TODAY’S STUDY PARTICIPANTS PICTURED: (L-R) Tonya Roberts (Fellowship of Christian Athletes high school sponsor), Cathy Rogers (Varsity volleyball coach), Amanda Sapp (FCA middle school sponsor and JV girls basketball coach), Dan Nennstiel (athletic director) and Lindy Fisher (assistant middle school girls basketball coach). Others not pictured that left today’s study early due to work obligations: Phil Barker (middle school basketball coach) and Jennefer McLeod (cheerleading assistant coach).
ACA Coaches Outreach Growing Stronger
With Aucilla Christian Academy’s enormous number of athletic teams – 22 in all, comes the great responsibility of not only coaching each student athlete, but, more importantly, ministering to each student athlete. With that goal in mind, eight years ago, ACA alumnus Mac Finlayson, who has been an ACA coach for over 25 years, started a weekly Bible study specifically to help coaches and their assistants grow in their walk with the Lord.
“We started the study with a little more than a dozen people in 2010, and this year we have nearly two dozen coaches and assistants – the most we’ve ever had,” said Finlayson, who continues to facilitate the hour-long study from 7:00-8:00 a.m. on Thursday mornings and is fired-up about the new people who have joined.
The group uses a new workbook each year that is provided by Coaches Outreach, a nonprofit organization that exists to impact communities through the Christ-like leadership of coaches transformed by Biblical truth. The workbook contains four lessons each week for the participants to complete before attending the study. At the end of each lesson are six questions about the material and a section to write-in a prayer request for help in a particular area, which participants can voluntarily share with the group when they meet.
“It’s really been a wonderful experience for our coaches,” said Finlayson. “Using Coaches Outreach materials and having our coaches attend the marriage retreats really helps us fulfill ACA’s mission to help children develop spiritually, mentally, and physically, and helps us as individuals grow closer to the Lord and to each other.”
Cathy Rogers, ACA’s varsity volleyball coach, has been involved in the coaches’ study for four years.
“The more you are in front of God’s Word, the more you want to lead people to Him and be more Christlike,” said Rogers. “Being involved in a Bible study alongside coaches that have a great impact on young athletes motivates me to be the best coach I can be while keeping the focus on God. I learned in the lesson today to bloom where you are planted, and I believe that God has me at Aucilla Christian for a reason.”
ACA COACHES’ BIBLE STUDY (R-L): Assistant Coaches Mac Finlayson (Varsity football and basketball), Thomas Mapphias (JV football), Josh Hawkins (Varsity football) and John Chmura (JV softball).
FULL CLASSROOM OF COACHES - Coaches not previously pictured (L-R): Back corner - Head Coaches James Burkett (Varsity basketball) and Danny Deason (JV softball); Far right, next to Finlayson - Rob Beshears (assistant tennis coach) and Daryl Adams (Varsity baseball coach).