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preaching to grizzlies

Home Missionary Scott Warren explores an exciting new ministry opportunity.

by Scott Warren

For more information about the FWB Home Missions Department (now North American Ministries), please visit

“I don’t treat professional hockey players any different than I do anyone else. I try to be real with them, and every time we’re together I show them how the Bible is relevant to their lives. In our first chapel service, I spoke on adversity and asked the guys to consider how they respond to adversity. I challenged them to remember the words of James 1:2–4, ‘My

brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.’

“Two days later, one of our players got a call at five a.m. His father had a heart attack and a stroke. He told me that when the phone rang, the first thing he thought was how he was going to respond to adversity. Throughout that difficult week he remembered what we discussed in chapel.”

—Scott Warren, team chaplain, Utah Grizzlies Hockey Club

WHEN MOVING TO A NEW AREA of ministry, it is always good to find as many different avenues for outreach as possible. Being a sports fan, I headed for the professional teams in the Greater Salt Lake City area.

I met with Doug Halcomb who is affiliated with Hockey Ministries International to explore some possibilities for creative ministry. Doug quickly set up a meeting with Coach Jason Christie of the Colorado Grizzlies, a AA professional hockey team. Our meeting went great. Coach Christie was very open to the idea of my partnering with HMI to become the team chaplain, holding regular, weekly chapel meetings at the arena. He asked me to come back the next day to share a full presentation of the HMI chapel program with the team, staff, and trainers with the first chapel meeting held 10 minutes after the presentation. I was happy to do that.

During the presentation I emphasized that whether or not anyone came to a meeting, I would be there to meet their spiritual and emotional needs. Then I invited them to come to chapel ten minutes later in the visitor’s locker room. After the presentation, the players thanked me as I handed out my card.

I thought the presentation went pretty well, but I didn’t know what to expect at the chapel meeting. This was a new concept, and thus far, everything had moved at a rapid pace, to say the least.

 The chapel meeting got off to a great start. The topic was Dealing with Adversity. Nine players attended the meeting, including the team captain. Another player wanted to be there, but could not attend due to a scheduled public relations appearance. Ten players out of 20! The guys who attended were attentive and seemed excited to get the chapel program started. They decided to meet at the arena every Wednesday at noon (after their practice). One of the players asked me about our church. He said that he and his wife wanted to find a place to worship. Pray that we can help them in their search.

After chapel, I went by to thank Coach Christie for allowing me to present the program to the team. After a few minutes of conversation, he invited me to attend team practices at least once a week so the guys could become familiar with me whether they attend chapel or not. Pray that God will bless these young men and their families, and that God will continue to give us opportunities to witness to them.

After ministering for a time in Russellville, Arkansas, Scott and Staci Warren felt the Lord calling them to go and work with home missionary Tim Lewis in Ogden, Utah. Randy and LeAnn Ledbetter felt the Lord leading in that direction as well. The Warrens and Ledbetters have teamed up to plant a Free Will Baptist church in Salt Lake City, Utah.






©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists