When he joined FCA four years ago, Seth Massot wasn't comfortable speaking up.
The Rochester native wasn't sure what to say, especially about his faith.
"I was forced to talk more and more," said Massot, a senior at Rochester Century High School, "and you learn what you actually believe, versus what you say you believe."
Last year, Massot confronted what he described as his "darkest" moments. He'd seek relationships, and he'd draw close then withdraw – over and over again.
"I realized when I got uncomfortable with my faith, I would back away," he said. "But I got sick of the process. So I realized I had to jump in with both feet."
Initially, Seth's older brother Graham introduced him to FCA.
Seth appreciated the advice and assistance he got from his brother, but he also appreciated the consistent connection with other Christian athletes.
"FCA has been a tool that’s guided me," Seth said. "I think I could be a Christian and believer without FCA, but my life would have looked very different."
FCA has comforted and challenged him, he said.
"We all believe in our Savior and Christ," he said, "but outside of that, we have a lot of interpretations."
As he took on more leadership roles, both at FCA and with cross country, Seth had to be more vocal and more bold.
A top 50 finisher at state in the 5K last year, Seth did something he never could have imagined: Lead group prayers before races.
"For a while, that would have been something I would have been afraid to do. 'Oh, I’m going to be judged,' " Seth said, highlighting one of the concerns for those who resist praying in public. "But if we claim that we believe in God, it doesn't matter what people think."
Later, based on his example, God did something wonderful.
At a meet, one of Seth's teammates proactively said, "Let’s pray right now" and led the group.
Seth was overwhelmed with pride as he looked at 40 athletes praying, with heads bowed.
"Regardless of how they ran," Seth said, "they were going to bring glory to him."
Seth's favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 11:30:
James Bolin said Seth "walks the walk."
"He brings a lot to the group with his passion, drive and wisdom for both his sports and his faith," said Bolin, the ninth grade basketball coach at Rochester Century and the FCA's Southeast Minnesota camps and campus ministry director.
"He is an outstanding athlete and is one of the most dedicated and hardest working young men I have ever encountered."
Seth doesn't know where he's going to college yet, but he wants to find a school where he can find a strong group of fellow believers.
"What really matters to me is finding conviction in my faith and living that out, rather than showing it on the weekends or just believing but not professing to other people," he said.