What a summer of sport we have ahead of us! From the Lions Tour and the women’s cricket World Cup to Wimbledon and the World Athletics Championships in London, there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re a sports nut like me or just a casual observer, the summer’s sporting action is bound to be a major talking point wherever you live.
What this also means is that we have an amazing opportunity to share life and the gospel with those around us. All this sport provides the ideal setting for evangelistic events on a small or large scale. Could you invite your teammates around to watch a big match and share your testimony? Could your church host a sports quiz for the clubs and teams in your local community? Combining the best news in the world with sport – what could be better?
At Christians in Sport, our vision is to reach the world of sport for Christ and we’d love to help you do that where God has placed you. We have come up with 10 ideas for sports outreach this summer, so why not give at least one a go!
1. Invite your teammates round to watch a match
It may seem obvious, but it can work really well. Just hanging out and enjoying God’s good creation of sport is an awesome thing to do. Could you plan ahead to host an evening of athletics from the World Championships in August? Why not set the scene by showing and discussing an evangelistic film like one of these?
2. Put on a big screen event
Watching sport with other people can create a real buzz and it’s always more fun. Showing a match or event on a big screen is easy to do and provides a great opportunity to chat with your friends*. You could have a gospel talk at half-time or show an evangelistic film. All the information and resources to do this can be found in our free Sports Mission Pack.
3. Host a sports quiz
Whether it takes place in your church building, a local sports club or even the pub, you can’t beat a bit of trivia! A quiz is a great way to get sportspeople together in a place where they can hear the gospel in a talk or testimony – or even both! Encourage sportspeople to invite their teammates to make up teams and go for it. We have put together a multimedia sports quiz that’s free to download and has all the information you need. Quizzes work really well with food and we can even send staff to help you run them.
4. Sports tournaments
With all these big sporting events taking place, your friends will surely be up for having a go themselves. Whether you’re putting on a tag rugby tournament for children or hosting volleyball on your local beach, the Sports Mission Pack is a good place to start. It has guides, score-sheets and loads of great practical tips. It’s easier than you think, so don’t hold back.
5. Sport-themed school lessons and assemblies
Are you a teacher or do you have links with schools in your local community? We have some great lesson and assembly plans that help pupils hear something of the good news and how it relates to their favourite sports.
6. Volunteer at your local parkrun
Parkruns are free 5k runs organised at locations across the country on Saturday mornings. Organisers are always on the look-out for volunteer marshalls, time-keepers, pace-makers and the like. Could your church or housegroup get involved in a local parkrun and hand out flyers to a summer event you’re running afterwards?
7. Serve refreshments
It’s highly likely there will be a sports club near your church. Maybe there will be a big sporting event taking place in your vicinity? Either way, could you offer to provide free refreshments? This would a great way to serve practically and build relationships with your sporting community. If there are sports club members in your church family, why not see how you can get involved at their club?
8. Get creative
Need some more great ideas for sporting outreach at your church? Our friends at Scripture Union have a whole host of resources to engage sporty children and adults with the gospel.
9. Be strategic
Consider who your church could reach out to with the gospel through sport this summer and come up with a plan to do that. A great place to start is World Sports Ministries, who offer workable strategies to reach children, youths and adults in different contexts.
10. Go to the library!
The ReadySetGO website is an online library of resources designed to help you share the gospel through sport and play in hundreds of different contexts worldwide.
With more than 10 million people playing competitive sport in the UK each week and millions more who love it, what an opportunity we have to make the most of this summer!