The wait is over. The World Cup has begun. And what a sporting feast it is.

Billions of people are tuning in around the world as 32 nations battle it out for global footballing supremacy. Regardless of how England get on, the World Cup has millions of UK residents gripped. The tournament leads our news bulletins and is the talking point in sports clubs, pubs and workplaces up and down the country.

Will you and your church make the most of the World Cup?

With so many people invested in one massive sporting event like this, there’s an amazing opportunity to share the good news of Jesus!

When issuing His Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives His disciples the authority to share His message and tells them to get stuck in. We see in verse 19 that they are to “make disciples of all nations”. This commission remains ours today as Jesus’ followers, We are called to bring His message to all people we have contact with… But have you considered what a huge ‘nation’ is made up of the sports people following the World Cup? There will be loads in your local community and more than likely your church as well.

Therefore, the question is: “will you and your church make the most of the World Cup?” From sharing a World Cup-themed gospel video on social media or hosting a quiz with a talk at half-time, there are so many ways to reach out with a message that’s even greater than an England World Cup victory!

There are so many ways to reach out with a message that’s even greater than an England World Cup victory!

The World Cup is a constant topic of conversation as I train with my running mates. I pray I will be bold enough to discuss and share this film with them as we chat away.

At Christians in Sport, we know of churches who are hosting five-a-side football tournaments and showing World Cup matches on big screens. These are great ways of inviting our sports friends to church. Maybe you could organise something before or after your Sunday service?

A number of churches, including Town Church, Bicester are hosting a five-a-side tournament on Sunday 24th June. Jonny Reid, from the church, said: “We’re really excited to have many people in our community come and play some football, have a BBQ and watch the match on the big screen at our school venue. It’s a great opportunity to invite people to church who wouldn’t normally think about coming and give them a chance to hear and respond to the gospel.

We need to keep sport and big sporting events on the radar if we are to reach the millions of people in this ‘nation’ of sport.

We have added a series of World Cup resources to our Sports Mission Pack and would love to see them used far and wide. The pack is downloadable for free and features a new multimedia World Cup quiz, an evangelistic short film, a guide to creating a ‘fan zone’ and a collection of school resources produced in partnership with Scripture Union. The pack has already been downloaded more than 600 times.

But while the World Cup is dominating the headlines at the moment, let’s not see it as a one-off for sharing the gospel with sportspeople. Would Wimbledon tennis or the Ryder Cup golf work better for your church? For example, Dundonald Church in London hosted a big screen event during the Six Nations rugby when England took on Ireland. We need to keep sport and big sporting events on the radar if we are to reach the millions of people in this ‘nation’ of sport.

The World Cup only comes along every four years. How will you and your church make the most of it?