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CU athletes in team-led Bible study

Almost every athletic team at Campbellsville University is involved with program. Dr. Ted Taylor, pastor of Columbia Baptist Church, Professor of Christian Studies, and the lead professor of the sports ministry program, says he expects God to do great things through the program

By Rachel Crenshaw
Story from Campbellsville University

Four athletes from Campbellsville University decided they wanted to see the athletic programs not only succeed and excel in the competitive realm but in the spiritual realm as well. Therefore, they have collaborated to form a new Bible study specifically for the sports teams at CU.

Jordan Cornett of Lexington, KY; Kristi Ensminger of Kingston Springs, TN; Courtney Danis of Mt. Sterling, KY; and Alexandra Clemmons of Smiths Grove, KY worked with the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) to form the Bible study. They contacted leaders from each athletic sport to initiate the Bible study among their teams.

Cornett, a CU softball player, said as an athlete it is hard to get involved with the ministries of the BCM or FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) because of their busy varying schedules. She said this also makes it hard to reach your own teammates because there is no common ground on which to begin. Therefore, she said they decided that each Bible study group would vary their meeting times depending on the sport's schedule. This way the meeting times are tentative to change in order to accommodate beneficially with each team.

Ensminger, a Lady Tiger basketball player, said, "We think the biggest unreached part of campus is our athletic teams because of the separation between athletes and other students."

Ensminger said she hopes the Bible study will allow more athletes to get involved with the ministry and be more willing to talk about Jesus Christ. The goal, said Ensminger, is to see the Bible study moving forward to extend to more and more of the unreached athletes.

The Bible study will be covering the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. The book is about examining the way Christians live their lives and about reintroducing the love of God by changing your perspective on His love and character. Cornett said each team is supposed to do the first five chapters in the fall semester and the next five in the spring semester.

Ensminger said, "We thought this book was dynamic enough to reach a wide variety of students and was a great way to introduce Jesus Christ."

Morgan Bullock, a member of the Lady Tiger softball team from Frankfort, KY, said, "'Crazy Love' creates a good opportunity to bond with your teammates and develop relationships that you might otherwise not have been able to develop. It also enhances your personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

Cornett said it was amazing how it all came together. She said the four of them had a desire to reach the athletic teams and now almost every team is involved with the Bible study.

She said they began by meeting to plan out details and by raising funds for the book. Contributing to the purchasing of the "Crazy Love" books was the BCM, Department of Athletics and the sports ministry program at CU.

Dr. G. Ted Taylor, professor of Christian studies, director of leadership/character Development Institute and lead professor of sports ministry program, said, "I just really believe in what these girls are trying to accomplish. I see the 'Crazy Love' Bible study as being a very critical sports ministry. Therefore, I wanted to invest my time and support by meeting with the girls and by donating funds. I really appreciate the leadership from the girls to start this endeavor. We are expecting God to do great things."

Ensminger, who is team leader for the Lady Tigers basketball team, said many of the teams have already started and have seen great results. She said at their first session only three girls missed. Cornett, who is the leader for the Lady Tiger softball team, said their team also has had many players attend their first session. She said she felt the team really began to share and open up.Chad Payne, a member of the Tiger cross-country team from Owensboro, KY, said, "The Bible study gives you an opportunity to know where those closest to you are at spiritually. It also opens up the air for discussion regarding Christianity."

Cornett said they are also attempting to host an event at the end of the semester for all the athletes that feature worship and a speaker.For more information regarding the "Crazy Love" Bible study, join the Facebook group CUCrazyLove.

This story was posted on 2009-10-31 09:08:23
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Crazy Love Bible study session

2009-10-31 - Campbellsville University . Lady Tiger Basketball players, counter-clockwise from right, Hayley Hellyer of Danville, KY, Kayla Hopkins of Mayfield, KY, Corin Dunn of Lexington, KY, Megan Isaacs of Horse Cave, KY, and Mackenzie Lee of Mt. Sterling, KY, participate in a Crazy Love Bible study. Campbellsville University Photo by Rachel Crenshaw
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