Young Student Athletes Find Spiritual Coaching

T.Ray Grandstaff

Meet T.Ray

As Director of the Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, T.Ray Grandstaff told us of the thousands of young men and women he'd seen accept Christ. Each year, more student athletes were making first-time decisions to follow Jesus than the year before. But while this is undoubtedly good news, T.Ray couldn't help but feel a little sad looking at the numbers.

"I felt sad knowing the environments that the kids were going back to. I felt we needed to go deeper in discipleship and mentoring." To help meet this need, he and an associate began a text messaging program--sending Scripture to students. But there was still something missing. "We desired to go deeper and to be able to engage them in the areas of their specific felt needs."

It wasn't long after that T.Ray found the Back to the Bible Custom Apps program. This program allows organizations like Arkansas FCA to use the personalized spiritual growth experience found in goTandem, in a familiar FCA-branded app.

It's all about Bible engagement, T.Ray tells us. "Getting God's Word and hiding it in our hearts. But even going further than that and finding the specific needs of users and then being able to couple that with God's Word."

The results are encouraging! "To date, we have approximately 14,000 users in the app and growing. In a recent analysis, we found that the majority of users experience growth in all dimensions of the fruit of the Spirit. And on the flip side, all users struggled less with temptations."

But it's the personal stories that really impact T.Ray. "One example is a young girl gave me a call and she mentioned that she had come to faith in Jesus at an FCA event. And she exclaimed, 'You are going to be so proud of me!' She told me about the day she received Jesus Christ and how she then immediately began using the app. She said she went to church for the first time in her life. And she made a quote that has really stuck with me. She said, 'I just feel like Jesus is growing up inside of me.'"

T.Ray continues, "The beauty of that statement is, Jesus is enough! God's Word is enough! And out of someone connecting with the Father through Bible engagement, Jesus starts to grow up within them and then they desire fellowship and move toward it. It's beautiful that the very thing we wanted to see happen is happening."

To Back to the Bible supporters, T.Ray says, "Thank you for helping to connect this next generation in a way that is relevant and transformational!"

What's your story?

We'd love to hear how God is working in your life through Back to the Bible or goTandem. Share your story and encourage others in their own journey.

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