FCA Collegiate Conference
After 6 hours of driving through West Virginia and Kentucky, braving rain and snow, Jason and I (Lydia here!) reached the University of Louisville.
Once a year WVU-FCA staff members travel to the FCA Collegiate Conference. Chaplains on college campuses across the country flood into a new city for a time of renewal, fellowship and growth.
The life of a chaplain can be lonely, often times it can feel as if you are on an island wondering if anyone understands the crazy life you lead. The Collegiate Conference is a constant reminder that we are not alone and there are others who are navigating the same frustrations, joys, and schedules that we are.
We arrived at the hotel which was in the heart of downtown Louisville, and after a near death experience with a giant revolving door (ok maybe near death is an exaggeration, but there was a moment where I thought for sure we were stuck) we finally got in the hotel and settled.
The first session would begin at 5:00pm and honestly I had no idea what to expect. I had never been to a Collegiate Conference before and neither had Jason. As new college campus chaplains we were ready for whatever God decided to do.
And man oh man did God decide to do some BIG things!
We began the evening with a trip to the Louisville FCA huddle. We piled into charter buses and drove to the Louisville football stadium. Louisville has a regular attendance of 200+ athletes at their huddle!
It was a privilege to see that if we find the right ministry partners, invest tirelessly in prayer, and trust God can do "abundantly more than all that we could ask or think" there is nothing stopping WVU-FCA from growing to that size and impact level! It was a long evening but such an inspiring and motivating one! We couldn't wait to see what tomorrow would bring!
During the course of the conference we were separated into tables of about 6-8 other chaplains and we enjoyed fellowship and ministry discussion with those at our table. The second day there were sessions on everything from women's ministry, to the role of race in college ministry and how we can better serve athletes from all backgrounds on our campuses, to Discipleship training.
We got to hear teachings from Chaplains at Virginia Tech, Louisville, Florida State, and more! We also got to hear from head coaches at the University of Louisville who have been impacted by FCA. The session was a Q&A so after hearing each coach's respective testimonies we had the privilege of asking them questions and learning about how FCA can better minister to the coaches.
In another session we got to hear from New FCA President Shane Williamson. He shared his heart and vision for FCA. I can tell you now I feel incredibly blessed to serve in a ministry with a president like Shane Williamson. It is clear God has given him a tremendous vision for the ministry.
Between sessions there was time to talk with the other chaplains and swap ministry resources and ideas. The final night of the conference ended with dinner wherever we wanted in downtown Louisville!
The next morning though it was time to say goodbye we knew God had set a fire in our hearts for the ministry of WVU-FCA and we couldn't wait to get back to good old Morgantwon WV!
The final teaching was done by Louisville Chaplain, Christ Morgan. He challenged us to not get distracted by the little things that can weigh us down in ministry but to keep our eyes focused on God. Chris's message was a great way to end an incredibly rich week of teaching/training.
As I reflect back on the week and all that transpired, I'm realizing it's impossible to tell how far God could take the ministry of WVU-FCA. We are continually looking to grow and improve ministry practices to more closely align with the practices of Jesus himself. That is our heart and truest desire, to look more like the one who loves us best. FCA continually provides resources and opportunities to help WVU-FCA pursue that goal!
While we are incredibly grateful for where God has brought us and what He is currently doing in our midst, we desire "greater things than these" (John 1:50). Would you pray with us, would you partner with us, would you believe with us that this is not all God wants to do with WVU-FCA, that His plans are greater!
Posted on Thu, February 2, 2017
by Jason Allen filed under