- December 21, 2020
Foundation Academy has implemented a new program into its athletic department — Pursue 633.
The program is based on Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Athletic Director Lisa Eaves said the idea came to her one day while on her way to school.
“I was praying one day … just about how to get our athletes, our coaches and our program moving in a way that reflects the mission and vision of the school and the mission and vision of the athletics — that what we do here is for the Kingdom of God and is not for our own gain,” she said.
Meetings for Pursue 633 take place at the beginning of the month and consist of three parts: 10 minutes of “the challenge;” 10 minutes of talk time — where individual coaches sit down and talk to their athletes; and 10 minutes of prayer time.
“Imagine 11 or 12 teams ranging from seventh to 12th grade sitting in the gym, and you can hear a pin drop,” Eaves said.
The first challenge of the program discussed during the first meeting was learning that if there is no knowing of Christ, there can be no pursuit of Christ.
“We really just shared the gospel with the kids, and the questions that we posed was, ‘If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?’” Eaves said.
The school then tackled the second challenge — the meaning of worship.
“It’s defined as reverence and adoration to a deity, and what I talked to the student athletes was that we are always going to worship something or someone,” Eaves said. “In athletics, it’s very easy to worship the god of self, the god of statistics, the god of the scoreboard, the god of your win and loss record. So, the challenge was, ‘How do you take your sport and your love of (your sport) and use it as a source of worship for Christ?’”
To respond the question, the Lions considered Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
Pursue 633 allows coaches and athletic leaders to integrate faith-based teachable moments during practices.
“It’s a process,” Eaves said. “(But) the feedback is positive. One of my athletes asked me — and this encouraged me, ‘Are you still going to do Pursue 633 for the winter (season)?’ And I said, ‘Yes,’ (and to that) he said, ‘Good.’ That’s good because it was just a little thing that told me that they are listening and that it may be something that they look forward to.”
The word “team” has been discussed heavily since the Lions installed Pursue 633.
“What I have seen probably in the last 10 years or longer, is that there’s been such a shift to individual training,” Eaves said. “Kids are going to a weight training coach, speed and agility, because it’s all about getting better. They say it’s for the team, but really is about ‘myself’ and what ‘I’ want and what ‘I’ want to achieve — which is not a bad thing. But as Christians, they can become (like) God and idols (in their minds), and so, I really felt like, ‘Hey we are a Christian school, so we should look different. We should sound different.”
This program is allowing coaches at Foundation Academy to become comfortable with the process of discipleship and obtain the tools they need to do so.
“I was really trying to change the culture of athletics here, and I just really felt that God was saying, ‘OK, here’s a start. Here’s a way to begin to challenge your athletes and your coaches — and give your coaches some tools to discipleship as they coach, they practice and they interact with the kids,’” Eaves said.