Fellowship of Christian Athletes is expecting over 100,000 attendees for its camps this summer, smashing former records.
In 2022, FCA recorded in its annual ministry report that attendance reached 83,421 (62,568 in the U.S. and 20,853 international) campers across all 839 camps.
The organization is expecting “upwards of 100,000 attendees this year, including campers, staff, and volunteers,” Kellen Cox, executive vice president of ministry advancement at the FCA Support Center in Kansas City, said in a statement to the Christian Post.
“We believe 2023 will be one of the biggest camp years ever – over 600 camps (in the) U.S. and upwards of 300 international camps. Last year, we set a record of 514 nationwide Camps.”
FCA was founded in 1954 by basketball coach Don McClanen. It seeks to inspire athletes and coaches at all levels to change the world through the Gospel. The organization is active in 114 countries and has been hosting camps since 1956.
Cox believes camp attendance is rising “because God is doing unbelievable kingdom work and raising up more workers for the harvest.”
“FCA Camps are a great way of inviting people to hear that truth. We also have more staff, which results in more camps. As we get more staff and volunteers, we have a stronger foundation for camps.”
FCA Camps typically last a week, and are open to those who are entering, currently on, or have been a member of an athletic team. Ages range from youth sports to college and adults. The six types of camps are Sports Camp, Leadership Camp, Coaches Camp, Power/Youth Sports Camp, Team Camp and Partnership Camp.
For 2023, FCA’s theme is “Greater” and centers around John 3:30, which reads, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The main idea is that in Christ, one has greater potential, greater promise, greater performance and greater purpose. Athletes are more than their sport.
“We really believe that as coaches and athletes are drawn to the truth of the Gospel, Jesus Christ will transform their lives. Jesus has a plan of restoration for them – they don’t have to live a life of frustration and fear, but can live a life of hope and joy and purpose.”
“This is the starting point of FCA’s E3 — engage, equip, and empower. Camp can be a catalyst for a life of transformation. Camp doesn’t have to be just a ‘mountaintop experience,’ but the beginning of their lifelong walk with Christ. This aligns with our yearly theme, ‘Greater’ – He must increase and I must decrease.”