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Sarah Gackle

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes engages coaches and athletes to grow in their faith and sport.

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My faith became real to me during an FCA meeting at Hunter Middle School in 2002. I am so grateful to God for the coaches, FCA staff, and financial partners who dreamed and partnered to see Jesus reach me, and my campus. Through FCA in the years following, God gave me a voice to impact my peers as an athlete, student leader, summer camp counselor, speaker, volleyball coach, and mentor of young women.

I have a dream that every coach and every athlete in the WORLD would have the same opportunity that was given to me - to know Jesus and be equipped to make Him known.

God called me to pursue this dream as an FCA Area Rep in Colorado Springs for 4 years and now He has placed me in Birmingham, Alabama. As an Area Rep I develop leaders of FCA ministries, minister to coaches, and facilitate camps and retreats. In everything, we GO TO coaches and athletes and help them know Jesus. We equip them to serve in leadership, and empower them to make Him known.

My area includes Samford University and 10 other high school and middle school campuses across Greater Birmingham. I could not be more excited about what God is doing in our area!

Impacting athletes and coaches, so athletes and coaches can impact the world.



  • He Never Misses

    This morning, I sat around the table with a handful of coaches from Simmons Middle School. It was our first FCA Coaches Huddle. In fact - it was MY first FCA Coaches Huddle. With our bagels and Bibles, we dove into a short devotional. One interesting point was brought up - that our Heavenly Father never misses an opportunity to know us. Allow that to sink in. He is never too busy. He is always available. He's never sleeping, or too tired to talk. He is always available to us, and has granted us this access to Him by faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:1). What a delight it is to know in my own life that God never misses an opportunity to know me, and He never misses an opportunity to connect with his Children. 

    He has blessed us greatly here, and I am believing He has not missed a single opportunity to know his kids, whether that was through Under the Lights on February 6th, through Real Man Mondays, or through the launch of a huddle ministry at Samford University. We have a hope and a confidence that our labor is not in vain - that our God never misses an opportunity to connect with His children, you and me included.

  • Turning Point

    You believe that God is going to do something, but He does not. What do you do? The medical test comes back with a result you did not want to see. Your one shot at the next level falls through. You lose that relationship. You thought God wanted to do THIS thing THIS way, and it does not happen.

    I thought I was going to be telling you a story about how God moved mightily at the retreat in the hearts of the athletes that I get to serve. I thought they were going to encounter the love of Jesus there.

    I thought I was going to be telling you these stories, but I am not because none of it happened. None of the athletes I was hoping for ending up coming on the retreat. No hard feelings towards them, it just was not at all what I expected to happen.

    So what did I do? I beat on God's chest. I asked for understanding. He so very gently corrected me.

    As I sat at my desk, God reminded of the words that I used when I explained the retreat to the athletes. I said, "This retreat is FOR you, designed FOR you, to meet YOUR needs as an athlete."

    God revealed to me that somehow what was "FOR them" became about me... Me and my ability to hit a goal for participation, or make progress that I can see.

    In this moment of realization, I had a choice. I could allow this disappointment continue to be about me - me not hitting a goal, me not feeling validated, and me pulling down worth and value from "successful" ministry. Or, on the contrary, God could help me trust Him for personal worth and value, and believe that He must have something bigger and better in mind.

    Bigger, like freeing me from the self-imposed burden of producing ministry results. Better, like receiving worth and value from being HIS CHILD. Bigger, like a weekly team bible study launching just 7 days after this major turning point. Better, like God giving me the right heart to SERVE the athletes in that.

    Today, that bible study is FOR them, and not about me.

    And that's way better.

  • I don't want to read my bible.

    Motivation. Sometimes it's just not there. You're scheduled for a workout, a practice, or a match. You couldn't get enough at one time, but right about now it's hard to muster up any kind of desire to lace up, strap up, and get out there. 

    Sometimes what I need most is what I want to do the least. Lately, that something has been spending time with Jesus. Well, more specifically, that something has been sitting down, slowing down, opening an ancient book, picking up a pen, and talking in my head to an empty room. 

    My motivation is low, and I desperately need a shift in perspective.

    When we sit down with the bible, we are not meeting with an ancient text, but the Ancient One. We aren't spending time with a book; we are spending time with a PERSON. When we pray, we aren't thinking or speaking to an empty room. We are communicating with a Father who loves us deeply and desires to speak with us. It's so much more than empty words read from a book, habitual prayers to pray, and journaling on a page.

    1. Have you ever faced a time when you weren't motivated in your sport?
    2. What about in your faith?
    3. How did God help you overcome it?

    Pslams 16:8; Psalms 73:25-26

    Father, help me to see you as the source of life, and not an addition to it. Please, change my desires. Help me want what you know that I need. I confess that earth has nothing that I truly desire besides you. You are my strength. Please remind me that I am meeting with you, not just reading an old book or praying to an empty room. Amen.

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