Goal posts, baseball diamonds, hockey sticks and soccer balls—many may consider these to be the main "tools" the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (fca.org) utilizes in its worldwide sports ministry.
But for FCA, there is one resource above all others—the Bible.
FCA is one of the most committed Bible distributors in the world, printing about 200,000 Bibles every year and distributing nearly 3 million Bibles around the world in the past 15 years. In fact, FCA has engaged in Bible ministry since its first Camp in 1956. FCA's partners at Biblica have even said, "When you think about FCA, you think about a sports ministry, but what's incredible is their commitment to utilizing Scripture."
"I believe one of the reasons God continues to bless the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is our focus on growing our Bible ministry," said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. "We are committed to God's Word and biblical truth, and we continue to be amazed at what God is doing to get His Word into the hands of coaches and athletes around the world."
FCA distributed 208,624 Bibles in 2021 alone, as it marked 67 years staying true to the mission of leading every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church.
Below is a brief overview of FCA's Bible distribution history:
1956: The Athlete's Bible
The first FCA Bibles were printed for Camp in 1956 with the FCA logo on the cover. As FCA Camps grew, new Bible covers were designed with each year's theme, and more camp curriculum was added. The Bible became a key resource for those leading Huddles and one-on-one discipleship meetings. Today, this resource is referred to as FCA's "Athlete's Bible," and it continues to be the cornerstone of the Bible ministry. Each year, every camper at FCA Camp receives an Athlete's Bible, and it is FCA's most requested Bible resource.
2003: Sports Bible Resources
FCA's Bible distribution exploded when FCA introduced a Sports New Testament that included testimonies from pro athletes. Today, FCA has printed more than 1 million of these resources. Staff in Mississippi dreamed up the concept of a Coach's Bible that included 365 devotions written by and for coaches. The resource was a hit! Due to the Coach's Bible popularity, the Competitor's Bible for athletes was released. Today FCA prints, distributes and engages coaches and athletes with 15 Bible resources.
2006: International Bibles
FCA printed its first Spanish New Testament in 2006. Since then, multiple resources have been translated and printed, such as FCA's Heart of an Athlete devotional in Chinese and Spanish, Japanese Baseball New Testament, Chinese Sports Devotional Bible and Russian Coach's Bible. In 2017, FCA began distributing 50,000 Thai Sports New Testaments and 10,000 Vietnamese Sports New Testaments. In 2018, FCA Sports Bible Handbooks were printed in Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Ukrainian, Russian and Urdu. Today, FCA prints New Testaments, Sports Bibles, Sports Bible Handbooks and more in Arabic, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean, Urdu, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese.
2013: Going Digital
A 2013 partnership with YouVersion offered FCA reading plans to engage coaches and athletes in God's Word. FCA began releasing e-Bible versions of all Camp Bibles in 2015. Today, FCA has more than 50 Bible reading plans in numerous languages on YouVersion, including Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese and Korean. Users have subscribed to digital Bible reading plans over 1.5 million times in just over five years, with nearly 1 million completions.
"For 67 years, it has been FCA's priority to make Jesus known throughout the world ... we have a wonderful gift to give to our coaches and athletes: the hope and truth of Christ through His everlasting Word!" Williamson said.
FCA's theme for 2021 is Pursue, based on 1 Timothy 6:11: "Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness." FCA encourages its members to pursue God's use of His Word as an anchor, grounding Christians as they look to His kingdom.
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