For nearly 50 years Coach Dwight Lundeen and his wife, Pam, have given their time, opened their home, and shared their lives with the community of Becker, Minnesota. They started both the football program and the local FCA there. While attending college at St. Cloud State, Coach Lundeen became involved in FCA. He knew he wanted to be a teacher and a coach and was determined to keep FCA a part of it, knowing it was a connection to reach athletes for Jesus Christ through their love for sport.
In the decades since, the Lundeens have opened up their own home for bible study, games, and fellowship for students in the community and encouraged them to attend FCA Camp in the summers. They have seen three generations of students come through their home as well as booming growth and success of the Becker football program. The Becker FCA is still going strong to this day – meeting weekly on Friday mornings with a friendly competitive event once a month as well.
As you can imagine, nearly 50 years of coaching and ministry has not been without its struggles, hardships, and sacrifices, but despite these trials, the Lundeens haven’t skipped a beat and continue to pour their hearts and lives into this ministry – into the lives of these students.
The natural question in response to such longevity is: why?
Coach Lundeen had this to say, “I would not be putting that time and effort into it if I didn’t think it was having a positive influence in the halls of Becker and ripple effects into our community. As long as the Lord has given us great health and a position to continue to do this, we will continue to do the work.”
He sees value in the ministry because through it, Jesus is changing lives and those changed lives are changing a whole community. The real joy stems from seeing students grow in their faith; being a witness to lasting transformation.
Current Bethel University football player and former Becker Bulldog, Dawson Brown, is one of these students, “Dwight was so great to have as a coach because you could tell there was something different about him. He exemplified a Godly man who loved others well. FCA helped shape my perspective on Christ’s work through everything we do; including sports. Sports are a great avenue for our faith journey because they form so many biblical qualities when intentionally sought out. FCA worked to help me intentionally pursue my faith and those biblical qualities such as toughness, hard work, and courage.”
When asked if he had any advice for the other coaches out there, Coach Lundeen had this to offer, “If you’re going to stay in this business of coaching (it’s a tough business), you must understand the purpose of why you’re coaching. If you’re going to put all your hope and joy in the output of a game, it’s going to be very shallow. Your role is to impact young men and women in a positive way. Show them you really care. It will have more of a lasting impact than any record or winning season ever could.”
Take some time to pray, think, and truly answer this question:
What is your why?
We all have circles of influence and people the Lord has placed around us. Whether you are a coach, teacher, businessman, bus driver, nurse, or engineer, it’s a question we all need to answer.
Coaches: check out the link to the FCA Coaches Academy to find training on how to become transformational in your coaching: https://www.fca.org/resources/training/coaches/training
Posted on Wed, October 10, 2018
by Emily Werness