Being a College Chaplain on the Sidelines

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Mike Wissink’s campus ministry for Christian Reformed Home Missions happens in locker rooms, on the sidelines of football fields and basketball courts, and on buses taking Ferris State University teams to games.

While Wissink also has a traditional campus ministry involving devotions, meetings, services, and mission trips, he also serves the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the volleyball and soccer teams, and the football team at Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich.

“I see God at work on the fields and in the locker rooms, and I believe this is where I need to be,” he says.

In all he does, he makes sure his ministry is based on Scripture.

“I always ask ‘How does God’s Word speak to us in every situation?’” he says. “I have found students on the sports teams to be open to looking at the biblical perspective and how it speaks to all of their lives.”

When necessary, he remains sensitive to a team’s record. If they are going through a losing streak, he sticks close but keeps a low profile.

He works with athletes who are struggling with challenges in their relationships or performance on the field, on the court, or in the classroom. When needed, he is called in to help handle crisis situations such as a death in the family or some other difficult situation.

He attends team meetings and prays with the players for the Michigan college before every competition.

Although he is with students for only a few short years, Wissink maintains ties with many of them, sometimes interacting with them on Facebook or officiating at their weddings.

About the Author

Chris Meehan is news and media relations manager for CRC Communications, and a member of Coit Community Church.

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