Kellen Cox, previously a college football player, currently the executive VP of Ministry Advancement FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), speaks with grace ambassador Christian Taylor, on his FCA journey and how faith has played a guiding role in his life.
FCA is an organization which has always played a part in Cox’s life. First, his dad’s faith journey was spearheaded by FCA, and then his own after his parents helped bring him to Jesus. Once he found his calling in FCA, Cox helped lead his junior high school as well as his high school in FCA before he brought it to college. College is where FCA came to life in Cox’s eyes.
After leaving high school, there was a gap in Cox’s life, forcing him to see that God’s hand is always there and His mission and ministry continues, even after the founder is gone. As a leader, Cox came to find that it’s really not about him or any individual for that matter, but rather it is about spreading the word and grasping that opportunity to bring hope and the hope of Jesus to others. Cox proceeded to say that FCA gave him the fulfilling purpose, the ultimate purpose, of bringing Jesus into the lives of those around him.
Through such fulfilling moments, Cox was able to see how he was working for something bigger than himself. “Any organization or business company is in this mindset of setting goals. FCA also has a mission of transforming the world through Jesus Christ within athletics. We have this motto—engage, equip, empower—where we take a big vision and work backwards in which we just have to commit and trust the process.” It is difficult to live and work for anything other than something bigger than yourself when it was Jesus who had said that we are to go out and make disciples for him. We are to bring the Word of God to those around us in all we do; this is what FCA allows Cox to do, but not without his own internal battles.
From a successful college athlete to now a successful worker of the Lord, Cox says that “[there is always] an internal battle” when balancing humility with the pride from his successes. But he also says that “it is so obvious that this is God’s work.” With God’s hand on the work Cox does with FCA, he finds it easier to stay humble and live the workings of God. “We are experiencing what it means to be transformed by Jesus. It is God’s game plan as he breathes life on this [work with FCA].” While God’s hand is always steady and holding onto our lives, guiding us through, it became evident when the pandemic hit. As Cox recalls, God’s hand is always present, especially when navigating darker times, but we must lean into the hand being offered.
When the pandemic hit, the world, and especially “the world of sport was put on pause. This forced people to realize their own identity, for sports was their identity piece.” Cox went on to share that the pandemic helped him realize that identity must be rooted in Christ. “Without our identities being rooted in Christ, we are going to crumble. We are not designed to bear the burdens of this world without trusting and leaning on Jesus.” Even through all the ups and downs, Jesus is always steady.
In His steady hand, the Lord provides His Grace upon His children. “[God’s Grace] is a gift. [In life,] we have to work for and earn everything we have. We cannot earn Grace. It is a gift freely given by God.” Cox continues by saying that with this Grace, we believe that Jesus is savior and trust in him every day. “God is love; therefore, he will continue to show Grace.” With God’s Grace comes the opportunity to form disciples and followers of God’s Word.
Disciple making and bringing people to God is how Cox uses God’s gift of Grace to fulfill his passions. While his harmonica playing days are long gone, Cox gets out of bed every morning to “see disciple making movements take place in teams around the world and to help implement and equip leaders and empower them to be the front line in the ministry.”
Before his time with Taylor came to an end, Cox was asked one final question: As a group trying to spread the word of living with Heaven in View, what does Heaven Yeah mean to you and what may be the chances of changing the saying to Heaven Yeah? When asked such a question, Cox did not hesitate to answer as he clearly and confidently stated, “When God is in your life, you don’t have to wait for Heaven for He is bringing Heaven to you, and you can bring restoration and order back to the world. Heaven Yeah is today; it is the eternal rest and eternal peace that our souls are longing for every day.” God is creating a place for each one of us in his Kingdom where all things will be good, and the world will be new.
The Heaven to the Yeah team thanks Kellen Cox for his time and openness to sharing his faith journey and the words of wisdom he bestowed upon those watching, listening, and reading. We pray for health and happiness for him and his family.
Heaven to the Yeah (HTTY) is an online retail start-up with a mission to encourage people to live with heaven in view and spread the hope of heaven globally. HTTY sponsors children and missionaries on four continents through universally recognized non-profit organizations such as Compassion International and Food for the Hungry.