Leaving for Las Vegas
Recently, one of our chaplains reached out to me via text:
One of the key characteristics about soccer is that there is a very transient population — whether athletes, coaches, or staff — there is a nearly nomadic lifestyle that each one takes as they ply their trade in this industry. And at the USL—Championship level, this movement is more frequent. Contracts are usually only for one season — 8-months. On a typically low wage ($500-$3/4k, sometimes slightly higher). There is a lot of movement as everyone is looking for an opportunity to advance and climb higher.
Sometimes, the decisions are out of one’s hands — there is a willing (and unwilling) surrender to the forces and nature of the game. A phone call. A trade. A waiver or cut. A coach decides to go in a different direction. A GM is looking to offload a salary so that they can get another player. The athletes, especially at the lower levels, are subject to the winds and whims of the teams. Sometimes they have a say. Sometimes they get an opportunity to play where they hope or desire. Many times they do not.
It can be hard for chaplains — but we, too, must surrender to the sovereignty of God. We must trust that even when we have poured hours of life and love into someone that God is greater and wiser and loves them more than we could ever hope or imagine.
And Greg is right — we need donors and supporters to get behind us and help us to find additional chaplains with other cities and teams. Currently, the USL–Championship League (2nd division) has 11 vacancies. 11 teams without a chaplain. Las Vegas is one.
It can cost upwards of $7000 to do the development and work to find a chaplain that is suitable and mutually acceptable to both the soccer club and Soccer Chaplains United. We also work with other ministry groups like Athletes in Action, CRU (formerly Campus Crusade), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and others; however, chaplain placement is often not as primary a focus for these ministry groups as it is for Soccer Chaplains United. Sometimes a staffer within a different ministry group might be asked whether they have time to add in the chaplaincy duties into the work they are already doing with a local campus ministry or high school sports team.
The ongoing costs, when a chaplain is discovered and developed can include things like professional liability insurance and other tools and resources to help equip that chaplain to serve the team — including one-on-one coaching and collaboration with other chaplains in soccer.
When you support Soccer Chaplains United — you enable us to conduct searches and reach out to clubs and teams with an offer to look for chaplain candidates to serve their people. Your financial and prayer support allows us to educate teams on how a chaplain might serve and to offer candidates for them to consider as well as ongoing coaching and education and development.
Soccer Chaplains United is non-profit, 501(c)3 and we depend upon the financial support of our partners to carry out our work of developing chaplaincy, counseling, and community service across all levels of soccer. Your support allows us to offer to serve without reservation. Please consider making a contribution today to help us continue growing our work. Click the PushPay logo below or text soccerchaplains to 77977 to make a secure electronic donation. You can also mail a donation to Soccer Chaplains United, PO Box 102081 Denver, CO 80250.