Today's youths face a tremendous amount of pressure. From bullying to peer pressure to drugs and alcohol, the teen years can be challenging. But thanks to some local ministries, a message of hope is being spread to the next generation of leaders.
Last week, Fellowship of Christian Athletes held an event at Central High School called Fields of Faith. Bill Ray, area director of FCA huddles, said more than 1,000 individuals, mainly local high school and college students but also some adults, were in attendance.
The event was an opportunity for students, many of whom are athletes, to invite their friends for a night of worship, testimony and prayer as well as hear a message from former pro football player Rich Garza.
Garza was in town as part of Sports World Ministries to speak at area schools to students on subjects such as bullying, suicide, drugs and alcohol.
The goal of Fields of Faith is to provide a student-to-student ministry. Additionally, Ray noted the importance of events like this in helping develop Christian leaders and to "do something for our community using all the ministries that are in the area."
Also important in this process, according to Ray, is reaching out to area coaches.
"Athletics does not produce people of character, it is the coaches who help teach that. Otherwise professional athletes would be the men of highest character. Some are, but some aren't. It has to be taught, and coaches are the influencers. And we're trying to influence the influencers," Ray said.
Stories like this are encouraging. We hope that today's students will be better prepared to be leaders of strong moral conviction as a result of such efforts, both now and in the years to come.