“You and I were created by God to be so much more than normal. Following the crowd is not a winning approach to life. In the end it’s a loser’s game, because we never become who God created us by trying to be like everybody else.” – Tim Tebow
As Christian athletes, Grove City College student athletes recognize they are called to a higher standard. As a follower of Christ, these athletes have much more than their ability to play a sport on display. Just as Tim Tebow challenged his audience, GCC athletes are reminded that they were created to stand out in a way that will not reflect the world or promote themselves, but rather will bring honor and glory to the Lord. Members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) echo the same challenge to their audiences on campus.
FCA members seek to connect with students across campus, as well as athletes who participate in intramural sports, or just love sports for the purpose of glorifying the Lord. Their main mission is to glorify God through sports, so everything that they do revolves around that one specific goal. The group has grown steadily through the years since it was implemented and continues to grow. No matter the size, the athletes joining the group find an environment which allows deep relationships to form.
The advisor for the organization is Zach Jew and he is accompanied by the president, Ryan Buchalter. There is a leadership team that takes responsibility for organizing the meetings that are held every Sunday evening at 8 p.m. The team is comprised of Julia Buggey, Hope Cooksey, Sydney Dunn, Lindsay Hutton, Ben Koerber, Luke Richie, and John Turnbull. Lastly, their treasurer is Jordyn White. A unique characteristic about the members is that they are all involved in different sports teams on campus, but all strive to reach the same goal.
Athletes that might be on the fence about attending the next FCA meeting should consider that this group provides a rare opportunity for athletes on campus to establish and strengthen relationships with others who are experiencing similar challenges and demands, but on different courts or playing fields. “It is a fun, relaxed atmosphere and it drives home the ultimate purpose of playing for an Audience of One and what that truly looks like whether on the athletic field or in daily life,” shares treasurer White.
Each meeting provides time to interact with other athletes through activities like “plane crash” or “ninja” in an effort to keep the competitive spirit visible. Then, after opening in prayer, a member will introduce their guest speaker. Each week provides a new speaker, with some past speakers including GCC coaches, Ben Rothelisberger’s mother, alumni, athletes, Christian organization leaders, and even the college’s very own President McNulty, If there is enough time at the end of the meeting there will be some student led discussion to allow the students to share their personal thoughts. FCA is a terrific opportunity to nurture and encourage fellow athletes to live life as a Christian athlete as God intended.