Here in the USA, there has been tremendous growth in the number of men and women who volunteer as sport chaplains or character coaches with high school and club sports teams. In southeast Georgia and more recently in Northern Virginia and Maryland, this form of ministry is growing exponentially with great effect. There are certainly others who are developing this sort of ministry in areas of which I am not even aware.
There are some common elements for this sort of ministry and its effectiveness. Some of those elements are listed below:
• Visionary leadership by a ministry staff person.
• Solid relationships with coaches facilitated by the staff person and developed by the volunteer.
• Volunteers with a heart for coaches and competitors who will sacrifice time and convenience to serve.
• Wise leadership by ministry staff who will facilitate volunteers in ministry without stifling them with unrealistic expectations or too great a need for control.
• A simple system for training and mentoring the volunteers.
Many of these are using the FCA Sport Chaplain and Character Coach Training manual to assist in the training and development of the volunteers’ ministries. The manual was revised in the fall of 2011.
Many others are using copies of Transforming Lives in Sport for their training and development. It can be acquired from Cross Training Publishing http://crosstrainingpublishing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=236 or through my office. This book is also available in Spanish for free. Simply email me for a pdf of the material.
I would like to encourage you to consider this form of ministry in your area. Wise and effective leadership of volunteer sports chaplains or character coaches can be a dynamic and life-changing part of your ministry. I would love to help you serve coaches and competitors through such vital ministry. Drop me a line and I’d be thrilled to discuss it with you.