Stripped of practices, seasons, teammates and sports, athletes in the Northeast are pivoting their efforts to include not only physical training at home, but spiritual training as well.
Under the leadership of Athletes in Action staff member John Vampatella, a group of 24 student-athletes spread throughout the Northeast are embarking on a program known as the Equipped Discipleship Curriculum. Over six weeks, their time is spent unpacking four fundamental principles that include:
- living in the power of the Holy Spirit
- sharing the gospel
- conveying your changed-life story
- helping others grow spiritually
Like in every sport, learning the fundamentals is key!
On their weekly video call, athletes are participating in discussion, taking notes, and applying Scripture to their lives. The six-week curriculum is designed to “equip” athletes to effectively share their faith with the people they are in relationships with every day. Usually that would be their teammates, coaches, or roommates. With athletes being spread out into their home communities, now they are also learning how to share their faith with their families, their childhood friends, or neighbors, preparing them to be lifelong spiritual influencers.
This discipleship approach models Paul’s letter of instruction to Timothy concerning the church in Ephesus.
“Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” 2 Timothy 2:1-3, NLT
Paul encourages Timothy to stay strong in his faith and teach biblical truth to Christ’s faithful followers. Notice how the last verse is written in the future tense. Paul knows there’s a difference between knowing biblical truth and teaching it. Some of his church may not be able to disciple others at the moment, but with proper training, they will be able _to_ one day equip others with Christ’s truth. And the same truth applies to athletes on college campuses across the United States.
As the group of 24 student-athletes continue to learn and practice the spiritual fundamentals of being an Equipped Disciple, their understanding of Christ will take them from spectator to player for the kingdom of God, using their platform for Christ, both in their competitive years and through their lifetime.
The mission of Athletes in Action is to build spiritual movements through the platform of sport, so that one day there will be a Christ-follower on every team, in every sport, in every nation. If you would like to be part of helping athletes grow into spiritual influencers through providing resources like the Equipped Discipleship Curriculum, please make your secure, online tax-deductible gift here.