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Former Redskins chaplain speaks about the storms of life

December 1, 2008 : Eric Brown

“Every time he has spoken he’s added value to my life,” coach Ritchie McKay said as he introduced Brett Fuller as Monday’s convocation speaker. “This is a man that has truly walked the talk.”

Fuller, senior pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Va., and former Washington Redskins co-chaplain, spoke about the importance of discipleship and going where God leads, even if it means encountering life’s toughest storms.

“We forget that suffering is part of our Christian life,” Fuller said. “Are you willing to follow Christ when he says, ‘People are not going to regard me as much anymore and probably the same lot I had you’re going to have’? Can you follow Him out of comfort?”

Matthew 8:18-20 gives an account of a man who wished to follow Jesus. After the man told Jesus he would follow Him wherever He went, the Messiah responded by saying, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Later in the same chapter, Jesus entered a boat with his disciples. Before they could reach their destination, a huge storm began to rock the boat and strike fear into the hearts of Jesus’ followers. Completely frightened, the disciples woke their teacher and begged Him to save them from the storm. With a few words from His mouth, Jesus rebuked the storm and calmed the waves.

Fuller pointed out that in the Scriptures, the disciples often argued with one another, debating on who was in charge. Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, His followers learned to care for one another as they ministered to non-believers.

Using this biblical example, the speaker noted the importance of serving with one another regardless of race or ethnic background.

“Can we stay in the same boat?” Fuller asked. “It’s not that (color is) not important … because God made variety. We look at color … it just doesn’t matter. It just makes no difference.”

Before leaving the stage, Fuller again challenged students to follow Christ wherever he leads, no matter what storms life may bring.

“The storm will make you think you are dying,” he said. “You will do everything you possibly can to bail. (Jesus) is testing your faith to see how much you can endure for Him. Can we be led out of comfort? Can we be led out of wrong expectations and not say ‘me first’? Can we be led with one another? Can we follow Christ through the storm? If you do these four things, you will change the world in a hurry.”

Fuller currently serves as chaplain for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and President for the Nations of Coaches Ministry. He serves on a number of boards, including President Bush’s National Advisory Council for Historically Black Colleges & Universities. He and his wife of 21 years, Cynthia, have seven children.