June/July 2011 Sam Carr
“You are the God who works wonders; You revealed Your strength among the peoples.” – Psalm 77:14
God truly does make His strength known in whatever way He sees fit—whether through point-blank pows to the face or in subtle hints. In my case, it has been both.
When I came to Central Christian College in McPherson, Kan., God blessed me with the rare opportunity to play college baseball at a school that also helped cultivate my faith and personal ministry. It had always been a dream of mine to play baseball at the college level, but, if things had gone according to my own plan, I would have become just another face in the crowd. Thankfully, God has always put me in the place I needed to be—surrounded by the right people, challenged in appropriate times, and nurtured by His supreme love.
Carr (fifth from left) with the 2010 FCA Camp registrars.
The same was true when it came to developing my professional career. As a junior, I looked hard to find the “once in a lifetime” internship that would put me ahead of the pack. I started the search by myself without going to God and asking for direction, but He soon made sure I knew He had His hand on it. During my hunt for internships, I had the opportunity to hear a guest speaker in one of my classes who shared about his experiences with business ethics. The man’s name was Scot Loyd.
Toward the beginning of his talk, he mentioned his involvement with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and how he and his wife, Jenny, helped sponsor an FCA Huddle at Canton-Galva High School nearby. It just so happened that I had my FCA Bible out on my desk, which gave Scot and me an immediate connection.
He was a very successful businessman, and I was captivated by his energy and passion for sharing God’s Word. So, after his presentation, I decided to go talk to him. The next thing I knew, I was going down to his office, spending time with him and soaking up as much knowledge as I could.
Soon, I started helping out at the Canton-Galva FCA meetings and was blessed to see God’s light shine in many of the students, largely due to God’s work through Scot and Jenny. Personally, I was just excited to share in the titles of “young believer” and “student-athlete” with those who were being poured into by my new mentor and his loving family.
My involvement with the Huddle continued throughout the semester, and Scot and I continued our talks at his office where we would pray about God’s direction for my life and my baseball career. I never thought of asking Scot to tap into his network for internship opportunities, but one day God connected the dots. With just a few phone calls to Kansas FCA State Director Ralph Stewart, Scot put me in contact with the FCA National Support Center, and I soon found myself applying for the position of summer FCA Camp registrar.
All the other interviews and positions I’d applied for seemed to disappear, and all I could think about was working at FCA and using my knowledge and passion for sports in ministry through an organization that had the same passions I did. Thankfully, I got the job, and it ended up being exactly what I needed.
Being an FCA Camp registrar helped me polish my professional skills in a way that pushed me to develop in the areas of teamwork, organization and reliability. This was an enormous blessing from the Lord.
My love for baseball (and activity in general) coupled with my ability to connect with different kinds of people have nurtured my belief that sports build community better than any other tool out there. Maybe that’s why I’m such a firm believer in FCA and its mission. Sports are not only a good outlet for young people, they also are easily relatable and can be tied to the gospel in many ways. FCA does a great job of putting this concept to work in order to reach athletes for Christ.
As a camp registrar, I saw this in action when I went to FCA Camp. Being a registrar required that we travel to the camps and help with the registration process. It involved a lot of behind-the-scenes work that was difficult, but very rewarding.
To me, the most amazing thing about being a registrar was being able to actually see individual names and pieces of paper turn into real campers right in front of me. We all put in so many hours organizing these campers, taking their information, and then putting them into their rooms and Huddles that we began to feel as if we knew them. When I finally saw those kids face to face with smiles on their faces singing praise songs to God during the camp chapel times, I was filled with honor knowing that I’d helped in a small way to bring them to that point.
Through my experience with FCA, I have learned to pursue my passion instead of titles and positions. I believe God has lit a fire inside each of us and given us the skills to help shine His light. When we discover our passion, it’s easy to be excited about what He has naturally made us to do: share His love and extend His Kingdom to everyone around us regardless of our specific jobs or sports.
As I write this, I am standing on the edge of the “real world.” I just finished up my college career, and I’m diving into the next season of life totally excited about what’s in store. I know that no matter where God leads me I’ll be equipped with the right skills and the proper support system to help me do His work, and I can truly say that FCA has helped me get to that point. Through this ministry, the Lord has shown me more of His great power and strength. Bring on the future!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sam Carr is a 2011 graduate of Central Christian College (Kan.) and a four-year starter on the baseball team. As a former FCA Camp registrar and recipient of the Unlimited Potential Inc. Outstanding Christian Leadership Award, Carr is now pursuing the “real world” with great passion for the Lord.
--For more stories about faith and sport, visit www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. To subscribe to STV, click here.
Courtesy of Sam Carr; Laurel Kenney/Kenney Photography