USG had the pleasure of traveling to New York City, New York to host an Impact Weekend with ten of our Academy participants. The Impact Weekends allow our Academy participants the opportunity to put everything they've been learning in the Academy into practice. The weekend is fully-funded for every student by USG’s Clean Out For A Cause initiative, which is a huge blessing from the Lord!
What Are Impact Weekends?
The USG Academy is both an eight-week virtual study and a fully-funded Impact Weekend. The purpose of the eight-week study is to challenge and admonish participants to think deeply about how to live called to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), committed to becoming like Christ in word and deed (Romans 12:2), and to live connected through fellowship and accountability (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Our Impact Weekends serve the purpose of allowing our participants to put everything they have been learning in the Academy into practice through the weekend activities and to connect with one another! The weekends begin on Friday afternoon and end Sunday afternoon.
What Did We Do in New York?
We began the weekend with a guest speaker panel to help the students grow professionally! The panel featured three of our St. John's members, who are all current graduate assistants at St. John's. Some of the topics they discussed were the Christian community in sports, how to take advantage of undergraduate opportunities in sports, how to find your niche in the industry, and more! We then took the group, along with some of our present members, to Times Square for a social event at Bowlero! The group was able to interact, network, and build authentic relationships with one another, all while bowling and enjoying some great food! We closed Friday night in prayer groups and then got some much-needed sleep!
We began Saturday morning with small group Bible studies. We studied Acts 2:42-47, which highlights the early church and how it functioned! We discussed the importance of Christian fellowship and being in awe of God. This study challenges the group and pushes everyone to consider their roles in the church! After Bible study, our group was fortunate enough to have the Assistant GM of the Brooklyn Nets, Andy Birdsong, come and speak. He highlighted the importance of living out your faith through your actions, especially in the workplace! Andy even gave out his phone number to the group and invited everyone to connect with him! The USG staff talked the group through the importance of evangelism and how to properly go about sharing your faith! This was an awesome conversation and we were even able to talk about the true meaning of the gospel with the group! We then broke out into groups of four and went out into Central Park to evangelize and pass out impact bags, which contain basic necessities to benefit the homeless and underserved. This is always a highlight of our impact weekends, because it challenges the entire group to reach outside of their comfort zone! It can be really scary to share your faith with complete strangers, but God can use that act of faith to change someone's eternal destiny! One group had a cool testimony from the outreach activity! They were able to pass out an impact bag to an underserved individual in the park and pray for him. On the way back, they saw him again and he was reading the Bible that was in the impact bag! This was such a cool testimony and it showed our group how the Lord can use even simple conversations to work in someone's heart! We finished the night with a group dinner at Shake Shack and our prayer groups!
The weekend concluded on Sunday with some awesome events and discussion. The USG staff was able to talk the group through the parable of the sower and commission them to live for Christ and avoid the temptations, challenges, and pressures that come with a career in sports! We then made our way to Madison Square Garden, where our group received a private tour of the facility!
How Can You Get Involved?
Are you curious as to how you can have an experience like our students did in NYC? Getting involved with Uncommon Sports Group is easy, and not to mention beneficial for both your career and walk with Christ! Simply click this link, fill out a short application, and one of our staff members will get in touch with you! If you are already a member of USG, share this article with a friend or co-worker who would benefit from our opportunities! We look forward to connecting with you and continuing our mission of developing Christ-centered leaders of the sport industry.