Grace Graduate Leverages Sports Outreach to Share the Gospel
It can be hard to know what career God wants you to go into. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of finding the intersection where your greatest passions intersect with the world’s need for the gospel.
Starting in high school, Kaiser knew she wanted to pursue a sports ministry degree. So when she arrived on Grace’s campus for her first visit, she was thrilled to find that sports and ministry were central to the institution. “I was so excited that the Manahan Orthopedic Capital Center (MOCC) was where both worship and sports took place,” Kaiser said. “That crossover to me was so cool.”
Grace did not have a sports ministry degree until Kaiser’s second year. She knew she wouldn’t be able to graduate on time if she switched to sports ministry, but she learned that she could major in interdisciplinary studies, which allowed her to take classes in three distinct programs. By focusing on sports management, sports ministry, and psychology, Kaiser was confident her major would help her obtain the skills she needed to pursue sports ministry jobs.
Perhaps most impactful of her time at Grace, Kaiser learned what it looked like to authentically serve others. “I loved my experience at Grace,” she said. “Christ was very much the center of everything we did, so laying out that model in college was a good example of what our lives were supposed to be like after college.”
After graduating in 2016, Kaiser started her first job at Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls, where she empowered young girls through sports. But after some time in that role, Kaiser realized she wanted an opportunity to openly share her faith. She moved on to work as a child advocate at Haven of Rest, a Christian organization that provides care for homeless people. Although she enjoyed meeting needs and sharing the gospel, she still had a yearning to combine sports and ministry.
“I was at a crossroads where I thought, Alright, Lord, this is it. I’m either going to step out in faith and do sports ministry, or I’m going to stay here and put it behind me. I didn’t know if it was my own personal thought that I was going to do sports ministry or if it was God’s leading,” Kaiser reflected.
So she started searching for sports ministry jobs and found Sports Outreach, a nonprofit based in Virginia that uses sports to teach kids about the gospel. The organization, which has coaching positions across the country and internationally, seemed to be exactly what she was looking for.
Now, Kaiser has been working as the Sports Outreach coach in Ohio for nearly a year.
“Sports Outreach is getting on the field with kids from low-income families, building a relationship with them, and teaching them about Jesus,” Kaiser said. “We want to meet their needs both on and off the field.”
When coaching the kids, Kaiser openly talks to them about their lives and applies biblical illustrations to the challenges they’re going through. Every practice ends with devotions and prayer. “We incorporate the gospel as much as possible,” she said. “It’s awesome that I get to not only provide food and resources for low-income kids but also share the Word with kids who don’t usually hear it.”
Kaiser also strives to teach the kids about nutrition, financial literacy, fitness, and self-defense. Any sport or activity that she does not have experience in, she outsources to other organizations so she is not competing with community partners.
Looking back, Kaiser knows God led her to the position. “I can definitely feel God’s hand in this,” she said. “It’s a great organization to work for because I get to form authentic relationships with kids through sports and play a role in introducing children to Jesus.”
Do you have a passion for teaching others about Jesus through sports? Check out our sports ministry degree.