Wouldn’t it be great if middle and high school Rock students could reach their classmates for Christ at their schools? They can! And they do!
Through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), students lead on-campus ministries at several local schools. Believing and non-believing students participate. “Some non-believing students attend because they consider themselves Christians,” said Katherine Watson, Associate Director of The Rock Loudoun. “They know they’re not Muslim and they’re not Jewish, so they think they must be Christian.”
“And it really is student led,” said Donnie Cohn, Pastor of The Rock Loudoun.
“That’s the best part!” Katherine chimed in.
“The student leaders grow a lot through these groups by learning to lead a Bible study and building their confidence in evangelism,” Donnie said.
About three years ago, Donnie and Katherine felt the Lord challenging them to reach students out in the community rather than expecting them to show up at church. They chose to work with FCA because of the organization’s focus on reaching students where they are. “And there’s a little bit of a cool factor with the sports aspect,” Donnie said.
An FCA huddle needs a teacher-sponsor and student leaders. Many also have an outside volunteer leader who supports the student leaders—Donnie and Katherine are outside volunteer leaders. The teacher-sponsors are limited in providing spiritual leadership because of their role in the school, but a volunteer from the community can help in that capacity.Currently, Donnie supports FCA huddles at Heritage High School and Harper Park Middle School (Harper Park students become Heritage students), and he is working to start another. Donnie also periodically is invited to other FCA huddles to speak.
Katherine supports Stone Mill Middle School, Farmwell Middle School, and Broad Run High School. “Farmwell feeds into Broad Run, and I’ve seen the middle school students grow into leaders at the high school. It’s cool to see them grow,” Katherine said.
Bringing Students to Christ
“My passion is that revival comes to Loudoun County,” Katherine said. “I think that starts through this generation. And if you can reach the kids then you can reach the parents. If you get kids fired up about Jesus, they just want to share it with their friends. I just get really excited!”
Donnie said, “Fifty percent or more of the students at a typical FCA huddle won’t be in church the following Sunday. So, we really are getting them where they are and giving them a chance to hear about Jesus. That’s unique,” he said. “It provides opportunities that the typical youth group outreach model doesn’t.”
This ministry has been fruitful!
- Rock students have been inspired to start FCAs at their own schools.
- High schoolers have begun serving as leaders in the Rock’s middle school ministry.
- Donnie and Katherine have prayed with students in FCA huddles to accept Christ!
- Students who have not been in church have come to our church and been baptized.
- They even have an intern this year, Kennedy Knight, whom Donnie met through the Heritage High School FCA.
“The first year that I led, I did the games. The next year I led messages. I do not like public speaking! I had to fully rely on the Lord for strength.”
“I love the fun element to it. It breaks the stereotype that all Christians are boring!” Kennedy laughed.
“It’s common to put on a façade. We’ll act like everything’s perfect. (FCA is) a safe place for people to share what’s really going on.
“But my favorite part,” Kennedy said, “is seeing non-believers step up and ask questions. For some, it’s the only good news that they get to hear.”
Are You Inspired?
If you are a parent of a Rock student, your student has the opportunity to participate in the Rock’s FCA outreach. There is a list of FCA huddles in Loudoun County schools available on the Rock web site (scroll down to “School Outreach“). Your teen does not have to be an athlete to participate. Many FCA leaders and regular attenders do not participate in organized sports.
If you’d like to get involved with your teen’s FCA, they are always looking for parents to help with communications and snacks. Donnie or Katherine can put you in touch with the leaders at your student’s school.
If you would like to support FCA financially, then please support the local FCA staff. They raise their own support, and that’s their salary. They really are doing missionary work. Go to the Loudoun FCA web site to donate.
Prayer is always appreciated! Please pray that God would build up student leaders and bring more students to hear about the love of Jesus Christ because #LoudounPrays.