For years I looked for and prayed for an “in” with the football team at our local high school. It just never seemed to come. Two years ago I heard that there was a dad who took sports drinks to the team following practice on Tuesdays. The wheels started turning immediately as I began to wonder if Campus Life could start providing drinks on another night. I made the appropriate calls, found some funding, and a weekly ritual began. Now, every Monday, on the way to Campus Life, a couple of volunteers wheel two coolers full of iXL Do U? Sport Drinks to the practice field and wait for the team to finish practice.

In addition to the drinks, Joshua, one of our CL Student Leaders who was a member of the team, wanted to initiate a team prayer before or after the games. After a little encouragement and the green light from the coach, Joshua made the decision to pray in an empty section of the locker room prior to the games, and invited a few guys who he knew would want to join him. Eventually that prayer time grew to almost half of the players on Friday nights.

Today, we are most of the way through year three of this effort. Joshua is now a senior and here is some of the fruit that we are experiencing …

  • This year, almost the entire team is showing up to pray on Friday nights, and Joshua shares the leadership with another leader.
  • Last year, two members of the team said yes to following Jesus.
  • Joshua has had multiple conversations with the guys about his faith and many have come to him with prayer requests.
  • A player on the team is considering going on a mission trip with a local church on Spring Break rather than the beach with his friends.
  • We have challenged Joshua to empower a younger player to pick up where he leaves off at the end of his senior season.
  • Authentic, Christ-sharing relationships have developed with guys on the team that would have never happened otherwise.

While some of the players have attended club during their high school years, many have not. But thanks to the commitment of a Student Leader Athlete, more seeds of the gospel have been sown than we ever could have sown on our own. Our “in” finally came.

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