When he was coaching football or track and field, Dan MacLachlan saw first-hand the way a motivational talk – to coaches as well as players – could lead to transformational influence in the lives of coaches, athletes and sports fans.
Now he leads an organization, the Southern Missouri chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, whose focus is just that.
If challenging situations on or off the field emerge, FCA can meet with coaches one-on-one to develop strategies. Or, to boost the confidence of student-athletes, FCA-organized campus-wide huddles can foster leadership – even from those who are not considered leaders.
Which is why the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to have the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on board again. The tournament, an annual PGA Web.com Tour event, has gifted almost $14 million to children’s charities in the past 27 years, and FCA was one of the first four going back to the early 1990s.
“This tournament allows us to remain fully funded,” said MacLachlan, Area Director of FCA and a former football and track & field coach at Glendale and Strafford high schools. “Sports reveal character in individual athletes, and (FCA) is a great medium to reveal one’s faith and personal identity.”
How to help FCA
For one, you could play in the Integrity Home Care Pro-Am, set for Saturday, August 5 at LedgeStone Country Club in Branson. The winning team will be entered to play in the FCA National Championship Scramble in November at Pinehurst (N.C.), which has hosted numerous PGA majors.
FCA opened its Springfield office 29 years ago and was led by Gary Beets until his retirement in 2015. Janet Sterling joined the MO FCA staff in 1997 as Administrative Assistant/Office Manager. FCA has grown tremendously over the years, to the point that most schools in southwest Missouri have an FCA chapter.
All in all, FCA has stuck to its mission, which reads, “To present to coaches and athletes, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.”
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes actually has its roots only about four hours west of Springfield. The FCA was born more than 60 years ago in the heart of Don McClanen when he was a student at what is now Oklahoma State University.
McClanen envisioned athletes at all levels advancing the cause of Christ through a nationwide team ministry. His dream became reality in 1954 with the chartering of FCA in Norman, Okla., after seven years of contacts with athletes, ministers and businessmen gathering interest and support of this dream.
MacLachlan is carrying on the legacy. The FCA’s efforts are aimed at serving coaches and student-athletes, equipping them in their faith so that they can enjoy success through their seasons, of sport and their seasons of life.
In student-oriented campus huddles, for instance, athletes can discuss the challenges they face. It allows for interaction and ideas from fellow students.
“As a coach, that interaction helps build true confidence,” MacLachlan said.
For coaches, the FCA has been valuable, and not simply with online materials. MacLachlan shared the story of a local high school girls basketball coach who, instead of holding a regular practice, switched gears by having players spend the block of time talking about issues. It led to a season turnaround.
“In the schools, we’re seeing a lot of success,” MacLachlan said. “When they asked their team, ‘What motivates you?’ it was a breakthrough.”
Here’s how to help:
UNITED WE STAND FOR KIDS
- HELP FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES SOUTHERN MISSOURI: To assist FCA in any way, call 417-823-7744 or visit its website at www.somofca.org.