The vision of FCA is “to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.” Never have I seen this fulfilled more beautifully than when Chris Klein came to speak at Estancia and Costa Mesa.
Chris is the acting president of the LA Galaxy. Prior to his current role, he played professionally in the MLS for thirteen seasons and earned twenty-three caps while playing for the US National Team. Needless to say, Chris is an incredible athlete with a wildly successful soccer career. Knowing that soccer is arguably the most popular sport on Estancia and Costa Mesa’s campus, we were thrilled to welcome a player of Chris’ caliber to FCA. On the day of the huddle, students who had never before attended an FCA event poured into the gym. They came wearing Galaxy jerseys, toting soccer cleats, and wielding Sharpies, all in hope of getting a signature from Chris.
These students were not there for free pizza. They were there for Chris. They were there because they were impressed by his athletic abilities and therefore respected and admired him. And during those huddles, Chris had the opportunity to capitalize on his influence to spread the Gospel.
He explained his faith journey to the students, describing what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and claiming that at one point, he had to decide to speak publically about his faith. Chris emphasized that his relationship with Jesus is the reason he is the person and the player that he is. He challenged students to look their own lives and realize the impact they have on those around them. He asked them to think about how their team or their school might look different if they loved others the way God loves.
Watching the students approach Chris for autographs and pictures after his message, it was obvious their respect for him had only grown. They came to the huddle to meet an incredible soccer player, and in the process they met an incredible man of God.