How can the Church use sports as a mission field?
It generates passion and loyalty. It gathers together diverse people with a common goal. It is good for body and soul. It demands sacrificial giving of time and money. There may be communal singing, kneeling and raised hands. This is not church we’re talking about, though there are many similarities. What we’re talking about is sport.
The community of sport has approximately 25 million members, spreading over 151,000 sports clubs and 6,700 gyms across the UK. Add to this those who may not play but enjoy watching and supporting teams and there are few households in the UK who aren’t shaped in some way by sporting culture.
The mission opportunities offered by sport are huge. Here are a few ways to engage:
- Host a big-screen viewing of big matches
We have designed some customisable posters to advertise your event to your local community (keep a look out for our new catalogue coming very soon!). You could print up some invitations and drop them through the letter boxes in your neighbourhood, or stick up fliers in the newsagent and post office windows.Christians in Sport have put together a helpful guide to the logistics and legalities of running a big-screen event, available for download here.
- Take part in Sports Chaplaincy UK’s National Sports Sunday Campaign on 24th June
Sports Chaplaincy UK is calling the church to set aside Sunday 24th June 2018 as a day of prayer for the community of sport. This is a call for you to see how you can use your interest in sport and passion for prayer and tie them together. To aid this they will be releasing a special video for use on social media about some of the individual people who have heard God’s heart for this community and responded. Please visit www.sportschaplaincy.org.uk for more info.
- Use World Cup fever as an opportunity to get connected
There’s nothing like a global sports tournament to break down British reserve. Follow the World Cup between June 14th and July 15th and you will find yourself able to talk to a surprising number of strangers and acquaintances in shops, on public transport, in pubs and coffee shops. And who knows where the conversation may lead, with the Spirit’s help?
- Set up a sports group
Perhaps you have a group of keen sports fans in your church, or perhaps there is a bunch of children with a passion (and energy) for sports, or perhaps your church is really near a sports complex. Whatever the motivation, sport is a great way to bring people together, it’s easy to invite people to and shows people that church is a fun place to be.
Plus don’t forget, sports doesn’t just mean football. Why not set up a table tennis group, or start a church park run or bike ride, open up your church hall for a dance class, or if your feeling brave enough organise a team swim in the sea?!
Got more ideas how you can use sports as a mission field? Get in touch today!