From Team Mom to Team Chaplain
For Kimberly Beach, the pathway to becoming chaplain for Trinity International University’s (TIU) Men’s Soccer Program is, to say the least, an unusual one. But, then again, God’s planning and work to bring about something amazing in us and something powerful for His kingdom is usually born out of things that would confound the wise of the world.
Chaplain Beach, known affectionately to players and coaches as Miss Kim, started serving TIU in 2017. At first it began as a female soccer player and friend of her son (a student athlete at TIU with the men’s soccer team) asked if Kimberly could meet with and mentor her. Pretty soon, Kimberly was giving pre-season devotionals at the women’s team workouts. But the ministry didn’t stop there — her home routinely open to the athletes on her son’s team, meeting with the female athletes, and providing what she has come to term as “intentionally unintentional discipleship,” Kimberly’s ministry started to grow and expand beyond the typical “team mom” duties.
The growth of ministry, coupled with Kimberly’s own calling and story beginning back in 2000 led her to look for information on soccer chaplaincy. She landed on the recently rebranded Soccer Chaplains United webpage.
With the role of Team Chaplain at TIU, I was looking for an organization that would provide community. I found that in Soccer Chaplains United.Chaplain Kim Beach
Chaplaincy wasn’t necessarily a new concept for Kimberly — in the early 2000’s through the medical issues her young daughter had faced, Kimberly had felt an initial call to pediatric chaplaincy. She desired to show love and care to those parent’s going through dark and difficult times as she and her husband, David, had but the time wasn’t right.
Ten years later, she again felt the tug toward chaplaincy. Within the span of a week, from sitting in an emergency room for their own child and then attending a number of sporting events and watching the ambulance pull up and take injured athletes away, Kimberly told her husband,
We need a chaplain here that can help these families…even if it is only sitting with them in dark times.Kimberly Beach, 2010
David agreed and encouraged his wife to pursue training and licensure for chaplaincy. Her initial start came with Chaplain Fellowship Ministries and she began to visit local emergency rooms, church members and friends in the hospital, to speak with families while they were at the regional children’s hospital, and to facilitate online support groups.
In 2016, God called the Beach family to move — this time to northern Illinois for better treatment options for their daughter. With her son on scholarship with the TIU soccer team, the way forward was being led by God. It wasn’t long after that Miss Kim began serving the soccer teams at TIU.
Miss Kim’s approach, hospitality, and ministry soon came across the radar of then assistant coach men’s coach Josiah Larson. Promoted to head coach in December of 2017, Coach Larson asked if Kimberly would consider being chaplain for the men’s team.
With a full season of experience, Miss Kim has served the full gamut — from the highs and lows of the season, to the weddings, parents of athletes struggling with health issues, and other moments of pastoral care and counseling. Heading into the 2019 season, Soccer Chaplains United will look to bolster Miss Kim’s ministry as she continues to serve the athletes, coaches, and families of TIU’s Men’s Soccer.
I had the privilege of meeting Kimberly and David last summer, as they were leaving Denver, where David works, to return to Illinois. I was able to share about the mission and vision of Soccer Chaplains United — so much of which resonated with Kimberly’s background, calling, passion, and equipping. The pastoral care emphasis that Kimberly had already discovered and begun to cultivate was one of the key values for our work of chaplaincy amongst soccer. And I am really pleased to see the conversation which began last summer, cultivate in Miss Kim joining Soccer Chaplains United as chaplain.
Please join me in welcoming Kimberly Beach and the Trinity International University Trojan’s Men’s Soccer Team to the family here of Soccer Chaplains United!