Post by guest author: Alexis Gandy, Intern at ROAR Sports
The Start of My Story
As a Charleston, SC native, I grew up in church and went to a Christian school from kindergarten through 12th grade. I am so thankful for this foundation. There are many people in my life who have taught me about myself and my Creator. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the school and church I grew up in.
Throughout my years living in Charleston I always participated in sports. I played volleyball, basketball and soccer all throughout high school and middle school. I have lots of memories from youth soccer all the way to my very last high school playoff game. I gained some of my best friends and many life skills through playing sports.
“In everything we do..”
As a Christian school, we would pray before and after games with every team I was a part of. When I got to high school, win or loss, we would even invite the other team to join in on our post-game prayer. Often I was chosen to pray for the team and most of my prayers ended with, “…and in everything we do, I pray we would glorify You”. I was passionate about this, passionate about giving God the glory no matter what the outcome was.
We also did team devotions when I was on varsity in high school. Again, I was often chosen to deliver the devotion and to close in prayer. Our devotions were always outside of practice time. We either did them before practice or before games. We were always intentional about recognizing God before and after our games or practices. I loved it and I saw nothing wrong with it.
As a team, we went to Faith-based camps every summer before volleyball season began. At these camps we spent the day working on our skills then each night we would have a chapel service. I loved these chapel services, training all day and I loved getting to do it all with my team. Again, I saw nothing wrong with it being this way.
In my junior year of college at Winthrop University, I stumbled upon ROAR sports (the sports ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, SC) through a friend. I had been coaching at a local middle school and loved it. I saw ROAR as another opportunity for me to get to do what I loved, just with a different age group. When I filled out the coach interest form online and one of the questions asked if I was willing to deliver a devotion. Of course I immediately said yes. I had done this before for many years with my high school team. I had talked to kids many times in children’s church, no biggie.
At our new coaches training, they talked about the 3D’s or 3D devotions. They explained that they would give us the devotion to do with our teams and I was happy about that because, if I am being honest, it meant less work for me. We went over what a 3D looked like but I zoned out because I knew what a devotion was and I didn’t think I needed to listen.
My Turning Point
Before my team’s first practice with ROAR, I was sitting down thinking about the devotion and trying to figure out what I was going to say. As I was reading through it I realized all the things they probably said in the training, but I didn’t hear because pride had gotten the best of me. I realized that 3D’s were more than just a devotion. They were a really good way of bringing together sports, life, and truth.
From this moment on sports, life and truth took a whole new meaning. I realized that this wasn’t something I was used to, but something I had a growing interest in.
Fast forward to my last semester of college and I am now interning with ROAR. I continue to realize how important the integration of sport, life, and truth really is. We compartmentalize sport so often. As I saw this tendency more and more, I realized, even at my Christian school, sport was compartmentalized. Unintentionally, but it was. We were focusing on God then going to play our sport, forgetting about God, then bringing God back into the equation after it was all over. Being apart of the ROAR sports ministry has really helped me apply 1 Corinthians 10:31 to my life and to live it out. This verse states that whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. So often, sports is my “whatever” and it should be done for the glory of God just like everything else in life.
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