CrossTraining continues its work in trying to discover and develop chaplains in North America. The latest effort will focus on raising up a chaplain and counseling team in Arizona beginning with the USL-Pro club, Arizona United.
Arizona United SC (soccer club) was founded in 2014 in the Phoenix, AZ area. The team plays in Scottsdale – a northern suburb of Phoenix and finished in 10th place in the Western Conference of the USL in 2015.
CrossTraining Executive Director, Brad Kenney, spoke about the plan to try and find a chaplain to work with the team,
We are learning that the process of discovering and developing a chaplain really saddles two ends of the spectrum – sometimes we find the right person and the organization is open and receptive and other times, it’s the opposite – we might even find a good candidate, but the organization isn’t ready for chaplaincy.
Kenney, acknowledged that the best candidate may not even be a CrossTraining chaplain,
In the end, the organization needs to embrace a chaplain – it may be that the best person works for a ministry like Athletes in Action or Fellowship of Christian Athletes or is a volunteer pastor that doesn’t necessarily come under the CrossTraining banner. It is more important for there to be an acceptance for the chaplain than to grow the CrossTraining name.
CrossTraining will begin, in February, the search to find chaplain candidates for Arizona. The process will include interviewing and helping bridge relationships for a potential team to be in place. Ideally, the chaplain team would have two chaplains to help with coverage duties with one chaplain having bilingual skills for players where English isn’t the primary language. Chaplain Kenney also believes that a licensed counselor is a necessity,
The range of issues that the professional player faces – along with the coaching staff and executives – counseling is an important value-add for the work that we do as chaplains. Additionally, the USL doesn’t have the resources and benefits that the MLS does – a counselor can be a helpful resource for a club.
If you would like to help provide financial support to help with the discovery work in Arizona, donations can be made through the donation button on the side of the page. This will link you to CrossTrainings’ PayPal account where you can make a tax-deductible donation. If you have an interest or know of a qualified person to be consider as a chaplain or counselor in the North Phoenix, Arizona area please make a referral or recommendation through firstname.lastname@example.org.