This past October, Uncommon Sports Group had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, Arizona, and enjoy an Impact Weekend with our largest group of Academy participants to date. This trip also marked my first opportunity to experience the full Impact Weekend experience first-hand, and what an experience it was!
It can be overwhelming to see a large group of future leaders in the sport industry all gathered in one place, seeking to learn more about Jesus and how they can share the love of Jesus with those around them at the schools and organizations they are affiliated with. It gives such hope to know that there are those out there working in sports who are actively seeking to grow in their faith and pass on their faith to those around them. It made me think of how amazing it could be if we had a believer in every professional sports organization and every Division I College or University actively reaching out to the lost around them. What an impact it could make on the lives of so many!
A great example of a believer actively living out and passing on their faith was Luke U., who works for the Phoenix Suns. Luke gave us a wonderful tour of the Phoenix Suns arena, The Footprint Center. The highlight of the tour was that Luke was joined by his co-worker, Kyle, whom Luke has encouraged and brought in to be a part of our current Academy team. Luke spoke about the importance of getting to know your co-workers, sharing who you are with them, and sharing God’s love with them. Luke spoke of the importance of taking opportunities to get to know them through conversation and simple acts like grabbing coffee with them or grabbing lunch together. What a tremendous example of a disciple in the sports industry, making more disciples in the sport industry. Praise the Lord!
Our members also had the opportunity to tour the Arizona Diamondbacks facility, Chase Field, and hear from Amilyn P., their Vice President of Government Affairs. Amylin shared her testimony of dealing with adversity as a single mom after her husband's death in a car crash when she was just six months into her pregnancy. Now she is a proud mom of a 7-year-old boy working in the highest level of a baseball organization, living out her faith by overseeing the organization's charitable efforts in the community, and serving on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Arizona.
Grand Canyon University was another one of the stops for our members over the weekend. Tim Griffin and others from Grand Canyon shared about the importance of sharing the love of Jesus with those who are typically overlooked in the sports industry. He shared a wonderful testimony of reaching out to the support staff (tire suppliers) during his time in NASCAR and what an impact it had on their journey with Christ.
The Phoenix Impact Weekend was truly an amazing time of fellowship and encouragement. It was overwhelming to see the impact the experience was having on the Academy participants moment by moment as we went through the weekend. Talk about sparking a flame for sharing the gospel! Those with connections in Phoenix were even inviting their friends to join us for dinner to hear more about the mission while we were still down there. Incredible!
It is amazing to see what God is doing in the sport industry, and it was an incredible blessing to join in being a part of it!
Join us for our next Academy team, kicking off this coming January! Apply or learn more here.