and that you find similar favor from the Lord.

Friday, July 21, 2017

What about your service as a sports chaplain will matter in one hundred years?

What about your service as a sports chaplain, character coach, or sports mentor will matter in ten years, in twenty, in one hundred years? What do you do, how do you impact lives, whose lives are affected strongly enough that your service of them will have long lasting benefits? Let’s think about this challenging set of questions.

What about your service as a sports chaplain will matter in ten years? What you taught and modeled for them about success in life can have this sort of effect. When people see your approach to work, how you engage with people, your study habits, and other life skills, they can be significantly influenced for a good period of time.
What about your service as a sports chaplain will matter in twenty years? I would assert that what you taught and modeled for them about God honoring relationships have a strong effect for at least this long. As they observe your loving interaction with your spouse and children, they will be directly affected in a great way. What you teach them about relationships with teammates, coaches, support staff, people of the opposite sex, sports officials, and their opponents on the field of competition will shape their lives for decades.
What about your service as a sports chaplain will matter in one hundred years? What you taught and modeled for them about the person and work of Christ Jesus, that will matter after you and they are all dead, buried, and mostly forgotten. The clear and direct communication of the gospel of Christ will make an eternal difference. Your introduction to faith in the Lord Jesus can break generations of curses, foolish lifestyles, and condemnation that has been a millstone around the necks of many.
Whether your term of service with people in sport is a few weeks, a few months, a few years, or even a few decades, make investments in their minds, their hearts, and their lives. There will be fruit from your faithful service. It may appear in ten years, it may be most evident in twenty years, and it may be most strongly effective in one hundred years. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send more workers into His field, this field, the field of sport.

Global Sports Chaplains Network

In January of 2016 key leaders from the sports chaplaincy ministries from across the world met together to discuss how to develop chaplain...