Mission and Sport
Whilst Christians may be in church on a Sunday morning by and large the rest of the population are either sleeping, shopping or playing sport. The active people survey produced by Sports England suggests that swimming, football and cycling are the top three sports activities in the UK. The reality is that there are probably just as many people participating in sport as attending church.
The mission shaped opportunities for churches to join together in reaching their communities is enormous. Below are a number of links to organisations that can be helpful if you are discerning, with others, what opportunities might be best for your community. For those wishing to connect through football Ambassadorsare a world wide organisation with a branch in England. Community outreach football training can be an effective way of helping build community cohesion and share the story of Jesus. Ambassadors offer a starting point for churches interested in using football to serve their community. You can attend a six hour training course or host one at your church for you and others locally. They love to help support you to start a Community Football Outreach programme in your local area. Another excellent organisation working in London and looking to expand its network into the rest of the country. Headed up by Joe Lowther Kicklondon desire to "transform young peoples lives with God's love through sport and support.' They mentor over 400 young people each week and work in over 60 schools.
From sports quizzes to screening major sporting events to participation many churches are finding sport as a common denominator with those around and a means to both share the love of Christ and to bring friends and neighbours the good news of the gospel.
You can find lots more ideas about ways to engage in mission around sport both from the video and at the following websites:
Here, Revd David Cawner from the Sports Chaplains network speaks about the opportunities of mission in and through sport.