When new coaches at Ferris State University (FSU) first meet their athletic teams, many are told about Pastor Mike Wissink before he even has a chance to introduce himself.
Wissink has been supporting FSU student athletes since 2001. Because the students appreciate his presence, they make a point of telling their new coaches about him right away.
As chaplain for FSU’s Athletic Department, Wissink said, he works with students from all of FSU’s athletic teams, offering them guidance through God’s direction.
“I am not here to cram theology down players’ throats or to convert them,” he said. “My job is to come alongside and be supportive of the players and the program through the work of God.”
Wissink does this by offering prayers or devotions before games as well as leading the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and Fellowship for Christian Students ministries with weekly worship times that focus on what it means to live and compete as a Christian.
Many FSU students faithfully attend these meetings. All of the 17 varsity sports FSU offers have teams that are represented in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. One of the best parts of this ministry, said Wissink, is the camaraderie between the different teams.
For example, he said, football players attend soccer games and vice versa because players have gotten to know each other through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and want to support one another.
Funded and supported in part by Christian Reformed Home Missions, this campus ministry is one of many Christian Reformed campus ministries across North America that seek to make a lasting impact on students by helping them mature in their faith, and discover and pursue their vocations.