8 Essentials to Strengthen Your Faith

When you make a decision to follow Jesus, you are beginning the journey of a lifetime—a discipleship journey. This journey is a lifelong pursuit of becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ, or what we call, a disciple.

A disciple is someone who is in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. The CORE gives you eight essentials on how to do just that. The CORE will help you be engaged in God’s Word, equipped on the basics of the faith, and empowered to help others grow in Jesus Christ. When you strengthen your CORE everything else benefits.

CORE 1 Join God’s Team

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

When you make a commitment to be on God’s Team, you are signing up to walk with Him daily. You are training for this walk by reading His Word and understanding His plan. But where do you start?  Here is the Gospel message explained in four simple truths:

God Loves You

Sin Separates You

Jesus Rescues You

Will You Trust Jesus?

CORE 2 Live With God’s Power

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” – Galatians 5:16

When you trust Jesus with your life, God makes you a new person. You don’t have to hold on to the old sin, guilt, and the performance mentality of the past. You have a new identity in Christ.

When you begin to live with God’s power, it’s important to remember these promises:

God Makes You New

As a believer in Jesus, sport is not a pedestal; it’s a platform. God has given you the ability to glorify Him. When you see sports as an opportunity to impact others, God will be glorified!

God is With You

God is always with you. Through the Holy Spirit, God guides you.

God Leads You

As the Holy Spirit lives in you, He will lead you. He will lead you through Scripture, prayer, discipleship, and any circumstance that you encounter.

CORE 3 Train Spiritually

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8

As the Holy Spirit leads you, He will begin to transform you into a new person with a new mindset, but change is a two-way street. In training, the coach sets the plan, but the athlete must execute it. If you want to see a change in your performance as an athlete, you have to put in the time and work. The same goes for spiritual training. Spiritual training:

Transforms You

Spiritual training will transform your entire life. From the way you think and your priorities to how you treat and love others.

Motivates You

Spiritual disciplines are the way we participate in growing in our relationship with God. Our motivation is to know and love God more.

Helps You Know God

When you master a discipline, you obtain and secure that knowledge for yourself. When you are consistent with your spiritual training, you get to know God and His plan for your life better.

CORE 4 Communicate With God

“Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:9-10

We make it a priority to talk to our family, friends, teammates, and coaches. We must make time to talk with Jesus as well if we are to grow in our relationship with Him. Talking to God, or prayer:

Is A Conversation

Prayer is a conversation between you and God. It’s not so much about what you say, it’s about sharing your heart with Him.

Is About Anything & Everything

Prayer is an active conversation of listening and speaking. When Jesus taught believers how to pray, He taught them to pray for everything and everyone so that God’s will and work will be done.

Accomplishes God’s Plans

The purpose of prayer is not only to ask for what you want, but it’s also to get what God wants. Jesus represented this purpose in the Lord’s Prayer, where we pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done on Earth.

CORE 5 Study God’s Playbook

“For the word of God will never fail.” – Luke 1:37

Every coach has a training manual to help athletes develop excellence. God does the same thing for believers. The Bible is like a playbook, guide, and training manual all rolled into one.

The Bible Is the Word of God

The Bible is the primary way we come to know God. It teaches us how to practically live out faith in Jesus. God’s Playbook contains piercing truth about who God is, who we really are, and our mission and destiny.

The Bible Is Alive and Active

The Bible is not something you read once and put back on the shelf. Read it every day to experience its power, to understand God’s truths, to know God more, and to help you figure out how to live in this world.

The Bible Is True

The Bible is infallible because all scripture is inspired and breathed by God Himself. It can be trusted as the authoritative truth in your life. All other things in the world can be measured against God’s Word.

CORE 6 Team Up With Others

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

As competitors, we depend on the support of others to reach our goals. Imagine a quarterback trying to pass the ball without the protection of the offensive line or a pitcher trying to throw strikes without the direction of a catcher. It’s the same for Christians. God designed people to be together. Here’s what to remember about being a part of God’s Team:

You Are A Part of God’s Team

You don’t have to go on this faith journey alone. When you join God’s team, you immediately have teammates to surround you. You are united with all other believers. You are the Church!

Teammates Support You

Life is challenging, but God has given you teammates to support you in the journey. You have power in a supportive team!

Teammates Strengthen You

Teammates not only support you, but they also strengthen you. You need a CORE team to go with you through the challenges of life.

CORE 7 Know Your Role

“So it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” – Romans 12:5

On any sports team, there are many different positions and roles. All athletes must use their talents and training to fulfill their unique role on the team. When everyone is giving 100%, the team succeeds. Your role is important and is vital to the success of your team. The same goes for your role on God’s team. Here are some principles to know about your spiritual role:

You Have A Role

Your specific role is important and needed for the Church to succeed. When everyone is using their gifts and cooperating with each other, we share God’s loving, welcoming, and powerful Spirit with others who don’t yet know Christ.

Serve Each Other

When you trust Jesus with your life, you receive certain spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts empower you to live out your position and role in your church to serve others.

Love Each Other

The primary use for our gifts is to serve each other and build up the Church, but the heart behind the actions is just as important. We must love one another. You must love other believers first and serve them second.

CORE 8 Share With Others

“I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9:23

Athletes and coaches are some of the most influential people in today’s culture. You have a unique opportunity to impact others with God’s Word and see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through coaches and athletes.

When you trust Jesus and surrender your life to Him, you begin a discipleship journey. This is a lifelong pursuit and process of becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ. Going through The CORE is just the beginning of becoming a disciple. The next steps require you to invite others on the discipleship journey.

At FCA, our mission is to fulfill our discipleship journey by leading every coach and athlete into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. We are here to make disciples who make disciples.

Here’s how we define the FCA way of discipleship:


We engage coaches and athletes through genuine relationships by sharing our lives and the Gospel. We strive to connect with coaches and athletes by identifying the place and time to cultivate these relationships.


We equip coaches and athletes with Christ-centered training and resources.


We empower coaches and athletes to engage and equip others to know and grow in Christ so that FCA’s disciples become and make disciples themselves.

The CORE Challenge

Congratulations on finishing The CORE!

We hope you are more engaged in God’s Word, equipped on the basics of the faith, and empowered to move forward in your faith journey. Remember, this is just the beginning!

The journey gets even better when you can share the experience with others. We invite you do The CORE Challenge: Lead someone through The CORE in a 1-on-1 setting:

A 1-on-1 meeting occurs when two people commit to a mentoring relationship and go through the eight sessions together. You can…
• Invite a teammate or peer to go through The CORE with you.
• Schedule a meeting time each week to review each session, discuss the questions, and share what God is teaching you through the study.
• Set aside time to pray with each other and hold each other accountable.

At the end of The CORE, reflect on what you have learned, and then encourage others to take The CORE challenge and lead others in a 1-on-1 setting.

Additional Resources

The CORE is an eight-day study that guides you through the essentials to strengthening your spiritual core. When you spend time strengthening your spiritual core, your entire life is transformed by the power of Jesus Christ and His Word. With The CORE, you can grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ as a new believer and disciple.

Download The COREBuy the CORE Book

The CORE YouVersion Plan guides you through the eight faith principles that The CORE encapsulates in FCA’s Ready, Set, Go! format. With the YouVersion plan, you can practice the FCA way of discipleship by engaging, equipping, and empowering others with the scripture, message, and question for each reading day.

Go to The CORE Plan