Small groups have proven to be great opportunities for students with similar struggles or lifestyles to come together to create connections. The new group on campus, “After the Whistle,” does just that for AU athletes.
Senior Braden Mikel and other campus leaders found a lack of community within the athletic teams on campus. The football and women’s soccer coaches, along with the campus ministries department, all felt a desire to help fill this void on campus.
“After the Whistle” allows various athletes, and even students who don’t participate in sports, to build relationships they can count on to help challenge them as Christians and support them as they work through their struggles.
Mikel, student leader of the group, continues to find that building these relationships through athletics and faith can be very meaningful.
AU’s core value of faith aligns with the values of Mikel as well.
“Through faith we can all fight battles together on and off the court or field,” said Mikel.
Every third Thursday of the month, “After the Whistle” meets to take part in prayer walks, fellowship and listen to guest speakers. Whether it’s praying over every practice area for the campus’ teams or diving deeper into the Word with guest speakers, anyone who attends “After the Whistle” has a chance to grow their faith.
Although this ministry is relatively new to AU, it is still creating an impact.
“It’s cool to have a combination of our sports and faith and getting together with like-minded people to have fellowship and pray,” said freshman football player Owen Smith.
Mikel hopes to see this ministry last far beyond his time here at AU. With the support of coaches, campus ministries leaders and his fellow athletes, Mikel is continually working to use this ministry to create a lasting impact and cultural shift at AU.