What to do when God gives you the green light for campus ministry
By Janet Goreham
Kate Dessart Mager
School: Villanova University
Hometown: Media, PA.
High School: Cardinal O’Hara
Villanova basketball standout Kate Dessart Mager doesn’t agree with the popular opinion that being a Christian athlete is any more difficult than being a Christian in any other situation.
“I think that wherever you are you’re going to be faced with difficult issues no matter what,” said Dessart Mager. “There are Christians wherever you go, and they will make themselves known so that you have a support group. I have a good support group in that there are two other strong Christians on my team.
“I’ve been so blessed with everyone and everything that I’ve been given in my life,” she continued. “I thank God constantly for that. I know that without Him I would have nothing.”
Trivia: As a junior, Dessart Mager was Villanova’s most accurate shooter, completing 103 of 179 field goals (57.5%).
Photo courtsey of Villanova University.
When you see the Father at work around you, that is your invitation to...join him in that work.”Those thought-provoking words by Henry Blackaby and Claude King* echoed loudly in Kimmie Hill’s mind as she settled back into her car and continued her drive home after her 2005 Thanksgiving vacation. What she had expected to be a brief stop at a New Jersey rest area had turned into an unforeseen affirmation of God’s unfailing provision.
As Hill had stood in line for coffee at the New Jersey rest area, she couldn’t help but notice the 6’0” girl standing in front of her, decked out in Villanova athletic gear. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Hill introduced herself—the beginning of a conversation that revealed not only that the Villanova basketball player, Kate Dessart Mager, was a Christian, but that she was also interested in learning more about FCA.
For two years, Hill, an FCA Area Representative in Philadelphia, had waited and prayed for God’s green light—confirmation that it was time to begin assembling an FCA ministry leadership team on the campus of Villanova University. Until that time, response to her phone calls had been sparse, and her persistent efforts to make contact with Christian Villanova athletes, fruitless.
That was, until God began to move across the campus. One by one He revealed to Hill the athletes that He had chosen to begin a ministry—one that would not only reach college students in Jesus’ name, but would specifically cater to the needs of the Division I athletes at Villanova.
In God’s timing, Hill’s persistence paid off. “I said, ‘Alright Lord, You’re the only One who can bring in these contacts,’” she said. “I’m not trying to beat down doors so that I can go minister to people. I see that the Lord is doing something huge at Villanova, and I’m just along for the ride.
“If you really want to make an impact and want to make yourself useful, you have to ask, ‘Lord, where are You working, and how can I be a part of it?”
And through the last two years, the Lord has definitely revealed to Hill where He’s been working.
In the summer of 2005 Hill made contact with Carmen Douma-Hussar, a volunteer assistant women’s track coach at Villanova. After a few phone calls, Hill realized that not only was Douma-Hussar interested in supporting FCA on Villanova’s campus, but also that she was excited about introducing some of the women on the track team to FCA.
And at the same time that God had been revealing to Hill the different people He had chosen to participate in ministry, He also had been working in the individual heart of one of Villanova’s most recognizable athletes.
|Kimmie Hill, Jason Fraser; Carmen |
Douma-Hussar and Kate Dessart Mager. Photocourtesy of Dave Mercado.
Throughout his career, Jason Fraser, a 6’9” senior on the nationally ranked men’s basketball team, had lived daily to compete for Christ. His attitude had remained above reproach whether he had been leading his team in blocks per game or sitting on the bench recovering from one of the seven surgeries he had endured. Always on the lookout for ways to reach people for Christ, Fraser had not only used his basketball platform to minister, but also had allowed God to use him within his team, bringing his teammates to church whenever he could and speaking to them about Christ.
Yet no matter how frequent the opportunity arose for Fraser to share his faith, when he heard about the possibility of a campus FCA he knew that there was room for more.
School: Villanova University
Hometown: Amityville, NY
Weight: 225 lbs.
As FCA makes its way onto the Villanova campus, one of its most visible participants will be making a run at the Final Four as a part of the nationally ranked men’s basketball team.
Senior Jason Fraser has posted solid numbers throughout his career with the Tigers, but in his four years at Villanova, the 6’9” senior has become known as much for his life off the court, as he has on. Not only is Fraser a man of God who is married with one child—a unique situation for any college athlete—he also has gained a reputation for incredible perseverance through injury. In one 30-month span of his career, Fraser underwent a mind-numbing seven surgeries—all on his right hand and his knees.
Trivia: Had the Big East's second-highest blocks-per-game average in the 2004-2005 second (2.5 bpg).
Photo courtsey of Villanova University.
“I think FCA will be the guidance that’s needed,” said Fraser. “There are a lot of people interested [in Christ] but they’re halfway in, halfway out. FCA really focuses on what the athlete needs. It provides a concentrated focus on Jesus, how to live in His will and how to apply His will to athletics and school.”
And as the Villanova Huddle begins its journey to becoming an established campus ministry, Hill remains confident that God will continue to lay the foundation. After all, He’s the one who got things started. “I know that the Lord will continue to work,” said Hill. “He will definitely make FCA a priority to the athletes who are supposed to be leaders.
Then they will really begin to impact their teams, the teams they play against and the crowds just by being impacted by Christ Himself.”
“The role of FCA is to take personal responsibility for making sure that we get Jesus in front of every college athlete. Every student-athlete must have the chance to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Christ.”
– Dan Britton, FCA Senior Vice President of Ministry Programs
If you have any doubts about FCA’s standards for ministry at the college level, just read the quote above. With that kind of vision, anyone with the idea of starting and maintaining a college campus ministry could easily get intimidated. But just as with the Villanova Huddle, it’s not people who are responsible for opening the doors, it’s God. When He starts to move across a campus, anyone with a desire to impact coaches and athletes for Christ simply has to choose to walk through them, just as Kimmie Hill did. But what does that look like? How does a college Huddle even get off the ground? What do you do when God gives you a green light for college campus ministry?
The following is a guide that will help to answer those questions. Established by those who have been there before—former college Huddle Leaders and current FCA field staff—it can be used to start an FCA campus ministry or simply to refresh a current one. This guide is for Huddle Leaders, Huddle Coaches, student-athletes, volunteers and FCA staff who desire to carry out God’s plan for any FCA college ministry both now and in the future, be it in the form of a Huddle, team Bible study or chapel program. FCA wants to equip those whom God has called to make a difference. There should be no reason to hold back when God says, “Go.”