Covenant Senior Starts Competing for Christ Podcast
When sports management major and baseball player Ken Burke ’22 searched for content from Christian athletes, he noticed a gap that he could fill. The lack of media content, specifically podcasts, from the lens of Christian athletes motivated Ken to start the Competing for Christ podcast.
Prepared for Success
“My classes at Covenant made me realize how much I love sports, but at the same time, how God can use sports to bring Himself glory,” says Ken. “Through classes like Sports Leadership, Marketing in Sport, and Sociology of Sport, I have learned what it means to call ourselves Christians in the sports world.”
Ken also works with Blue Crew, Covenant’s athletics marketing team. “Blue Crew has really helped bring out my creative side. We’ve done fun videos and promotions, and I’ve learned a lot about coordinating events like Max Out Barnes. Through Blue Crew, I’ve become more comfortable and able to show who I really am, whether through a video or through the mic.”
In the spring of 2021, Ken invested in audio equipment and laid the groundwork before launching Competing for Christ in June 2021. The show averages two new episodes per month, (posted on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts), and Ken often brings in guests of all ages to join the conversation.
From Athletes - For Athletes
Competing for Christ is intended for Christian athletes of all ages and at every level. In each episode, Ken uses his experiences as a college athlete to offer practical advice to other athletes, touching on a wide variety of topics like identity, parenting sport-loving kids, the intersection of sports and culture, and even body image.
While Ken shares his perspective as a college baseball player and talks with other Covenant athletes, he also gleans advice from the show’s guests. Dan Britton (chief field officer for FCA), Joe Zelenka (former NFL long snapper), and Troy Mattes (former MLB pitcher) are just a few of the featured experts. International guests have even joined the show, and the podcast has reached listeners in 12 different countries.
In class, Ken learned that networking is a huge part of sports media, and he’s had the opportunity to put his networking skills to use. Through various social media platforms, he reaches out to potential guests and connects with people interested in the podcast. He says that every time he’s started searching for a new guest, God laid an amazing story in front of him.
Seeking a Biblical View of Athletics
“Through the podcast, I’ve realized how hard it is to identify as a Christian in athletics,” Ken says. He recognizes that many athletes, including himself, idolize their sport and their identity as athletes. Running the show while studying at Covenant has helped Ken to shift from viewing sports through a secular lens to seeing athletics as a way to honor and glorify God.
“I think the most important lesson I have learned as a sports management major at Covenant is that sports are so finite compared to the amazing eternity that we have with Christ. It has really opened my eyes to not put so much weight on sports because they will never satisfy us the way God’s grace will.”
After graduation in May 2022, Ken plans to pursue a career in sports media, and even though he will no longer be a college athlete, he plans to continue the Competing for Christ podcast.