Featured Idea: Maximizing a Large Huddleteve Lyons became King Middle School’s Huddle Coach six years ago. At the time, he had no idea the impact this decision would have, not only in the school, but on the entire community.
Location: Harrodsburg, Ky.
Huddle Coach: Steve Lyons
Inevitably, every kid in Mercer County, Ky., will eventually walk the halls of King Middle. With the help of school administration and volunteers like Lyons, each of them is given the opportunity to be a part of one of the largest FCA Huddles in the country. And most of them are taking the chance.
Averaging 600 students (out of a student body of 750), King Middle’s monthly FCA meetings during school are far from ordinary. Depending on the creativity of the Huddle Coach, students may enter the school gym to find a professional boxing ring set up as a skit prop or a University of Kentucky athlete or coach waiting to give a testimony. Either way, Lyons ensures that the students have a unique experience at every Huddle.
But with a Huddle of that size, Lyons stresses the importance of establishing a solid spiritual foundation instead of relying on the hype that can overtake such a large-group setting. That is why every morning before school, the doors are opened for Huddle prayer. Youth ministers from area churches volunteer to come in and pray for and with the students who arrive.
Another blessing of having so many members is that the Huddle can minister extensively to the community. They act out their faith by volunteering at local rest homes, homeless shelters, food pantries and hospitals. And according to Lyons, serving—not numbers—is what the Huddle is all about.
Based on his firsthand experience, Lyons outlines below some of the ways to help a large group minister effectively.
• Pray for God’s direction for every meeting.
• Set aside time to play games and have fun at the beginning of the meeting.
• Incorporate prizes to generate excitement.
• Invite a local band to play praise music.
• Find the very best speaker that God can deliver. Go ahead and shoot for the high-profile athletes and coaches.
• Call as many students as possible by their first names.
• Have the Huddle’s leadership team greet members as they arrive.
Advice from Steve Lyons
“I live by this and try to teach our kids this all the time: The two greatest commandments Jesus gave us are to love God and love people. You can’t love God without loving people. And at King Middle, we are trying to raise up students, plant as many seeds and help as many people as we can, because that is what we are called to do. Also, remember that no man is an island. You can’t do it by yourself.”
“We put a lot of time and effort into FCA because we know the importance of it. And I hope that these kids’ faith is more than just something they do—that it becomes everything they are. I hope that they take away how special their relationship with Christ is and that they carry it with them the rest of their lives.” - Lyons
*For more stories about faith and sport, visit www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.