By Drew Shriner | Contributor
The apostle Paul used athletic references throughout his letters in passages like 2 Timothy 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. A few students are likewise trying to use athletics for discipleship on Taylor's campus through the campus chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
Senior Christian Allen started Taylor's FCA chapter last spring after he transferred to Taylor and discovered that Taylor did not already have their own chapter. He decided to meet the need himself.
"When I came to Taylor, I was surprised that we did not have an FCA here originally," Allen said. "We had one three years back that ended up stopping after the senior who started it graduated. My heart was for FCA. I started at the university that I came from. When I came here, it wasn't here. . . . I made it my goal to start it up."
However, it is not only Allen who leads FCA. He is joined by leaders from several other Taylor sports teams, such as juniors Bailey Zehr and Addy Bailey, members of the women's soccer and volleyball teams, respectively.
As a club, one of their main objectives is to bring a stronger sense of community among all of Taylor's athletes. They believe individual teams have strong connections, but inter-team relationships could be improved. Sophomore Pat McNamara, a member of Taylor's men's basketball team, agrees intra-team relationships are much stronger, but believes there are strong connections between all athletes.
"I'm definitely way more connected to my team than to other athletes," McNamara said. ". . . But, automatically you just relate to other (athletes) because you see them around a lot."
Allen believes FCA has so far accomplished this purpose, one sign being athletes from various sports sit with one another at meals in the Hodson Dining Commons.
However, FCA is not exclusively for varsity student-athletes. Rather, it is a club open to all who have athletic interests because they believe that everyone is an athlete. The club's goal is to provide a place for individuals to bond over a common interest and disciple one another.
"It's open to anyone who is a current athlete, used to play sports or likes to watch sports," Bailey said.
Each weekly meeting opens with an icebreaker game. After this there is a 15 minute sermon from one of the club leaders or a guest speaker. The chapter's theme for this semester is "focus," and each sermon concentrates on a different biblical aspect of "focus." Following the sermon, the meeting divides into small groups for prayer. The last meeting of each month includes a worship service.
FCA meetings happen every Thursday evening in the Jacobsen II Garage Room on the second floor of the LaRita Boren Campus Center at 8:30 p.m. They are also planning a campus-wide game of glow-in-the-dark capture the flag later in the spring.