For the past four years I have had the privilege of advising a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at the high school where I work. I have been blessed to watch God work in the lives of the students I see on an every day basis. Most public schools are not open to the idea of an organized group of Christians meeting weekly to fellowship and grow together so I cherish this ability granted to me by my school district. We meet in the home of a current student leader and we have averaged this year anywhere from 60-100 students at a weekly meeting.
Wednesday nights are busy for my family. When I was approached and initially accepted the role of FCA Advisor I wanted to be sure to make it a family priority as it is a huge time commitment. Every Wednesday night we go to FCA as a family. My daughter has grown up with these weekly meetings. In the beginning that was a bit stressful, but I have grown to realize that she is getting the influence of great Christian kids and seeing ministry as part of our regular routine. My husband is a big help when it comes to FCA because not only does he help with keeping our daughter occupied and safe, but he comes alongside me to work with kids (especially guys) that he doesn’t even have in class or see beyond Wednesday nights.
As a leadership team we meet a couple of times a month to plan for upcoming meetings. We also meet over the summer to create a calendar and work through the ideas of discipleship. Our leadership team is made up of elected upperclassmen who have a positive influence in the school. The leadership meetings are some of my favorite parts about FCA. It is where I invest the most into the kids. I use this time to teach my students about the importance of organization and prioritizing, but this is where I also do the most of my 1-on-1 ministry.
When it comes to the actual FCA meetings I allow the leadership team to take control. I am there as an advisor, but the leaders actually run the meetings. This is the rewarding part of ministry. I am able to see my ministry in action as the leaders put their lessons and knowledge to work. Our meetings are quite organized to avoid the dead time that can lead to trouble. If you are working with high school students the less free time the better.
An average meeting generally includes: prayer, small group discussion, game, music, a speaker, reflection time, food, and we finish off all meetings with fellowship. We have several special meetings throughout the year like Olympics, Valentine’s Day, Bonfire, Thanksgiving, Cupcake Meeting, and Senior Cookout. Also, we attend an FCA Retreat every fall with other FCAs in the area.
FCA is all about providing a safe environment for students to come and grow closer to God in community. It is not a place of judgement or a place of perfection. The students get an opportunity to be real and ask questions. When we meet as a leadership team I stress to the leaders that our job is not to give advice to their seeking peers, but rather to point them toward God.
Being the advisor of this club makes my job as a teacher so much more rewarding. It provides a gateway for me to invest in my students on a deeper level. It allows me the opportunity to foster strong relationships with students and families, and it helps me become more of a member of the community where I work.
There are definitely times where I feel overwhelmed by the many hats that God has blessed me with, but it is when I begin to tire that God assures me that I am on the right path. I’ve been down a lot lately about how different my classroom has looked this year due to new tests. However, when I think about the way that God brought me to my job and aligned me with the available advisor position I can’t deny his provision and plan for me and my family.