Friday, May 12, 2017

Chapels for Visiting Teams

This Sunday morning I will have an opportunity that I have been trying to apprehend for a number of months. I will lead a baseball chapel for the visiting team of Sunday’s college baseball game, the finale of the weekend series. I have prepared a handout for each player in attendance. It is identical to the one I’ll use for our team that same morning, except for the team specific information and photo. It contains an excerpt from my devotional book, Heart of a Champion, a prayer from, The Competitor’s Book of Prayer (adapted to baseball), and some contact information for me and for the new F.C.A. Director in the visiting team’s community. The handout is shown below.

This is very common in professional baseball as Baseball Chapel ( has the home team chapel leader to conduct chapels for both the home and the visiting teams. They are usually done consecutively in each team’s dugout or in another convenient area for the players. In years past I have arranged for chapel speakers for visiting college football teams. Either I would speak with them or I would arrange for a trusted friend and colleague to speak with the team. I have also done this with visiting women’s basketball teams when they come to our community to play our university’s team.

Many of our colleagues in other settings have done similarly, but I would urge you to consider the opportunities that may be at your hand. It took a few minutes to research the head coaches’ names and email addresses, and to then send an email offering to lead a chapel for their players. Of the four I emailed, two responded, and only one agreed to arrange a meeting room for his players. It may be that the simple arrangement of a chapel may spark interest in the visiting team’s players or their coaching staff for having a sports chaplain to serve their team. It could lead the players to investigate F.C.A. or another ministry on their campus. It could lead to some investigating the claims of Christ Jesus. It could simply be a moment of encouragement for a team battling toward the end of a disappointing season. I’ll aim to be faithful and will trust the Lord with the results.

Please consider taking a little time, a little risk, and the discomfort of walking into uncharted waters to serve selflessly and to love extravagantly.