Director of Ministry Advancement for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Kellen Cox, shares in an interview with CNJ about entering a new decade, taking on persecution and influencing the next generation for Christ.
CNJ: Do you believe with all the discourse in our country that there is a bigger hunger for the Bible? Distributing 190,000 Bibles worldwide in 2019 is quite a number!
FCA: Yes! We have seen more and more coaches and athletes engage with God’s Word over the past few years. We believe they’re looking for truth—something that’s concrete and won’t waiver. They realize that the world is deceitful, but because of God’s grace, they’re experiencing freedom and peace through His Word and His promises.
CNJ: It seems that more and more athletes are speaking up about their faith. Can you comment on this and what you’re hearing from them? Or perhaps, give us your opinion on this?
FCA: The platform that coaches and athletes have because of media today is immeasurable! We’ve always seen coaches and athletes speak up about their faith, but now it’s showcased in a quicker and bigger way. Also, we believe God is raising up a new generation of faithful Christ-followers who happen to compete in sports. God’s gospel cannot be stopped—we want to be part of that!
CNJ: What has been the biggest challenge for you of 2019, and what will be a top priority for you in 2020?
FCA: The biggest challenge for FCA in 2019 was keeping up with our growth. God continues to show His grace and favor upon this ministry. We’re in nearly 100 countries, and each of those have unique opportunities and challenges. In 2020, we’re seeking to build our support structure in a way that serves all of our FCA coaches, athletes and staff around the world—not just in the U.S.
CNJ: Despite the successes of people speaking out on their faith, there’s been an uptick in persecution against coaches praying in public. How does the organization equip people when they’re going through these challenges?
FCA: We continue to pray for our coaches and athletes who experience such persecution in public, around the world. Also, our local staff are the first to respond to the coaches in their areas who are in these situations. Sometimes, the best thing we can offer is our friendship, prayers and a listening ear. For those on the public school campuses, we offer a handbook that explains how to navigate circumstances like this.
CNJ: What other tools are offered to coaches, athletes and ministers in this field?
FCA: We connect our local staff and their coaches and athletes to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The organization helps students, parents, teachers and coaches understand their religious freedoms and works to protect those freedoms when they are being compromised.
Today, FCA is one of the largest distributors of Bibles in the world.